Monday, June 09, 2014

Theresa May. Her turn to do the noddy dog.

Imagine, if you can, the Berlin Wall on legs, the 38th parallel in human form, a peace buffer in a Burton’s suit, and only one name comes to mind. Eric Pickles, until this morning just a rather rotund Cabinet Minister, was this afternoon promoted to the new post of Rt Hon “neutral ground.”

Eric’s bulk has never been overly relevant to his political career but it came into its own today when it was literally inserted into the Cabinet peace process. The scene was the House of Commons where the latest Act in the soap opera that is Theresa May versus Michael Gove was due to be staged. Both had been summoned to explain the spat which has cost Theresa one of her two remaining friends and earned Michael a thick ear from Dave.

Another good week for the Tories had yet again been squandered as the two fought to shift the blame over Islamification in Birmingham schools. Dave had already called them into Downing Street for an early morning bollocking before fleeing to Sweden for the afternoon. But the thought of their joint appearance had Central Office in a spin until someone thought of Eric.

So there he was, firmly anchored to the Government front bench with Theresa one side of him and Michael the other.

Say what you like about Eric - and many people do - but you can’t get round him easily. In fact, as our protagonists found out, you can’t even see around him.

All of which led to the perfect staging of Theresa’s totatally insincere compliments to Michael and his equally insincere noddydog responses.

It was a still a difficult time for the Home Secretary however since even Eric could not fully block out the Government front benches.
Yvette Cooper led Labour MP’s into a litany of allegations that she was being economical with l’actualite. Theresa ignored the allegations and ignored the questions.

You may remember that the undercurrent to the row is said to be a leadership clash between Theresa and Chancellor George.
Michael, a George supporter, was said to have stiffed Theresa in the Times to hit her rising popularity within the Tory Party. And lo and behold as the two made up, there was the Chancellor himself propping up the Eric-free side of the Education Secretary.

Meanwhile, making a rare appearance on the front bench on Theresa’s side of the Eric, Ian Duncan Smith, whose contempt for George is well documented.
Then, an hour after it began, Theresa’s humiliation was over - well, not quite.

Eric must take bookings by the hour because as soon as the Home Secretary had finished speaking he fled.

As she looked about in panic, Eric showed his true colours by squeezing up to George. 

Theresa tried to move, tried to leave and tried to levitate but with Eric now blocking the exit there was nowhere to go.

And so it was Michael’s turn to avoid the answers - and her turn to do the noddy dog.