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Mainstream, VOL LX No 32, New Delhi, July 30, 2022

Panic-stricken Tories look for a Saviour | LK Sharma

Friday 29 July 2022


by L K Sharma

Captured Conversations

The End Is Nigh

10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Anthony Boswell: Welcome to the Conservative Core Group’s crucial meeting. Great Britain is on its deathbed. We face an existential crisis.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: The communists said that for years about capitalism that marched on relentlessly.

Prime Minister: This Scepter’d Isle is endangered!

Sherman Wiseman: We have lived with this fear for long.

Prime Minister: Didn’t we lose our Empire, a major chunk of the earth? Didn’t we lose the cities of Dunwich and Selsey?

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: The two cities vanished in the 11th century. Our party was not there then.

Sherman Wiseman: Now we, the Tories, are here and ill fares the land.

Prime Minister: The fate of our grand old party is sealed. Only we can govern the country and yet the people are rejecting us. The local election results are a taster. In Northern Ireland, they voted for a militant party, exposing us as interlopers and oppressors. Scotland went out of our hands. Wales is waiting. The idea of the union’s breakup is not far-fetched. The spectre haunts, not just the imagination of the novelists. It dominates newspaper headlines. Things are falling apart. The centre cannot hold.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Have we assembled for a wake?

Prime Minister: We have gathered to draw up a strategy for survival. We are threatened by sinister forces.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: China sent us the pandemic but ours is a fortress built by Nature against infection. We are safe. We wear masks which we used to wear only for a special ball. No harm can come to this seat of Mars, other Eden, demi-paradise, this blessed plot.

Sherman Wiseman: Please, the Prime Minister has called us for a serious discussion. Let’s not indulge in poetry.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: I sing of the precious stone set in the silver sea!
Sherman Wiseman: Then I say that this dear dear land is now bound in with shame. It was wont to conquer others but it hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Prime Minister: These words truly reflect the grim situation. And unlike our Great Generation, we can’t fight because the nation is demoralised.

Sherman Wiseman: Last Christmas, every Briton cried “annus horribilis’, having learnt these words from the former Queen.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Please read John Seeley’s book The Expansion of England.
Sherman Wiseman: That was in 1881, Now we write its obituary. Look at the titles. The Abolition of Britain. The Break-Up of Britain. The Burnt-out Britain, After Britain. That Was The Britain That Was. Elegy for England. England: An Elegy. The Making of a Myth. In Memory of England. The Death of Britain. The Strange Death of Liberal England. The Strange Death of Tory England. The Strange Death of Moral Britain.

Prime Minister: Attach Death to Britain and you have a sexy title. It is a book marketing trick.

Sherman Wiseman: The list of such titles goes on. Broken Britain, Bankrupt Britain, Blighted Britain, Busted Britain, Buggered-up Britain!

Sir Edward Hearth: Books feed the British neurotic sense of imminent catastrophe! Theodore Dalrymple calls British culture a ‘moral swamp’. Naipaul calls Britain a land of the philistines.

Watson Edridge-Green: Fiction writers are worse. Martin Amis leaves for America after giving us a parting kick. His novel portrays Britain as a nation of Mr. and Mrs. Asbo, addicted to anti-social behaviour. Another novelist decries our enthusiasm for football. He calls it “hooliganism”.

Sir Edward Hearth: Martin Amis and Theodore Darlymple. wound England with their pens and vote with their feet.

Sherman Wiseman: They are our literary heroes. We must cherish them since no others are left. They did not start the riots. They report what they observe.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Mr. Prime Minister, you have made Britain a strong state. It monitors mischief-makers. Scientists will give us the tools to know what each citizen is thinking, and the Thought Police will nip every conspiracy in the bud.

Sherman Wiseman: Britain is already being called a private security state and a police state.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Let them call Britain New China and Putin Land. We have to protect the nation. The judiciary has been defanged and it can no longer play games with our security in the name of human rights.

Prime Minister: Let’s discuss the unprecedented crisis.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: What crisis? I see none.

Watson Edridge-Green: I see one. Seventy per cent. of British men and 50 per cent. of women are dissatisfied with their sex life!

Sir Edward Hearth: That is no crisis, we are British!

Prime Minister: May I urge my honourable friends to be serious? We have never had it so bad. Our party has lost the confidence of the people. Britain’s reputation is all-time low. Europeans hate our football hooligans and call Britain the ‘Sick Man of Europe’.

Sir Walter Slaughter: Only because our economic growth rate has declined.

