Mr Balloon must be feeling VERY happy today. Not only has he had oodles of good publicity over the weekend about being able to sing along to Benny Hill, but today he is being attacked by some nutters.
Nothing makes you look more like a moderate and reasonable person than being attacked by nutters.
This is, of course, exactly the sort of thing that Mr Balloon's A-List publicity stunt was supposed to provoke. He is once again trying to manufacture that "Clause IV moment" so that he can appear to have taken on the nutters in his own party and won.
Not that I suppose that anyone remembers his last attempt to manufacture a "Clause IV" moment.
And, of course, his A-List is really just as bland and inoffensive as the "Built to be Forgotten" manifesto.
If you want something that is genuinely offensive, you should hear what the Conservatories call their A-List when they think no one is looking!
I suspect that Lady Maude's Freudian slip of the tongue is rather more revealing about where the Conservatories are really at at the moment. It is important to them that everybody believes that they are inoffensive bunnies, but they want their own people – the Cornerstone of their Conservatory, you might say – to be reassured that deep down they are still nasty.
Cornerstone list 36 of the 198 Conservatory MPs as their friends and supporters. That is a fifth of Mr Balloon's whole gang in the House of Commons.
Or to put it another way, that is a LARGER share of Mr Balloon's gang than any of the rebellions against Lord Blairimort except for the vote on going to war with Iraq (139 MPs out of 412 at the time) or turning schools into independent trusts (67 MPs out of 355).
If these people were REALLY against Mr Balloon, would we not be hearing about how they were voting against him all the time? Or are the REALLY on the same side?
They list among their key policies for a Conservatory Britain: Flat Tax; repeal of the Human Rights Act; education vouchers; hospitals to be no longer run by the NHS (this means privatising but they are too scared to say it); renegotiation of Britain's place in the European Union; support for "traditional" families (this is code for "not families with two daddies" like MINE!); and (tellingly) new Conservatory emphasis on green issues.
Mr Balloon has supported or flirted with all of these ideas in the past and has done nothing to repudiate them, for all of his warm wishes for happiness. Remember, the only actual thing Mr Balloon has actually done is to tell Mr Vague to pull the Conservatory Euro MPs out of the European Peoples Party and find some more nutty friends to play with.
(No, the A-List doesn't count: he hasn't imposed a single A-List candidate on any constituency anywhere, yet.)
This is why Mr Balloon must be so happy. Being attacked by Cornerstone will make everyone think that he is DIFFERENT.
But he isn't.
HE stands for what THEY stand for. Except that they don't CARE that everyone knows that are nutters.
So we have MORE challenges for Mr Balloon:
Does he stand by Lady Maude's description of the A-List as "mincing metrosexuals"? Does he think Lady Maude should be describing ANYONE as "mincing metrosexuals"?
Does he think Cornerstone are wrong about human rights?
Does he think Cornerstone are wrong about Europe?
Does he think Cornerstone are wrong to support the education vouchers policy that was introduced by, er, Mr Balloon when he was shadow school monitor?
A smile and a wink and a quiet understanding does NOT count as taking on the nutters in your own party.
Remember the words of your song, Mr Balloon: "If you wanna marry Susie you'll fight for her like a man."
Prove you mean it; take on those nutters; go for your gold-tops!