Labour is right to criticise Tory proposals to make public sector workers and all new migrants swear an "oath of allegiance" as "gimmicky and cack-handed, which, of course, they are, but it makes you think what sort of "oath" Tory MPs are surely compelled to take.
Their oath has to include pledging outright support for all claims made by Theresa May, regardless of how ridiculous they are, like being the "party of the workers", and helping the "just about managing". Ignoring all evidence would have to be in there somewhere, as the recent Autumn Statement and the Trade Union Act make lies of many government statements. There would have to be something, too, about promising to ignore all expert advice, to use filibustering techniques to prevent fair and just legislation being passed, and to claim the government is doing all it can to prevent tax avoidance, and make the rich pay their fair share. The facts that next to nothing has been done about off-shore accounts and the continued existence of British-controlled tax havens have to
Tory MPs educated in comprehensives would also be expected to support wholeheartedly the extension of grammar schools, even though they know they could not have had more committed and industrious teachers themselves when they were at school, and that they owe their present positions to them. The small matter that selection denies the majority of children an equal opportunity, and sends them to the 21st century version of 1950s`secondary moderns has to be ignored. Swearing to denounce trade unions would be compulsory, despite many knowing that the more workers who join unions, the greater the chance not only of the pay gap being reduced, but also of them keeping their seats at the next election.
Unlimited support for austerity, lower taxation and the shrinking of the state is a no-brainer; after all, does anyone really care about the government spending less of the striving taxpayers` money on the unemployed and disabled? Insisting Corbyn`s policies, regardless that they include fairer taxation, proper funding for the NHS, an end to zero-hours contracts, more social housing, private rent freezes and an increased minimum wage, make him unelectable, has to be as important to Tory MPs as repeating as often as possible the words "government`s industrial strategy". This will have to be learned off by heart in case they confuse it with that other famous example of non-existent Tory policy, "long-term economic plan"! Even though the policy to create a "northern powerhouse" doesn`t exist either, it`s okay to mention it, just in case Osborne is the next leader. Neglecting to criticise the foreign secretary is essential, too, for similar reasons!
Pledging to repeat the mantra that "spending billions on Trident, HS2, and Hinkley is absolutely vital, but a proper care system is too expensive" has to be compulsory,too.!
Of course. mere words of an oath, as we know, do not guarantee conformity, but they help, especially when allied to the ever-present possibility of a cabinet reshuffle; being "economical with the truth" does wonders for promotion prospects!