What a shower!

NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION! Our chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear. Our chief weapon is surprise and fear and a ruthless efficiency. Among our weaponry is surprise, fear, a ruthless efficiency and a fanatical devotion to the…. I’ll start again.

Last Thursday something finally made Dobby the Hogwart’s Elf snap and, looking like a drowned Roland Rat, to the fury of his own MPs and even his cabinet, who were all caught completely on the hop, he called a general election for July 4 as the clouds emptied over his age 10-11 junior designer suit.

In the days that followed, his shower of a comms team set up a series of campaign visits that played to every headline writer’s wet dream from sending a Hindu teetotaller to a brewery and then Belfast’s Titanic Quarter to the PM himself on a lightning visit to Wales asking people if they were looking forward to the football, which they had famously failed to qualify for.

Add to that sychophant in chief Michael Gove standing down and former leader of the Commons Andrea Ledsome asking the 1922 Committee if she could submit a letter of no confidence before herself quitting with a statement that significantly did not mention the prime minister at all.

It’s almost enough for me to feel guily about the nicknames I’ve been calling him for the past year.

Almost.

With more letters rumoured to have been submitted to Sir Graham Brady in the build up to last week’s announcement it looks to me as if the little fellow finally thought, right I’ll take all you ****ers down with me and those sat on the Tory benches who had been assured they could go on holiday are now, apart from the 80 getting the hell out, having to quickly change their plans and think about what they are going to do for a living after next month when they thought they had a while yet to get their CVs sorted.

As if this wet weekend of a campaign launch while they’re 20 points down in the polls wasn’t enough, the first actual policy raised its head above the chaos.

What would it be – the cost of living, the NHS, immigration – something that matters?

No, with the world becoming a more dangerous place by the day, they decided to lead with a bonkers £2.5bn idea to create a new generation of cannon fodder with the return of a year of National Service for 18-year olds – an authoritarian policy that will only appeal to dissatisfied older right wingers tempted to flirt with voting for Reform UK in July who want to blame everything that’s wrong with the country on the young.

I can’t take this seriously. It’s a distraction from fixing the mess that Liz Truss created which looks like it was made up on the spot during lunchbreak on Friday and stands as much chance as planes taking off for Rwanda .

And this is just the beginning. There’s weeks of this madness to come: cringy Lib Dem launches where evangelistic supporters with their yellow cards and thousand-yard stares try not to look embarrassed by Fred Shady and his latest silly church fete level stunt; Richard Once, Tice, Three Times A Hater spreading the politics of division, the tartan tie wearers appealing for VAR to change the result of the Battle of Culloden and, who knows, Labour might yet come up with a better platform than “at least we’re not the Tories”.

But as bad as it all looks, please exercise your right to vote or you will be as much to blame for what happens next as the people in charge.

………………………………

Until the end of the election I will from this point on be refraining from using names such as Dobby the Hogwarts Elf, Little Rishard or Skier Starkers etc. when refering to the leaders of the Labour and Conservative parties. I will also not be using Shed Davey or anything similar and promise not to mention Feyd-Rautha from Dune 2 in relation to the SNP’s interrupter furiosum Stephen Flynn.

Hopefully I can maintain the same level of self control when it comes to messrs Galloway, Farage and Tice.

But that might be asking too much.

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Edward Case

Columnist