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Michael Gove and the DUP getting into bed? Now that’s offensive

The Guardian logo The Guardian 6/18/2017 Stewart Lee

With counterintuitive brilliance, the Conservatives have assembled a cabinet full of the same ashen-faced misfits voters already rejected. They have wrecked a failing pub in an insurance flood and rebuilt it, not as flats or a leisure centre, but as an identical failing pub.

Johnson, Hunt and Gove. It’s as if DC Comics, having mislaid Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, had to launch a movie franchise based on Ace The Bat-Hound, Matter-Eater Lad and the Super-Moby Dick of Space.

Yes, even the Trump-rimming Murdoch fist-puppet Gove has been reinstated, despite the proved electoral toxicity of associations with the environment-loathing golf magnate and the failing public-opinion wrangler respectively.

Was it only in January that Super Dick Gove, his pink bottom upon the old knee of an invisible Murdoch, flew to New York in a golden elevator to rub his horrid genital against Trump’s chair leg? Gove then described as “warm” and “charismatic” a man whose British visit, it is tacitly accepted, would have caused civil disobedience on an unprecedented scale. Oh! The warmth!! The charisma!!!

The chaotic fallout is like something you’d watch in baffled horror, unfolding in a ludicrous failing foreign democracy

Since 8 June’s Ragnarök, the Conservative party has resembled not so much a dog returning to its own vomit as a dog returning to its own vomit, putting on a nice dinner suit and tucking into its own vomit with the finest silver cutlery, as if its own vomit were in fact a delicious treat it would choose to eat willingly, over and over again, even if had it the option of consuming the finest Pedigree Chum instead.

Waking up at the weekend, it appeared to my blurred eye that the Conservatives were about to enter an arrangement with the Plague Monks, the parade-loving, rat-faced death-cultists from my 10-year-old’s Warhammer game.

“Driven into battle by their frenzied faith, the Plague Monks of Clan Pestilens are a repulsive tidal wave of filth… each model can be built as a Bringer-of-the-Word, clutching a Book of Woe, an Icon Bearer with a Contagion Banner or as a Plague Harbinger carrying a Doom Gong.”

But the Tories’ proposed partners were in fact the Democratic Unionists, doom gongs in hand, who appear to be lead by the Gruffalo from the popular children’s book of the same name.

It’s like going into partnership with the unevolved flesh-eating subterranean humanoids from Neil Marshall’s 2005 horror film The Descent and thinking it will probably be OK, as long as we turn a blind eye to the flesh-eating.

If I were a prewar newspaper cartoonist, I’d draw an ocean going liner with “The Conservative Party’’ written on it and on the horizon an iceberg labelled “DUP” and caption the picture “Full Steam Ahead”.

But the Plague Monks’ reactionary views will cause problems for enlightened Conservatives. While, historically, not the most gay-friendly party in Britain, the Conservatives have always been the most gay.

Putney MP Justine Greening, Arundel MP Nick Herbert, Finchley MP Mike Freer and Grantham MP Nick Boles are all gay; Stourbridge MP Margot James was one of the 50 most gay people of 2009; Reigate MP Crispin Blunt is gay and spoke in parliament in favour of amyl nitrate, an exciting bottled smell popular at gay social events and dances.

Illustration by David Foldvari. © Provided by Guardian News Illustration by David Foldvari. Illustration by David Foldvari.

Tory peer Baron Barker of Battle, who warmed his dachshund’s cushion with a Department of Energy and Climate Change microwave, and Tory peer Baron Black of Brentwood, are both gay lords; and the Tories’ charismatic election star Ruth Davidson, an incorrigible show-off who dresses like a member of Deacon Blue, is Scottish, Protestant, gay and engaged to a gay Catholic lady.

As May, Gove and Johnson are all dead ducks, the Conservative party might, in the shape of Davidson, soon field Britain’s first openly gay prime minister. And only the most bigoted Tory would deny that the Conservative party is stronger not in spite of, but because of, its gayness.

And this makes the proposed partnership with the Plague Monks even more unworkable. What Conservatives and Democratic Unionists do in the privacy of their own homes is up to them, but to parade their relationship in public is obscene.

Founded by the gaberdine hate foghorn Ian Paisley, the Plague Monks are opposed to abortion and deny the facts of climate change, evolutionary theory and even geology. Their former health minister, Jim Wells, supported attempts to lobby the visitors’ centre of the Giant’s Causeway into accepting that the ancient basalt may only be 6,000 years old, as that was when God created everything, except Michael Gove, a failed prototype human that was supposed to be discarded.

But our putative co-rulers’ highest profile hate is same-sex partnerships. In 2008, Plague Monk MP Iris Robinson declared: “There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children.” Clearly, Iris Robinson never saw Ian Paisley trying to peel off a surgical stocking.

It’s not obvious if Robinson’s objection to sodomy is limited to sodomy between men or between heterosexuals as well. Hopefully, a member of the public will write to Jeremy Corbyn and ask him to ask Theresa May’s position during the next prime minister’s questions. Or maybe The One Show’s presenters can ask next time she and Philip are on the sofa. Perhaps there are boy jobs and girl jobs. Indeed, should the Democratic Unionists submit to Tory control, it is not unfeasible that future prime minister Ruth Davidson will demand the corpse of Ian Paisley is disinterred and forced to become gay.

Arlene Foster: DUP talks with Conservatives ‘positive’ – video

Many Tories are thoroughly nice people, who genuinely believe the traditional values of their party serve Britain best. Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke for example. There are loads of others I am sure. I just can’t think of them because I have sick in my mouth from laughing. But I don’t believe many Conservative supporters want to be beholden to the DUP.

The chaotic fallout of this botched election is like something you’d watch in baffled horror, unfolding in a ludicrous failing foreign democracy; all the zoo animals have escaped and flare-wearing people waving flags with heraldic images of black puddings on them are throwing strangely shaped pastries at sword-wielding, pantalooned policemen.

Once, we could secretly congratulate our smug British selves on how that sort of thing doesn’t happen here. But now we are one of those countries, unravelling with bewildering rapidity, a source of international ridicule and concern, however sensible a face Dan Hannan tries to make on Newsnight. In the euphoria surrounding the unexpected scale of the Tories’ failure, it’s easy to forget that this is still a disaster for everyone.

Stewart Lee is touring his new show, Content Provider, throughout 2017

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