The bath is now drawn. It’s been filling for some time; 12 years to be precise. But filling with a slow drip that reflected the hesitation of a party which, for some of those early years post 2010, thought it had something to live for. No such illusion persists now. There is no ignoring the blunt knife by the bath.
They don’t want to ignore it, either. This is why the Conservatives decided on a warm bath; they’re not quite sure if they want to bleed out entirely, or just inflict some self-harm. Because the truth is, they are just fucking numb. Numb from too long in power. Numb from the consuming resentment that arises when there is no one else to blame for their own colossal calamities. Numb from the self-loathing that leads to the infliction of senseless pain on everyone else. Unconscious to consequence. They need to cut themselves, just to see if they feel anything.
In theory, the warm water should be enough to get the blood flowing. But since 2016 the Tories have been checking for a pulse. They’ve found nothing. Not the faintest beat. That is why they chose Boris Johnson; he was their hit of crystal meth, a temporary high of adrenaline and dopamine for a party of libertarian junkies anaesthetised to reality from their addiction. They left the needle hanging out of their arm while they tried to govern for the past 3 years, their strung out eyes glazed over while 150,000 people died, children went hungry, and shit was pumped into waterways. When they pulled the needle out, the cold turkey hit so hard that the grim distorted depths of their withdrawal vomited up Elizabeth Truss from their subconscious.
Truss is the bile puked up when a comedown is so torrid there are no solids left to hurl. When there is no longer any no reason to live. Her entire being is a physical manifestation of the state of British Conservatism: insensate. Insensate in every sense of the word, lacking reason, devoid of compassion, unable to feel a thing. And so into the bath they sit, warming their cold veins under the warm water, staring back at society with nothing to offer but poisonous conviction in their own putrid ideology. The comedown from Brexit and Boris has left them with no choice but to slit their wrists in a dramatic act of national self-harm, a cry for attention from Mummy Maggie, desperately seeking her approval from beyond the grave. The irony is that Mummy gave them the knife.
The knife is blunt. It was sharp in 1979, when it was presented as a gift from the Chicago school of economics to Mummy Maggie and her Conservatives. The knife was never intended for the precision skill of a surgical scalpel; rather, its intended use was butchery. Nor was there any pretence of skilled butchering, but the frenzied stabbing and hacking of a paranoid schizophrenic possessed by their own demons, by visions of enemies all around them. And so the butchery began: industries, workers rights, the NHS, the welfare state, national resources, the EU common market, parliamentary decorum, civil liberties. And when they had hacked and butchered everything around them, the knife was rendered blunt. Now, with nothing else to destroy, but lacking any instinct other than for destruction, the Tories have decided to turn the blunt knife on themselves.
And so they hack at their arm in the warm bath with the blunt knife. But the warm water brings no veins to protrude, and no blood flows when they drag the blunt knife across their wrist. Because the Conservatives are dead inside, in mind and body. What once could, whether one agreed with their policies or not, at least be identified as centre-right policy, of “small ‘c’ conservatism” which prided itself on having a discernible ethics and decency, is dead. What we have now is all that defines conservatism in the 21st Century; a zombie unconsciously sucking the blood out of society at every opportunity. Conservatism without a conscience or purpose; stupid, blind, arrogant, reckless.
Now that the dopamine-fuelled Johnson years are over, the zombie junkie that is the Tories under Truss now wanders through the desolate wasteland of a nation it created, strung out in the stupor of its comedown, knife in hand looking for some more State to butcher. But there is no State left. Only society remains. And so it is society that they will now slash and hack at with their blunt knife.
In their state of mania, they have grabbed society by the arm and hauled us into the warm bath, pinning our arm under water with their venomous conviction, determined that if they can find no sign of life in themselves, society can no longer have any life left worth living. The blunt knife of Conservative butchery will have its pound of flesh, and in their desperate attempt to feel like they are part of the living world of reality, without conscience or remorse they will watch as society bleeds out.
I appreciate you reading 3am Thoughts! If you enjoyed this essay, you might consider recommending a friend to subscribe :)
Brilliant writing as always!!! I’m drained of the last drop of hope for mankind!!!