Sherman Wiseman: Not only financial sickness. Britain has the highest gonorrhoea rate in Europe! It is the ‘Fat Man of Europe’ because of the obesity epidemic.

Sir Walter Slaughter: The Prime Minister talks of a crisis. What has caused it? A sex scandal in the Palace?

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Is it Khan’s uranium? Or Putin’s plutonium? A dirty bomb smuggled through the Channel Tunnel?

Sir Edward Hearth: The 40,000 Muslim Jihadis.

Sherman Wiseman: Communism goes, terrorism comes. Fascism rises! Horrorism strikes! The Keep England White Army prepares for a war. Britannia rules only the global airwaves when rioters burn London.

Watson Edridge-Green: Germans take over Europe. The Frogs transmit rabies through the Channel. The return of plague, pestilence, and a record population of rats.

Sherman Wiseman: Britain will sink into the sea! By sea we came, to sea we return!
Sir Edward Hearth: We can build a shining City on the Hill. But for whom? By breeding infertile obese adults, we are breeding ourselves out. The British Medical Association has warned us.

Watson Edridge-Green: It is economics not physiology. The recession hit procreation.
Sir Harold Evans: Volcanic ash hit our aviation industry even before the pandemic paralysed it.

Sherman Wiseman: Divine retribution for killing the people of Iraq.

Watson Edridge-Green: My Hon’ble friend has gone Oriental.

Sir Edward Hearth: Volcanic ash heralded a New World Order. A natural disaster struck Europe instead of Africa and Asia!

Sherman Wiseman: Europe was earlier reserved for man-made disasters!

Prime Minister: The nation is in a temper. Pockets of Britain are sick and dying. Britons feel depressed. The more events we organise to cheer them, the more miserable they get. They suffer from a sense of doom.

Sir Edward Hearth: The London Mayor tried to amuse them by hanging on a wire. It did not help. The Olympics only made them crib about London and life.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Even the Royal ceremonials fail to cheer them. The magic of Prince William’s wedding barely lasted one night! Pippa’s bottom excited them but only for a day! The future Queen’s breasts made little impact. The nude Prince Harry amused only Americans!

Prime Minister: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and her abdication. Nothing cheered them. The long-awaited Coronation turned out to be a damp squib!

Sir Edward Hearth: The King showed his thoughtful dark side. India’s gift of a Speaking Tree made him more pensive! He began talking to it, which frightened men, women, and horses.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: His Majesty laughed loudly which shocked traditionalists. No monarch ever laughed loudly. His mother never did.

Sherman Wiseman: Never did the Royal circuses fail to amuse. Reality has killed fantasy. Britons may stop worshipping at the monarchical altar! If the Cult of Personality goes, what remains of Britain?

Sir Edward Hearth: We the Tories have stakes in the power and the glory of the Sovereign. We owe much to the last Queen who did not invite Labour’s Harold Wilson to form the Government when she could have.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: We feel lost after her abdication. The King disapproves of the Conservative policies.

Sir Edward Hearth: The Church of England is no longer the Conservative Party at prayer. For long it ruled out women bishops but now they are coming!

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Britain is full of strange people who didn’t like being ordered to stay at home. During the War, all kept calm and carried on. Now they complain of a war-like atmosphere! They call Britain a police state when we impose minimal restrictions on their movement for their own health and safety.

Sir Edward Hearth: Our decline began with the end of our Empire. We started hurtling down. We, who ruled the world, no longer rule even our own country. We let power slip from our hands. We surrendered it to the sons and daughters of the immigrants.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: We can’t blame Labour. Our party’s Government opened its doors to the people of foreign origins. The key ministries of Finance, Home and Health surrendered to non-English persons. We chose a leader with Turkish blood in his veins.

Sir Edward Hearth: We began to compete with Labour that imposed a Mayor of Pakistani origin. Enoch Powell had seen it coming. We are paying for our liberal immigration policies. Outsiders subvert our language, culture, and morals.

Prime Minister: My Honourable friends ignore the political compulsions of multiculturalism.

Sir Edward Hearth: Wish we had taken historian Niall Fergusson seriously who came up with the brilliant idea of regaining the Empire.

Sherman Wiseman: The less we talk of the British Empire the better. Its history is now being written by Indians and Americans who expose its misdeeds to our shame. The scale of oppression and exploitation in the colonies was horrendous.

Sir Edward Hearth: Let’s cleanse ourselves of the guilt complex. Let us take pride in our heritage and noble contribution to the betterment of the savages.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: The English character has changed. The Black August Disaster failed to produce national unity. We weren’t like that!

