A famous leader once said ‘our principle is that the party commands the gun, and the gun must never command the party.’ The party members of Western Europe no longer bear arms, they do, however, have weapons available to them which if wielded correctly are just as lethal. One weapon in particular, the weapon of choice for many, has become the contemporary gun. The modern gun can kill instantly, but also has the ability to murder slowly, and in full view of millions as the normal gun could not. As with the old gun any fool can wield it, but the contemporary gun can be used to far greater effect in the hands of the faint-hearted. The new gun, as the old, can be used to pressure government into reform, bring about a political death, conquer lands, topple governments, and bring about revolution. The media, with its boundless reach, endless usage, and deathly potential, has now become the contemporary gun.
Yet, the principle that the weapon must not be wielded in the direction of the party does not apply for the modern media gun. Though it was once did, and held political scandal in relative check, it is a principle which has been forgotten in contemporary society. The loss of such principles may excite the journalist, providing him with material to write exciting stories and sell an increasing number of newspapers. It may provide those within the political bubble with exciting gossip they can exchange in city bars, or tweet about with eager fingers. It may even provide the people with further evidence of a privileged class so immersed in their own affluent word they are unsuitable for office; a time-honoured remedy for revolution.
Yet, the fact that it erodes, once treasured, codes of conduct for men entrusted with national governance surely takes precedence over that which is gained. When those who occupy the highest offices in the land act with redundant morality, not only do they endanger the prestige of the body they serve, there is also a danger that such behaviour will permeate throughout society. Matters little how uncomfortable it makes us, in an age filled with talk of equality, it is those who occupy positions of prominence who influence the millions who do not; tout court.
Political parties play a paternal role in the life of a politician, giving the junior a home in which to learn, grow, and reach their full potential. So, let us consider the political party a family then, which provides an environment conducive to political maturity, and Parliament as a home in which a safe environment is provided by strong families. When seniority is achieved, under the auspices of the parental party, reward is often offered in the form of greater responsibility within the family. The promoted display their gratitude to the party by ensuring its continued strength, political relevance, and electoral success, not via matricide. Loyalty, to the family which gave you life, is also expected. Not the unquestioning servility which produces tyrannies, but the true loyalty which seeks to enrich the family, and thus the nation, with every action taken.
These obligations, like that for all progeny, do not end when one leaves the family home. Familial bonds bound all members to the family for life. As the strength of the family gives life to the new, so the old are obliged not to kill the family but to ensure its continued life so a new generation may benefit as they once did. As before one’s self comes the party, and it is the family which should command the gun, never the gun commanding the family; particularly not when the loaded gun rests in the hands of the immoral. The tale of Icarus should be headed by those who attempt to soar to heights alone in the defiance of the party. The use of wings, like the gun, if not used under the auspices of the family can bring ruin upon both wielder and household.
So, onto a gentleman I will address only as the Wallpaper Chancellor, for he is so loathsome to name him would only add lustre to his nefarious star. After being removed from the front bench, he then left the back benches to work as editor of a daily newspaper. First, before the Wallpaper Chancellor’s subsequent behaviour is discussed, one must consider the act of leaving a political party.
There was a time when to be a member of a political party, particularly one of the big two, was considered one of the highest honour’s attainable in life. The men who held rank remained always aware that they occupied offices of great reverence, in nations of great importance, and conducted themselves accordingly. To be Chancellor of the Exchequer, or in the Foreign Office, indeed even Prime Minister was to reach the zenith not a step on the way to a lucrative editorship where one could lambast their family in a fit of infantile spite.
‘You know how to gain a victory,’ the great, African terror of Rome, Hannibal was once told by General Maharbal, ‘but not how to use one’. The ancient general would have marvelled at the resourcefulness of the wily conservative, for surely none can use defeat with such abominable guile as the Wallpaper Chancellor. The people of Great Britain should, in fact, rejoice for had he been able to use victory, as he has defeat, for a longer period of time the British Isles would be in graver danger than she already finds herself in (See 2010-16 and 2016-? For further consequences).
So disenchanted with life, without the family, was Benjamin Disraeli, later Lord Beaconsfield, that he pronounced ‘I am dead; dead, but in the Elysian Fields’. Not a hint of melancholy on the part of our Tory subject however. The Wallpaper Chancellor is so far from deceased, as to make a mockery of the political death. Sits he, ink pot and quill at hand, wicked smile fixed upon his face, hatred abound in his heart, each dip into the pot of war taken with the intention to wield the gun with deathly precision.
To leave the service of your party, and thus your country, to purse commercial or personal interests is not the act of one with unwavering loyalty to the land, and family, which gave you life. Yet, such a trend is indicative of the direction in which society travels. The notion of duty, with it’s all pervading requirements, is now little more than an afterthought. The only duty extant is to personal gain. That may have become acceptable for the many, from those who govern the country it can never be accepted. That those who bear the title Right Honourable are so visibly bereft of honour is a political paradox with ruinous consequences.
Of course, men are not expected to tow the party line to the death-bed. Yet, too often do we see children of the family wielding the gun with the intention of harming the party. Always veiled as friendly fire, with the intention of restoring the family to former glories, seldom is there gunfire without subsequent death. Former family leaders Tony Blair and John Major have both, in recent times, wielded the media gun in an attempt to alter the direction of the family. Nicky Morgan and Chuka Umuna, both removed from front bench positions, continue to wield the gun with as much moral redundancy as can be expected from such a pair. Clearly, the welfare of the family only matters if one has a prominent position within.
The party, which as a mother, provides sustenance, safety, security, opportunity, and indeed life to junior members is increasingly threatened by its selfish offspring.
Many allow ambition to guide their actions, placing personal aspiration before anything else. If ambitions are achieved by wielding the gun, oh the better. Yet, the damage caused to the party by the descent in propriety is irreparable. Matters little to the ambitious however, who like Nero would play a harp while all around him burns, secure in the knowledge they will rule over the ashes. However, an ashen Rome, like betrayed mother, may well look upon her self-absorbed sons and daughters to ask ‘and will thou leave me thus, that hath loved thee so long?’