By Paul Goodman
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The most illustrious example of a fake Twitter account is @SteveHiltonGuru. At least, it's a fake in the view of those who ask who the real author is. The answer is obvious. It is Hilton himself, staging an elaborate double-bluff.
John Hayes, the Business and Education Minister, is definitely the author of the tweets from @JohnHayesTory. Like @SteveHiltonGuru, it is said to be a fake account "celebrating the wit and wisdom of the Government's most alliterative Minister, John Hayes".
Hayes is a Merrie England, God-Save-Queen-Anne, beef-and-beer, Chesteron-and-Belloc, arts-and-crafts, dance-round-the-maypole, pro-small craftsman, anti-big usurer, stop-em-coming, hang-em-high Tory of a kind unknown since the death of Colonel Sidthorpe.
Unlike the Colonel, however, he's an operator. Hayes helped to found the Cornerstone Group, now a force on the right of the party. When David Cameron proposed the Coalition to the 1922 Committee, Hayes spoke for it – thereby signalling that it would be acceptable to part of the right.
Since he's now a senior Minister in two departments, and has a worldview untainted by fashion and a way of expressing it unconstrained by inhibition, I am surprised that Hayes has not been better introduced to voters by lobby journalists and others.
He is devoted to his Ministerial task of creating more apprenticeships, which fits nicely with his belief in the dignity of labour, manual craftsmanship and self-realisation through work. Despite his homely outlook he may be too exotic a creature for the Cabinet.
However, a week is a long time in politics, and so on, so you never know what will happen. It must be a long time since the Cabinet contained an unabashed admirer of Hegel. But Hayes has not exactly been in the vanguard of the struggle for modernisation –
Woman in audience: Mr Hayes, how can we save our country?
Hayes: Can I ask you, Madam, are you a Christian?
Woman in audience: Well, I mean…yes, I think I am.
Hayes: Do you believe that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Saviour?
Woman in audience: …Er –
Hayes (interrupting): – Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Woman in audience: Um…well, I suppose so.
Hayes: In that case, Madam, if you really want to save your country you should pray to God that I'm made a Minister in the coming Conservative Government.