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Behold the preening bodybuilders of the Tory party, craving attention

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Come on, don’t be shy – who will go with the home secretary, Sajid Javid, to get the tattoos done? He wants “Revoke” across one set of knuckles and “Citizenship” across the other.

If you don’t fancy that, how about holding LGBT people down for the former work and pensions secretary, Esther McVey, while she steals their lunch money (and school sex-education rights)? Or cheering on Dominic Raab, or other Leave-ticket hopefuls, as they spit on the ground, offering to deliver Brexit by cage-fighting naked with the EU?

If all that seems preposterous, look again at the Tory leadership contest, where some contenders resemble a parade of posing bodybuilders, grunting away on tiny podiums, showing off their well-honed illiberal musculature, as if to growl: “Vote for me. Look, how hard I am – how pitiless and nasty. I’d drop-kick anyone while they’re down.”

Amid the relentless pro-Brexit-cacophony, McVey observed the Birmingham parents protesting about LGBT awareness lessons and declared that parents should decide what sex education their children receive while simultaneously criticising them for protesting. (Well played for the Tory membership – family values and stifling dissent.)

Javid trumped that with his stance on 19-year-old “jihadist bride” Shamima Begum (whose three-week-old baby, her third to die, succumbed to pneumonia in a Syrian refugee camp). Her family accused Javid of “human fly-tipping” for ruling she should go to Bangladesh (where she would face the death penalty) and believe that he cynically deprived her of her UK citizenship to “further [his] personal political objective of being prime minister”.


© The Guardian