A SUITE of pejorative words which commonly attach to left-wing politicians and their ideas are never permitted to disfigure Conservatism. Thus, you are deemed to be extremist or hardline or militant merely for expressing mildly radical proposals which are proven to succeed when managed properly. In the UK it has now become common for social vigilantes to warn of “a return to the 70s” when the Labour Party proposes ideas that threaten the easy and unhindered flow of capital to corporate shareholders and their offshore bank accounts.

One BBC reporter reached for this phrase yesterday when describing Labour’s proposals to provide fibre-optic broadband to every household and business in the country by imposing a small tax upon the world’s richest tech firms. For, although the idea might seem reasonable and proportionate, it smells awfully like nationalisation, a notion that has become tantamount to Satanism in the right’s index of nefarious locutions.

The tiny nomenklatura of newspaper proprietors which controls the overwhelming majority of the UK press features billionaires who rely on the Conservative Party to ensure that their empires and profits are unhindered by normal tax scrutiny. Nor can they permit anything like state ownership of national assets to thwart the privateers and speculators who have gorged themselves on the Tories’ regular auctions of national assets. The total sale value of British assets in 2015/16 alone set a new record and realised £26bn for the treasury.

These included a 40% stake in Eurostar which sold for £757m; the remaining 30% stake in Royal Mail (yours, sir, for just £13bn); Northern Rock mortgage assets for £3bn and Lloyds for £9.1bn worth of shares. The Tories created a feeding frenzy for the city sharks and little of it was used to improve the lives of the majority of UK citizens. Indeed the rate of sell-offs has only been matched by the growth of food-banks. You may feel that not too much time will elapse before a Boris Johnson government seeks to privatise these too. “Poverty equals growth” could be the slogan devised by Dominic Cummings.

The NHS certainly hasn’t benefited from any spin-off from these massive injections into the UK treasury. The revelation this week that queues in NHS emergency departments in England are the worst on record is indicative of a service which has been run down by the Conservative Government. Brexit will soon force a Boris Johnson government to permit US speculators to prey on our health service. The Labour Party, which resisted the fury of the right to create the NHS, are its natural custodians. This has become one of the battlegrounds of the General Election and represents the party’s only hope of victory.

The entire Tory credo, built on promoting financial profit over the welfare of those who created it, is an extremist one and its most implacable acolytes are militant in the fervour with which they pursue its fiat. Mr Johnson represents the fulcrum of this idealogy and has created a kind of ultra-conservatism. Yet, none of his views or those of his disciples will ever be dismissed as extreme or hardline. The BBC and Britain’s newspapers flit breathlessly between marginal constituencies eager to solicit local views about Brexit, health and immigration. None is asked about the prospect of a full-term of government led by a man who calls black people "piccaninnies" with "water-melon smiles" and who insults Muslim women for wearing clothes that make them look like letter-boxes.

He has been sacked by editors and prime ministers for lying to them, while the jury remains undecided on whether he lied to his monarch in seeking to block parliamentary democracy. As foreign secretary he insulted many of our overseas trading partners and caused normally loyal civil servants to describe him as the worst incumbent they had ever worked for.

This is the man that Tom Harris, a Scot who rose without trace to occupy a junior position in the Tony Blair administration that masqueraded as a Labour one, says he will now support. He also wants other Labour supporters to vote for this Tory who has redefined and expanded the meaning of extremist in the context of the right. In a sanctimonious and vain little diatribe, Mr Harris accused the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of being an extremist, amidst the usual tired assortment of labels to convey dodgy left-wing views: Trot, Anarchist, Marxist.

He also dutifully disseminated the anti-Semite narrative surrounding Mr Corbyn and Labour which has become a totem of the right. The accusations of Labour anti-Semitism have become so frenzied that real and sinister outbreaks of it can now hide amongst them. Much more authoritative is the view of John Bercow, the outgoing Commons Speaker, who said that he’d known Mr Corbyn for 22 years and had “never detected so much as a whiff of anti-Semitism”. Mr Bercow, who is Jewish, should know.

Many of his former colleagues were surprised only that it had taken Mr Harris so long to acknowledge his inner Toryism. After all, one or two people still recall that he ‘led’ the failed Brexit Leave campaign in Scotland. When I asked one veteran, former Labour politician how long Mr Harris had carried such views he replied: “All his f****** life!”

Mr Harris joins two other former Labour ministers who have become followers of Mr Johnson and his ideas. Labour gave them a gilded lifestyle in exchange for representing communities which have been ravaged by the Tory philosophy of “for the few and not the many”. Now, they will participate in the ultimate Johnsonian lie, of seeking to persuade these people that their interests are best served by a party that exists solely to protect the fortunes and power of the rich.

There simply aren’t enough natural Tory supporters in the UK to guarantee any electoral victory. To do so they must convince working class people to vote for a party which cuts the taxes of millionaires and recoups the loss by depriving poor people of the benefits they’ve already paid for. Mr Harris and his former Labour minister colleagues, Ian Austin and John Woodcock, are just the naive glove-puppets upon which the Tories will always rely to succeed in delivering the delusion.