A Major embarrassment

I have often considered that we may be too hard on our politicians. Certainly, there is a tendency for them to be venal, vain and vacuous. But successful people in so many fields of human endeavour tend to be characterised by varying degrees of appalling arsewipiness simply because we live in a world where you don’t get to be successful without being a bit of an arsewipe. If you are relatively unsuccessful in your chosen field, console yourself with the thought that it may be because you’re not enough of a shit. But don’t take too much comfort from this. It could well be that you’re actually a total turd, but of the wrong kind.

One of the generally unappealing traits that’s nonetheless considered an absolute prerequisite for a career in politics is a pathologically diminished sense of self-awareness; at least to the point where there is no public performance so toe-curlingly, buttock-clenchingly dire that it cannot be turned into a triumph by the application of copious back-slapping and butt-kissing from the circle of sycophants with which professional politicians surround themselves.

Having a gaping void where most of us keep our conscience also allows politicians to indulge in the kind of crass hypocrisy which would be excruciating for a normal human being. Hypocrisy such as is oozing out of British politicians as they carp about the antics of either or both sides in the EU referendum debate, whilst conveniently oblivious to their own atrocious conduct during the first independence referendum campaign.

Ex-PM John Major is just the latest high-profile figure in the British establishment to demonstrate his imperviousness to the crushing embarrassment of his own two-faced gall. You remember John Major! The man whose dreichness could make a wet winter Wednesday among the Wee Frees seem like Mardi Gras! Well, he’s been bleating about how “squalid” and “deceitful” Boris Johnson and the Brexiteers are. He complains that they are running a “really depressing and awful campaign”. He accuses them of “misleading people to an extraordinary extent”.

Those of us who recall Major’s interventions in the first referendum campaign will be gape-mouthed at the witless audacity of these comments. This is the dullard who, just days before the vote, had the insolence to tell the extraordinarily politically aware and engaged people of Scotland that they had failed to understand the implications of constitutional reform.

This is the pompous bladder who sought to afford British nationalist lies, threats and scaremongering all the dubious gravitas of his status as a bastion of the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state.

This is the fool who told the people of Scotland that they would have no currency, no oil and no prospects if they dared to renounce the divinely-ordained British state.

Worse still, he declaimed, they’d all become FOREIGNERS overnight! Oh! The horror!

By his intervention, Sir John Major (for he has reaped the rewards a grateful British establishment bestows on even its most undistinguished loyal servants) irrevocably associated himself with Project Fear – unquestionably one of the most “squalid” and “deceitful” propaganda efforts ever to be conducted in peacetime. A campaign which was an insult to the people of Scotland and to democracy itself. A campaign which would have shamed its architects and participants but for the fact of their pseudo-religious conviction that there was no conduct which could not be justified in defence of established power and the ruling elites of the British state.

And yet he has the hard neck to castigate the Brexit campaign for tactics which are certainly despicable, but no more so than those that he enthusiastically helped deploy against the people of Scotland. The hypocrisy is sickening. Only that profound lack of self-awareness prevents Major melting in the heat of his own embarrassment.

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6 thoughts on “A Major embarrassment

  1. Edward Andrews

    While I agree that he was obnoxious in out Referendum, I have a sneaking respect for him. As a politician who else could have won – or not lost the 1992 election, the guy must have had some genius. He also managed to face Edwina and keep it out of the papers until she kissed and told, but most of all I like him listing Johnston, Gould and Drunken Smith and say that he would trust a hungry python with a pet guinea pig before those ones with the NHS. He also rubbished the loyalty of IDS and wrote Boris off as a jester.
    In the context where we are trying to win a Referendum didn’t the boy do well, and the beauty is that he is simply blue on blue piling up trouble for the Tories whoever wins.

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      The “enemy of my enemy” consideration had not eluded me. It’s just that any rejoicing is overwhelmed by my aversion to regarding such a boorish hypocrite as an ally of any kind.

  2. alasdairB

    Major did indeed lead the Tories to their record breaking 1992 GE victory. He also lead them to their record breaking 1997 loss which gave us the Blair & Brown years & cast the Tories into their wilderness years.
    Memorable highlights before & during his premiership gave us the botched rail privatisation, Black Wednesday & the ERM debacle, the Gulf War, the traffic cone hotline and a parliamentary party noted for its infighting & sleaze.
    Who can forget the memorable spitting image caricatures, the superb Steve Bell cartoons of Major wearing his superman underpants & a traffic cone on his arse, the continual skewering by Private Eye & the hilarious Diaries of John Major aged 47 & three quarters.
    However it was Major’s ‘Back to Basics’ strategy which proved his ultimate undoing as it was interpreted as a Moral Crusade by the press & public . Major’s authority came under scrutiny as never before opening the sluice gates of Tory duplicity intertwined with widespread sleaze, & sexual antics within the Parliamentary Party.
    His initial denials following the belated outing & confirmation of a long standing affair with Edwina Currie only serves to confirm his duplicity. Nothing this man says should ever be taken seriously. He is the embodiment of personal gratification before public service. He would do us all a favour by morphing from the grey man into the invisible man.

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