In the wake of last weeks events, my colleagues on the left are decending into greater depths of fratricide. The political right never seems to turn in on itself in such a poisonous way. The parliamentary Conservative Party is - admittedly - a nest of vipers.
But I wish the wider left could emulate the right-wing diaspora in the way they rally their nebulous support.
I've been slowly composing this post for weeks. It's time for it to be aired. If nothing else, a change of subject would be worthwhile.
Do say: We take global warming seriously
Don't say: We support road charging / an increase in fuel duties / public investment in transport / anything that suggests that you take global warming seriously
Deniable allies: Petrolheads, fuel protesters, school-run-mums, 4x4 drivers, 'ordinary working people who just want to get to work', right-libertarians
Related issues: speed cameras (stealth tax, nannying), speed bumps and traffic calming, Europe (any rule that has been discussed in Brussels makes it a useful target), 'political correctness', congestion charges (damages business / civil liberties)
Key words: Nannying, social engineering, 'peepul power', stealth taxes, freedom to drive
Do say: We want to re-negotiate our membership terms / we only agreed to join a trading club (which part of 'ever closer Union' didn't you understand in 1974?) / I want a referendum
Don't say: "Our allies in this re-negotiation will be ....." / "we are being swamped by American culture" Mrs Thatcher signed the Single European Act, I called for a referendum on Maastricht
Deniable allies: Europe's most distrusted and dishonest print media, Media owners, the film industry, Microsoft, people who hate foreigners, right-wing Americans, the 'anti-globalisation' (see France) movement, 'grumpy old men', anyone who objects to any regulation
Related issues: The War, the smell of garlic, straight bananas, any rules that are unpopular but probably necessary (see British Housewives League for inspiration), immigration, The British Way of Life / 1000 years of history, decimalisation, German sense of humour
Key words: Brussels, asylum seekers, 'red-tape'
Do say: It isn't racist to impose limits on immigration
Don't say: You can smell their cooking all down the street / there are too many white Zimbabwean farmers coming into this country
Deniable allies: Europe's most distrusted and dishonest print media, the working class (a version thereof), Norman Tebbit, that other stupid woman and her jokes, second generation immigrants, other assorted racists
Related issues: Europe, political correctness, race, benefit fraud, cream teas.
Key words: Bogus Asylum Seekers, Gypsies
Do say: People used to think we were the nasty party
Don't say: anything really
Deniable allies: The Institute of Directors, the Confederation of British Industry, the Federation of Small Business, Europe's most distrusted and dishonest print media,
Related issues: Europe, 'political correctness', race, benefit fraud, 'nannying', 'social engineering', unfair taxation, single mothers. 'red tape'
Note: this posting is not intended as a dig at the Tories. It should be read as grudging admiration. When Labour can get so many people singing from such a self-contradictory songsheet without pause, we will be getting somewhere.