Rishi and Keir Are Playing with Diabolical Fire mdi-fullscreen

You’d be forgiven for thinking the Commons has engaged a High Church choral director to choreograph PMQs. The rehearsals of the last four weeks have now borne fruit and call and response cues are being picked up much more promptly, and with every appearance of doctrinal certainty, The doctrine is, in theological terms, victory.

So, the prime minister calls above the hubbub, “His union paymasters!” and the benches behind him shout back their dense, angry Amen. He cries, “Opportunist!” and they yell back words to the effect of, “And with thy spirit!”

He calls out cues such as “HIGHEST growth in the OECD!” And, “Read the WHOLE report!” And, “NO substance!” The cherubim and seraphim behind him  – from Michael Fabricant to Craig Williams – they continually do cry “Holy Holy! Holy!”

Keir Starmer’s congregation have their own triggers. Twelve years of Tory rule! And Non doms would pay for 15,000 doctors. And Nothing! Not a thing while the working people get clobbered. Keir has cherubim of his own, and they have started continually crying as well, now that they sense the celestial structure is going to be altered in their favour.

But, as this is politics as much as pure theology, is there not something sinister in the mix?

Oh, yes. Oh, yes, there certainly is.

Both leaders are engaged in the extremely dangerous ritual of summoning the spirit of the great demon himself, the Luciferian presence of the last Labour prime minister but one, the Terror of the Tories.

Rishi’s invocation is closer to being realised than Keir’s but then he didn’t have as far to go.

Keir Starmer repeats the magic words, “He is weak, weak, weak!” But the demon doesn’t appear. The Labour leader struggles with the voice, the dexterity, the fluent, fluid certainty that he is the way, the truth and the life.

By contrast, Rishi is well on the way. He now has much of the voice, and the cadences, and the beginning of the gesturing. His pain-feeling is progressing very rapidly. He sympathised with someone called “Vanessa” and came close to offering to pay her mortgage. And so it was that when he said of his opponent, “HE speaks for his party: I speak for the country!” one could narrow one’s eyes and through the blur see the image of Tony Blair, back from the underworld where he has been chained to a rock for so many years.

If Rishi’s invocation is successful and he allows himself to be fully taken, he should know that there’ll have to be an exorcism at some point. That will be very sketchable but very unpleasant for anyone actually involved. And politics being what it is, that anyone will probably include everyone.

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Keir Starmer Rishi Sunak
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