Sherman Wiseman: Two boys in Doncaster were sentenced for torturing two boys. David Cameron said the crime was evidence of a ‘broke society’. He tried to distract public attention from the fact that Edlington was in a thriving mining community that was broken systematically by Margaret Thatcher.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: We remember her famous words: “There is no such thing as society.”

Sherman Wiseman: What do you expect when children in elementary schools grow up playing torture games?

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Our people are kind. Alan Bennett was so disturbed by the sight of seagulls terrorising a heron in Camden than he wanted them to be sent back to their seaside towns. One person got upset seeing a magpie pinned to the ground and being stamped over by a magpie gang. The Anti-Social Behaviour Order could not be extended to magpies.

Prime Minister: This trait is not reflected in the violent riots. Images of our burning cities tell another story.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: The whole world enjoyed seeing London burn! Especially, our former colonies. An Indian daily doubted our ability to host the Olympics. Iran told us to exercise restraint. Repressive Syria asked us to open a dialogue with our rascals called ‘demonstrators’. Burma wanted the UN observers to monitor police atrocities in Britain.

Sir Edward Hearth: Looters emerge from their council estates and scurry back into their hovels after drugging and mugging. A refugee wrote in our newspapers that he had felt safer in Gaza.

Watson Edridge-Green: This nation was once branded by the Blitz photographs! We are not admired since we lie buried under a man-made mountain of debt. There is no money left, says the Prime Minister! Britain has already gone bust. The stock market is sinking; financial crime is rising.

Sherman Wiseman: Financial, political, and moral scandals hit the headlines. The social situation is grim. Black neighbourhoods are in ferment. Black youth has been hit harder by unemployment.

Watson Edridge-Green: A bunch of criminals held Britain to ransom, and the loony leftists attributed their behaviour to poverty and inequality! Arsonists and looters oppose the spending cuts. Britain will fall into a fiscal hole. Welfare junkies! Labour got them addicted to freebies! The underclass is incorrigible!

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: A smack by the Government. That is what our masses need from time to time.

Watson Edridge-Green: ‘Broken Britain and How to Fix It’. Jim cannot fix it! The oldest railway network in the world gets disrupted by a few wet leaves! Leaves lead to fatal crashes!

Sherman Wiseman: A bigger crisis is coming. Our great tit, afflicted by a virus, will be extinct! Destined to meet the fate of wood pigeons, house sparrows and British butterflies!

Sir Edward Hearth: Britain’s weather patterns in 20 years would resemble Siberia’s. The Pentagon has warned. What all awaits our green and pleasant land? The chaos-causing snowfall. Disruptive floods. Wildfires. Storm surges. Sheep dying of heat stress. Crop failures, pests. Borers and bores. Ghost ships, resurgent TB, swine fever, mad cows, poisoned eggs, suicidal chickens, and filthy foreigners.

Watson Edridge-Green: The Mad Cow disease and its Mad-Man mutation.

Sherman Wiseman: The gorgeous huge fox-spider is hard to find. The red squirrel is vanishing. Britain has entered the Age of Extinction.

Prime Minister: From the Age of Distinction!

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: A Labour MP attacks the US since our native red squirrel is disappearing because of the big grey American squirrel. Enoch Powell had warned us against the invasion by non-native humans.

Sherman Wiseman: The non-native pheasants and partridges destroy our wildlife, including reptiles, insects, and plants. We talk of a few thousands of foreigners coming in, ignoring 60 million creatures of the other kind. Some come from across the Channel!

Watson Edridge-Green: We have problems of the rising UV radiation and falling sperm count. Gruzumping house buyers, cheating estate agents, expensive solicitors, and murdering doctors. Seducing teachers, pestering paedophiles, two-timing husbands, and whoring wives. Dug-up graves, sick hospitals and this Covid. You name it, we have it.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: We can alter nation’s foul mood by surreptitious mass medication. We medicate the drinking water. A radical remedy needed. Churchill wanted to bomb the Soviet Union after the War.

Prime Minister: Any remedy is justified in such times. We, the Conservatives, will be finished in the next election. That is the finding of a secret survey. Imagine its implications for Great Britain since we alone can govern this nation!

Sherman Wiseman: We tried so hard to avert our fall. Posing as New Conservatives, we ousted New Labour from power, colluded with the Liberal Democrats and promised a New Britain. We sacrificed our principles for Britain’s stability. We made compromises. All in vain. We should have stood for our principles.

