Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tribal loyalty

It can come as no surprise that the Tories get an electoral bounce from The Boy's fantasy veto of a non-existent treaty, with support for the Conservatives rising by seven percentage points to 41 percent, while backing for Labour slipped two points to 39 percent.

An electorate that is prepared to give a 62 percent approval rating to something that never happened can be relied upon to give the Tories a few points in the election stakes, on the back of the same non-event.

But if that much is predictable, what really brings it alive, courtesy of Witterings from Witney, are the fatuous comments of Tim Montgomerie. Says the egregious Tim, "Tories hit 41%. Clear message: Voters like strength, honesty, patriotism (roughly in that order)".

If the veto had been real, that would have been a fair comment. But it was not. One is tempted, therefore, to suggest that no one with more than two brain cells could possibly believe such tosh, except that Montgomerie, clearly, does believe what he says.

One cannot, however, convincingly accuse the lad of being thick, so something else must be involved. And doubtless what we are seeing is the mind-numbing effect of tribal loyalty, to which Peter Hitchens referred. It  downgrades intellect to a par with simians and has turned the once entertaining and informative Tory Boy Blog into a pale shadow of its former self.

Of days past, people have often wondered how it was that Hitler got such a grip on the mind of the German people. Part of the answer is his charismatic personality, and another part is the intense tribal loyalty displayed to the leader, which lasted right to the end.

That is not to suggest that Montgomerie is in any shape, manner or form a Nazi. But one can reflect that there is probably no essential difference between the loyalty he exhibits to his leader, and that the Germans of old gave to theirs. Both have the same mindless quality that defies rationality.

In small doses, and carefully tempered, loyalty is good – especially if buoyed by enlightened self-interest. But the kind of brain-rotting adulation that we see from Montgomerie and his fellow Tories is wholly malign.

In a functioning democracy, there should be no room for it, and any reform of the system is going to have to look hard at political parties, to determine whether the perpetuation and support of organisations which foster this brain-rot can be tolerated. As for the idea of feeding them more public money, that is a sick joke.