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Battle for Survival

Tories unite behind leader: We all think you're useless
The Conservative "leader", Iain Duncan Smith, announced that his party was "united" today, despite the damaging splits that emerged earlier this week over the Adoption Bill. In the first broadcast he has made since his "unite or die" statement, Mr Duncan Smith told BBC Radio 4 "the party is united now". "I don't like to brag," he bragged to John Humphreys this morning, "but the party is completely united now. There will be no more splits."

Mr Duncan Smith met with the 1922 Committee, made up of Tory backbenchers, on Wednesday after another mediocre performance at Prime Minister's Question Time. Surprisingly, though, the backbenchers appear to be unanimous in their support of his leadership. "He's a complete tosspot," said one on his way out of the meeting. "The sooner we get rid of him the better," agreed another. "Who the hell was that idiot?" asked a third, not particularly well-informed backbencher.

Given their unquestioning lack of support for their leader, political commentators say that for the first time in decades the party really is united. "It's not so much 'unite or die'," argued Douglas Ramsbottom for the Guardian. "It's more 'unite and then we'll die'. It's a decision they've been wrestling with since the Major years, but now it seems they've finally decided. We can expect a mass cull any time soon."

A spokesman for the government has said that, given past experience, they would prefer a vaccination programme.

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