by Martin Odoni

The ‘truce‘ between the Tories, the Labour Right and the Establishment media, in which they united to discredit and destroy the only politician since about 2002 of real probity in the entire House of Commons, is clearly over. It seems very much a case of, “And then came the deluge.” Six years of holding their noses as each group co-operated with people they did not like meant holding back a lot of anger, and it is all now exploding outwards like the pressure released from thirty-six barrels of gunpowder. Appropriate week for it.

The present uproar over the shortest-serving and most-rapidly-reinstated Home Secretary in history, Suella Braverman, seems to me very much a part of that fall-out. Do not misunderstand me, I am in no way defending her; Braverman’s casual arrogance and disregard for basic security are inexcusable in any Cabinet Minister. In a Home Secretary, they are a downright contradiction of the office she occupies. If she gets fired, to break her own so-recently-set record, I will wholeheartedly approve of the riddance. She embodies the irony of the intolerant, in that they are always quick to attack others who break rules, while having no patience for being subject to rules themselves. That is before we even consider the abject, myopic, short-termist horror of her actual policies and attitudes, which scream out that she regards the poor and needy as a lower species. Her belief in her innate superiority casts her as Priti Patel on crack.

Actually they might, if they were rich when they arrived

Braverman’s use of utterly flagrant, irresponsible language regarding refugees crossing the English Channel, referring to them only this week as an “invasion” to justify her inhuman treatment of them, proves that this month’s Prime Minister, Rishi Rich… er, sorry, Sunak, cannot fire her quickly enough. With her idiotic attitude to security, the hypocrite is clearly far more of a danger to the country than any refugees she scaremongers us about.

The attitude of the Tories to national security, by the way, has changed markedly, has it not? They spent years warning us that Jeremy Corbyn was an unacceptable option as Prime Minister because he posed “a security risk.” Braverman is guilty of six violations of the Ministerial Code (in just a month in office!) including repeatedly sending confidential e-mails, unencrypted, to her personal e-mail address, and sending one to an incorrect recipient and just telling him to “delete and ignore” it, rather than reporting the breach. Tories are now saying that it is fine for her to return to the Home Office because she has “apologised.” Well, if that is all it takes to resolve being a security risk, Corbyn would clearly have been absolutely fine as Prime Minister.

But what aggravates me just as much as Braverman’s inept arrogance is knowing that little or none of this would have reached the public domain via the mainstream media, had the aforementioned Corbyn still been Labour leader. The desperation to portray even the current Conservative Party as preferable to (the entirely fictitious image of) what a Labour Left Government would have been like, meant that most media just ignored the corruption and incompetence of the Tory sewer of the last few years.

Now the members of the Tory-Labour-Right-media alliance perceive there to be no remaining danger from Corbyn’s direction, they feel that normal service of theatrical playground name-calling can resume. Some of that appears to be a very clear internecine struggle between different factions in the Conservative Party. The idea we had that Tory splits over the last thirty years were entirely about Europe have proven wrong. Conservative infighting is as bad and as petty as it has ever been, and successive administrations prove hopelessly unstable, even with the party’s first ‘working’ majority in the Lower House since not long after John Major arrived in Number 10. Right now, there seems to be a large rump of Boris Johnson supporters just making trouble for whichever of Johnson’s successors currently holds the leadership, and mechanically drafting letters of No Confidence, ready for rapid issue to the 1922 Committee. How bizarre it is that at precisely the time their alliance with the Labour Right has ended, the renegade faction in the Tories now most closely resembles the Labour Right when it kept turning renegade against Jeremy Corbyn.

The people who always most seek to punish those weaker and most vulnerable as hard as possible are always the ones who insist on the softest punishments for themselves

On that note, I would be entirely unsurprised if it turned out that Liz Truss’ short-lived misery at 10 Downing Street, and Braverman’s current misery at the Home Office, have been caused by leaks commanded by Johnson. It has already emerged that, while Prime Minister, he had previously – probably illegally and undoubtedly corruptly – covered up a security breach involving a hack attempt on Truss’ phone. Has the story got out now because he is feeling vengeful that she replaced him, however briefly? Or does Johnson just want the leadership back and so will keep undermining whoever currently occupies Number 10? (Hence Johnson’s COP27 theatrics to make himself look more caring about Climate Change than Sunak.) He is clearly hoping to create an atmosphere of fake nostalgia among Tory MPs for the “good old days” when he was in charge, in the hope that he can make a comeback. Again though, narcissistic as Johnson is, he probably would not push for that had Corbyn still been Labour leader.

Equally, Sunak might be guilty of leaking the Truss story to draw attention away from Braverman and to fire a warning shot across Johnson’s bow, although if he did, it is clearly not working.

The media, who would have just buried or positively spun most of this chaos and amateurish misconduct were Corbyn still Labour leader, are now lapping it up and defecating every last crumb of it all over the front pages and the news bulletins. The establishment media now keenly hope for a Labour victory at the next General Election. If Labour wins under the right wing, corrupt and racist anti-worker, Keir Starmer, that will reinforce the long-recited urban myth that “Labour cannot win from the left,” making the emergence of another Corbyn-figure as leader a remote possibility at best for at least a generation.

The British media would blame Jeremy Corbyn for the Crucifixion if they could find a way of getting people to overlook how his birth was not until nearly two thousand years later

I must stress that the media are not wrong to report all of this Tory havoc. But they should have been doing so even when Labour was under the control of the left, instead of helping push the ninety-nine per cent fictitious “Labour anti-Semitism” hysteria. The standard of UK mainstream media objectivity has not been anything to write home about at the best of times. But their recent, brazen inconsistency, their shameless unwillingness to report all matters of real public interest – selection depending entirely on who is leader of whichever party instead – has laid bare the terrifying threat establishment media pose to the democratic process.

Now even more than ever, the mainstream media are not there to inform the public, they are there to control the public.