Tory death-priests have our lives in their hands | Stewart Lee

Tory death-priests have our lives in their hands

Surely last week’s inferno must focus Conservative minds on the one real issue, the climate crisis – mustn’t it?

Illustration by David Foldvari.

“Dear Jim’ll. Please can you fix it for me to a) Go all upside down in a Typhoon plane like in Top Gun; b) Go in parliament drunk with my best friend Nadine and shout “boring” at the square politicians; c) Have a massive party with all food in a massive stately home for free; d) Give all my friends lordly old-sounding titles like in Game of Thrones; e) Get Winston Churchill’s autograph. I haven’t heard about any of the bad stuff relating to you by the way, so jog on! Yours Boris Piccaninny Watermelon Letterbox Wall-Spaff Deep-State Letterbox Johnson (58 years old).” Well done. Now go. Go. Can you just… Just go. Go. Don’t start playing the piano. There are your shoes. Have you got your water bottle? Go. Just go.

I believe it was I who wrote, in this column on 19 August 2018, before the Brexiter foreign secretary Boris Johnson was even prime minister, “Those in positions of power – journalists, fellow Conservative party members wondering how things will pan out, people biding their time on the divided opposition benches, trembling television presenters in search of ‘balanced arguments’ in the face of blatant lies and transparent manipulation – know what this incubus is and what it is doing, and how it is prepared to put our futures at risk to achieve it. And yet they do not hold Boris Piccaninny Watermelon Letterbox Johnson to account. They will not shrink Boris Piccaninny Watermelon Letterbox Johnson to snuff box size and sink him into the black lake of legend where he belongs. They will have to live with their failure. And, sadly, so will we.” Though I take no pleasure in having so conclusively predicted the chaos Johnson would ultimately unleash, I am happy to be paid twice for the same 117 words.

Johnson leaves behind him a Conservative party stripped of talent, containing only psychopaths, compliant yes-people loyal to an egomaniac, and those too tarnished and damaged to seek gainful employment elsewhere. It is like the worst lineup of the Fall ever. And I speak as a fan. Now the party must dredge a solid from the chodbin to serve as a leader, like a plumber reaching down into a blocked toilet bowl hoping he can scoop out a clump of filth firm enough to sculpt into the shape of something presidential, a poodoo doll for the European Research Group’s proto-fascist plans.

One of the few good things about the delayed climate change inferno finally sweeping fatally across the frazzled UK is that it may focus the minds of those involved in the idiotic moron burlesque of this year’s Tory party leadership hustings; a sick medieval ritual where bits of rotten meat on sticks, covered in black flies and alive with grey maggots, are waved in front of baffled peasants who have no say in which one will finally be garlanded with flowers by a secret cabal of geriatric life-hating death-priests, or the Conservative party membership as you call them.

At the start of the week the British far right’s anti-woke candidate of choice, the equal-opportunities offender Kemi Badenoch, was unable to commit to the 2050 net zero target, still hung up on the idea that it was uncompetitive to lead the world on this issue. We will need to be competitive when we are bartering our teeth for old bits of melted Tupperware full of boiled urine in a scorched wasteland of soggy asphalt and bent railway tracks. And when everything is on fire again next year, will we still be sending refugees to Rwanda if they arrive from a burned-out village inside the M25?

“Hello. This is reception. Just a quick call to let you know your bed is on fire.” As Britain finally got its belated climate crisis wake-up call, the stupidity of wasting any time debating penises, toilets, wokeness, the Rwanda dead cat, and redoing Brexit, whatever Brexit is supposed to mean this week, was exposed. There is only one real issue. The imminent death of all life on earth. Then there’s a massive drop off before you hit the next most important thing, the even more imminent cost of living crisis. Then everything else is irrelevant. Everything will die. Everything. Enjoy your anti-woke toilets. Twats.

And yet… The Daily Mail ran a think piece blaming the Met Office for “spreading alarm and scolding us with doom-laden lectures” by someone called Stephen Robinson, his role as a “speech writer and consultant” for “companies operating in the energy sector” glossed over; luxury communist Ash Sarkar winced patiently, as if at a foolish baby, on Jeremy Vine as TalkRadio’s Mike Parry trashed net zero and cited Romans seeing sunspots and growing vines in Scotland or something; and the Daily Telegraph’s Christopher Hope, whom no one addresses by his nickname of “Chopper”, appeared on Sky News blaming the wildfires on someone dropping a cigarette. Repeatedly? All over the country?

The pursuit of false balance in the climate change debate (there is no debate) finally drove even the BBC placeman Andrew Marr into the accommodating arms of LBC, where he now bleats truth to power like a heroic lamb: “I for one have had enough of being told by pallid, shadowy old businessmen and lazy, ignorant hacks and sleazy lobbyists – who aren’t real scientists, any of them – that the science is wrong, and that what is happening, isn’t happening. Enough… And if you don’t believe me go outside, why don’t you, and have a brisk walk right now.” Andrew! Calm down!! Don’t have a brisk walk!!! And for God’s sake don’t try to work out your frustrations on the rowing machine!!!! We need you!!!!!

Only 4% of the Conservative party members, who choose our next prime minister, say hitting net zero is one of their top three priorities. It’s too late isn’t it? We are already dead.