Prime Minister: A year is a long time in politics! The people are fickle-minded.
Sir Edward Hearth: We ought not to have given up traditional Conservative values! We stooped to share power with a party rejected by the people. Ditched the politics of conviction for politics of coalition.

Prime Minister: We had to make the party electable. That compromise brought us victory.

Watson Edridge-Green: It was an unprincipled alliance. The marriage of convenience could not last.

Prime Minister: We struck a deal with the Liberal Democrats to avert an economic meltdown. The foolish people terminated the honeymoon abruptly.

Sir Edward Hearth: The morality monster returned to maul us. It claimed its first victim from our coalition partner! An MP who had claimed to be holier than us! Then came the sleazy Tory MPs.

Sherman Wiseman: The Conservatives used to hunger for sex and Labour fellows for money. Now we want money too. Britain has changed!

Watson Edridge-Green: Sex and money are what the people want to read about. They lapped up stories about a gay minister paying from his official expenses account for his partner’s house! The media is creating disorder. A lurid headline a day keeps readers gay! Public fury is rising! A witch-hunt has begun.

Sherman Wiseman: We must fix the media moguls! The media ousted the Labour Government by playing up the MPs’ expenses scandal. Having tasted blood, it came after us. Democracy is Murdochracy!

Sir Edward Hearth: A tabloid is a fair-weather friend. With Margaret Thatcher during her rule, then with Prime Minister Blair. It saw Blair going, stabbed Labour in the back and came over to our side. Now it is after us. Its anti-Tory propaganda is working.

Sherman Wiseman: The voters are shouting: ‘Where is the promised New Politics?’
Prime Minister: The more things change, the more they remain the same! The tabloids dig up skeletons and serve them afresh. The new scandals involving the Conservative MPs give a new life to dead stories.

Sherman Wiseman: A tabloid exposed the Tory Prime Minister who gave the ‘Back to the Basics’ call while enjoying his secret mistress!

Prime Minister: Many MPs preached but never practised ‘family values’. Not easy to defend a colleague who watches porn during a parliamentary debate.

Watson Edridge-Green: Even the dead are not spared. The Moon featured the Tory minister who had boasted of having fun with someone’s wife and her two daughters. It reprinted the story of a Tory minister getting his toes sucked by a Spanish woman!

Sir Edward Hearth: It recycled the case of a Tory MP suffocating himself with a bag in a sex game gone wrong. The queer incident in Parliamentary toilets was reported again in gory detail.

Watson Edridge-Green: The gay minister case revived public memories of the MPs’ expenses scandal of 2009! A daily published archival material on the ill-gotten manure and an ornamental bird house. About the MPs using public money to get a moat cleaned, a tennis court fixed and a jacuzzi installed. The MPs who claimed payments for mortgages that were paid off were crucified again. Their absentmindedness was called a crime by the police!

Sherman Wiseman: Newspapers re-ran the story of the minister who charged the national exchequer for the porn watched by her husband.

Sir Edward Hearth: My Hon’ble Friends were quite indiscreet in taking cash for questions! In accepting the hospitality in Italy of a government contractor. In letting the women of ill-repute and a drug dealer into their London homes. Letting an orgy be photographed was sheer insanity.

Prime Minister: Hate is in the air. The barbarians are at the gates! The mobs are braying for our blood. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry demands ‘A New Politics’. A columnist wounds us with her poison pen. We face a 2009-like situation. Alas, we learnt nothing from the expenses scandal of 2009.

Watson Edridge-Green: We improved our houses! As Maggy had wanted every Briton to do. She ensured that Britons visited the DIY stores instead of joining protest rallies and the factory gate union meetings!

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Maggy would not have let the information about expenses be made public. The abuse of allowances would not have come to light. The disclosures were a breach of parliamentary privileges. Those were petty expenses.

Prime Minister: The Presidents of Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Iran turned it into a big deal. They asked the British Government to undertake political reforms and introduce accountability to save democracy! Iran threatened to impose sanctions against Britain if its political system was not made transparent. Mugabe offered to send advisers to help us clean up. Our media chased us like a mad dog.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: When all buckled down under public pressure, I stood firm. I charged the media with the destruction of democracy and of Great Britain. I hit back at that TV woman by asking her how much she was paid by the BBC. I told her it was the blue-eyed monster, Envy. We were attacked by those who failed to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, failed to get on their bicycles and get work.

Sir Edward Hearth: They can’t see me making a living. They would love to see me in a Big Issue anorak, standing in a queue at the Hare Krishna soup kitchen.

