Wednesday, 10 June 2020
Is there any proposition vile or ludicrous enough that the Tory mental gymnasts won't defend it?
Let's not pretend there's not a common human tendency to resort to absurd post hoc justifications for outrageous behaviour when it's our own, or perpetrated by those we support.
This tendency exists, and anyone who has ever even attempted to develop a rational worldview must have confronted their own tendencies to perform this kind of mental gymnastics routine.
Post hoc mental contortionism to defend the indefensible has been a feature of discourse for as long as any of us can remember, but in recent months there's been a constant stream of Tories willing to take the most absurd and demeaning positions to defend the outrageous behaviour of their political tribe.
There's never been a government full of people willing to absolutely demean themselves by defending the utterly indefensible.
The most obvious and glaring example that springs immediately to mind is the absurd story that Dominic Cummings engaged in a lockdown-defying 30 miles each way to the historic beauty spot of Barnard Castle in order to test his eyesight.
The idea that you'd conduct an eyesight test by packing your family into a car and driving them around the country is as absurd as the concept that undertaking such a reckless public-endangering test was an excuse to defy lockdown measures.
But a whole stream of Tories were herded onto social media to announce how convincing they'd found Cummings' explanation, and that it was 'time to move on'.
But the biggest absurdity of all came when Tory government minister Michael Gove told a right-wing radio interviewer that he too had conducted this kind of radically dangerous driving-eyesight test, which they both had a jolly good laugh about because deceiving the public with absolute bullshit is clearly some kind of lovely in joke for ex private school Tories to chuckle over.
On the subject of Michael Gove, he was at the centre of another one of these frenzies of Tory mental gymnastics when his wife posted a picture of his bookshelf, which proudly displayed the work of the Holocaust-denier David Irving, and the outrageous bible of racist pseudo-science, The Bell Curve.
It's not hard to imagine the absolute cacophony of outrage from the Tories had a figure from the left, like Jeremy Corbyn for example, been found with the work of racists and Holocaust-deniers on his bookshelf.
Yet the Tory reaction to Gove's bookshelf was to snap into ultra-defensive mode, and suddenly begin portraying Holocaust-denial as 'required reading actually' and even deriding critics of Holocaust-denial as Nazis!
Another Tory figure to have provoked numerous impromptu displays of Tory mental contortionism over the last few months is their beloved cult leader Boris Johnson.
When he skipped five consecutive COBRA meetings in the crucial early stages of the pandemic, the Tory mental contortionism circus pretended that it was supposedly perfectly normal (no Prime Minister in history before Johnson has skipped five COBRA meeting in a row during a national emergency), and that he was actually in the right to focus on other issues, despite skipping one of them to lark about with a Chinese dragon!
When Johnson publicly bragged about defying social distancing rules (and basic self-preservation) by shaking hands with coronavirus patients, and then presented "take it on the chin" as the preferable option to "draconian measures" like ... erm ... actually attempting to contain the virus, the Tories put on their cognitive clown outfits again and utterly demeaned themselves by jumping through all manner of hoops to defend the ridiculous behaviour and reckless rhetoric of their cult leader.
Then there was the absolutely ludicrous Tory decision to completely sideline the government's own scientific advisers in order to replace the clear and concise slogan "Stay At Home", with a sequence of nonsense verbiage like "Stay Alert By Washing Your Hands!".
Suddenly Tories were flocking onto social media to pretend that this absolute gibberish was perfectly clear and intelligible, despite the fact that if you'd said "Stay Alert By Washing Your Hands!" to anyone pre-2020, they'd have assumed you were having a stroke and called you an ambulance.
And now we've got the absolutely repulsive spectacle of Tories tying themselves in knots to actually defend monuments to slave traders.
When the people of Bristol took matters into their own hands, after six interminable years of political incompetence, to remove the statue of Britain's most notorious slave-trader Edward Colston, the Tories complained bitterly about the lawlessness and the vandalism.
But then when Tower Hamlets Council removed the statue of slave-trader Robert Milligan, in a completely calm, lawful, and safe manner, the Tories erupted in paroxysms of outrage again.
It turns out that the lawlessness and vandalism objection they started with was just a cover for their real objection, which is apparently that they just like statues of racists, because they get some kind of perverse dopamine kick out of the fact that other people find the memorialisation of Tory slave traders and Tory fascist sympathisers abhorrent and disturbing.
But they'll just keep on inventing one post hoc justification after another to defend what can essentially be boiled down to statue trolling.
The latest post hoc excuse is that they're simply defending history, but where on earth were they when their own party was using austerity extremism as an excuse to shut down 800 libraries, annihilate funding for museums, and trash public investment in history departments and history education at every level of the education system?
They clearly don't really give a damn about the nation's history, or they'd have raised concerns over the last decade of Tory historical vandalism, it's just the latest contortion required of them by the leaders of the CCHQ freakshow circus.
In a matter of months the Tories have proven themselves willing to excuse all kinds of nonsense and depravity, from pretending that driving a vehicle on public roads with failing eyesight constitutes reasonable behaviour, to vehemently defending Holocaust-denial as if it constitutes required reading. And from laughing off the actual Prime Minister mocking his own government's social distancing measures, to publicly eulogising slave-traders!
As a nation we've lumbered ourselves with the most inept and cultish government in British history, with piss-witted simpletons in almost every single crucial position, and no matter how badly they keep on screwing up, we're stuck with them for another four years thanks to their 80 seat majority.
There's very little we could do to rid ourselves of them, and the increasingly bizarre and contorted displays of mental gymnastics they're willing to perform to defend the outrageous words and actions of their own cult illustrates the fact that it simply doesn't matter how bad things get, they'll just spout total gibberish, and continue to get away with it.
They know the gibberish they're spouting is absolute bollocks. We know it's absolute bollocks. And worst of all they know that we know it's absolute bollocks.
But they also know there's basically nothing we can do about it, so they're actually getting a perverse kick out of doing stuff like defending the indefensible, excusing Holocaust-denial, and eulogising slave-traders, because they believe that a nation that elected an incompetent, bone idle bigot like Boris Johnson as their leader will never hold them to account for any of it.
Hopefully the British public with eventually grow tired of this lamentable Tory freakshow of mental contortionism, and get rid of them.
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