Prime Minister: The MPs were accused of running a Gentlemen’s Club. The Labour Prime Minister said Parliament would cease to be a Gentleman’s Club. If only Parliament had remained a Gentlemen’s Club!

Sherman Wiseman: Dominic Lawson said American tourists would misunderstand and flock to Parliament to buy good time inside the Gentlemen’s Club!

Sir Edward Hearth: When we came to power, the media started inciting the people against the Oxbridge elite. It attacked those who had inherited horses, mansions, period furniture, silver, taste, manners, and dress sense from their fathers who had run the British Empire.

Prime Minister: During the poll campaign, I had to play down my Eton connection. It is the class thing. The people can’t stand our success. Newspapers keep publicising the number of millionaires in the Cabinet! As if the Cabinet should consist of homeless destitutes!

Sir Edward Hearth: The people consider my owning a yacht a crime. They resent my Italian holiday. A novelist moved the Queen to a council housing estate!

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: A Muslim leader proclaimed that the Queen must not appear in public without a veil, as prescribed in Islam!

Prime Minister: Our problem is the people. First, they chased the bankers, wanting to lynch the fat cats for pocketing millions and bankrupting the banks! Then they turned upon the politicians.

Sherman Wiseman: The people read about the MPs claiming ghost expenses and forgot the bankers.

Sir Edward Hearth: The City conspired to turn public ire against the MPs. The celebrities discredited the political class. Some of them promptly threw their hats into the political ring. A TV star, whatever her bust size, would never be the Prime Minister.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Playwright Pinter railed against us till his last breath. He thought he would be Britain’s Vaclav Havel! Our people won’t want Tom Stoppard to rule Britain.

Prime Minister: Writers, artists and journalists, all feed on scandals. The chattering classes bitch against us in their salons, hold protest rallies, write nasty articles, and stage hostile plays.

Sir Edward Hearth: The recession-hit media made money from the MPs’ expenses scandal. It criticised the gay marriage solemnised in the Palace of Westminster! Parliament of Whores became a bestseller again.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: The media spies on us. I dare not go to a play with any woman for the night. The media never reports how hard we work and how badly our constituents behave.

Prime Minister: We make a huge financial sacrifice by joining politics. A former Labour Prime Minister earned much more when hired by an Indian in the US. As the Prime Minster, he used to get a pittance

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: The City is ready to hire me for four times my salary as an MP. I have attractive offers from an American company and from Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister: The people should salute us for serving the nation by making a financial sacrifice. We forgo money. We forgo seeing our children grow up. Our duties ruin family life. We sacrifice family values. Our private lives get flashed in the tabloids. That juicy coverage incites the readers against us.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: The earlier witch-hunt led to the ouster of the Labour Government!

Prime Minister: Indeed. It brought us back to power. I was pulled out of the City because I was seen as a ‘fresh face’ in politics. Untainted by the expenses scandal. My bank gave me leave.

Sir Edward Hearth: Mr. Prime Minister, you freed the banking industry from bureaucratic controls.

Prime Minister: We did exceedingly well initially. But the public mood soured because of job losses. I am no longer seen as a fresh face. Mass fury will bring this House down, like a house of cards.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Having tasted blood, the people again want a change. I shall go to the Lords.

Sir Edward Hearth: The mobs will not spare the Lords! What shall we do? We could flee to India. Indian voters don’t mind rapists and robbers as politicians.

Sir Pax Flumox-Lloyd: Don’t panic! Not yet time to abandon dear old Blimey. Britons don’t have what it takes to stage a revolution. They would write letters to The Guardian. No protesters tried to storm Parliament when the expenses scandal broke. It is the British love of orderliness. We are not French. We hate chaos. A foreigner ascribed our virtue to ‘a revolution of anomie’. The people are so dejected that they have no will to bestir themselves or to come together.

Sir Edward Hearth: It seems different this time. The mobs went after Nike shoes and Sony TV sets!

Sherman Wiseman: Britain is dying and no bereavement counsellor in sight!

Prime Minister: We delayed the demise. The Wall Street Journal editorialised in 1975:

’Goodbye, Great Britain’. Our David Starkey says ‘England, like Rome, is has become a place of the mind.’ Our end is near. Hence this crucial meeting. Our Core Group must devise a survival strategy, for us and for the nation. Let’s adjourn for tea.

[The above is an extract from the British edition of this e-book by L K Sharma. It is available from Amazon: ]

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