THE concept of the moderate Tory always used to intrigue me. It seemed to me to be as absurd as describing a woman with child as “a bit pregnant”.

The Tory belief system and those who choose to genuflect before its graven images scorns terms like “moderate” or “restrained” or “cautious”. These are only to be used when a time of austerity is required and then only by others. They will never apply to carnivorous Tories; those who hunt in the dark and prey on the weakest. Show me a moderate Tory and I’ll show you a vegan crocodile.

The beginning of Boris Johnson’s leadership of the country has been accompanied by predictions of Armageddon. In the days since his elevation commentators and analysts of the liberal/left have competed to paint pictures of the approaching apocalypse; each one worse than yesterday’s. It’s been a feeding frenzy: where do you even start? There are so many hard-liners in Johnson’s cabinet that each of their iniquities seem indistinguishable from the others.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson's Cabinet is filled with failures and nonentities

Thus, Priti Patel’s freelance mission to Israel to subvert British foreign policy and its national security is soon trumped by Sajid Javid’s record as a predatory banker and an architect of that vast Ponsi scheme which brought the UK economy to its knees.

Javid epitomises the ultimate triumph of pure, unrestrained capitalism. In other countries the dole queue or a prison cell awaited those who orchestrated the 2008 collapse; in the UK residency of No 11 Downing Street is the reward.

But look over there: Dominic Cummings has just walked in and we’ve all forgotten about Javid. Cummings, the career psychopath of David Cameron’s nightmares, orchestrated the fictions that lay at the heart of the Brexit campaign. This character could only have thrived in the age of unrestricted electronic communication, where advances in technology occur so rapidly that they render any attempts at regulation a fool’s errand.

READ MORE: Why Boris Johnson has picked Dominic Cummings for key adviser role

How do you count sand? How can you be guilty of breaking laws that only last for a day?

If the worst predictions about Brexit are realised, Cummings will ensure that most of us don’t get to know about them. If scapegoats are required, Cummings will provide us with directions to their doors. Feeling angry about losing your job because your company was broken by Brexit cash-flow issues?

Don’t blame Brexit; blame the vindictive Europeans. Dominic Cummings will supply a list of any who are still resident in the UK and doing rather well.

But now Cummings has retreated back into the shadows because reliable old Ireland has just re-appeared on stage. And here’s the usual “sources” saying that the Johnson regime will revert to direct rule in Ulster in the event of No Deal. So, farewell to the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement; at least it had a good innings: nearly 25 years. Of course, no-one in the cabinet is remotely interested in the Irish backstop and even fewer in seeking ways around it.

The National: Dominic Cummings

Our new Prime Minister was brought up by a father who thinks we should just let the Irish kill each other. But hey; if we have to send in the army and the bullets start flying again it will divert minds away from Brexit.

The lobbying firms who have bought Johnson’s cabinet will ensure the usual suspects get the blame; Cummings will mop up the rest on Facebook and the BBC will intensify its efforts to stop Jeremy Corbyn.

And we haven’t even got to Gavin Williamson yet, another who was sacked by the last Prime Minister for conduct that amounted to treachery and compromising national security.

Theresa May, it was reported, had to intervene personally to prevent this man sending in warships to sort out international trouble spots that existed only in his disturbed imagination as foreign secretary.

And so, we have reached for phrases like “one-nation” Tory to describe previous Conservative cabinets and to compare them favourably with this one.

Some have even said that Margaret Thatcher’s various administrations could be considered “moderate” when set against Boris Johnson’s.

It’s as if we have discovered a new genus of the Tory bacteria and, as in all the best disaster science films, it reacts to all attempts to contain it by metastasizing and growing elsewhere.

Each day brings a fresh definition of how right wing this government now is and how “moderate” Tories are appalled and beating a path to Labour to wreck Brexit.

Good luck with that one. They’d simply be handing Johnson the manifesto he and Dominic Cummings need to fight the inevitable General Election.

The trouble with declaiming how reactionary and extreme Boris Johnson and his new cabinet are is that it anaesthetises us to the effects of normal Toryism. Our senses are rewired to believe that there is such a thing as “moderate” and “compassionate” Toryism.

When the corporate lobbyists and the banks and the newspaper moguls decide that Johnson has outlived his usefulness they will make one of his transgressions stick or resuscitate a peccadillo from a previous life and bring him down with it.

By then the country will have been softened up to receive a more “normal” Tory administration and to consider it to be “moderate”. Each fresh thundering salvo from the pen of a liberal wordsmith castigating Johnson and his cabinet of gargoyles; each expression of outrage from his political opponents at his wretched caprices is making the job of those who order the affairs of this country much easier.

Boris Johnson is simply a Tory like all the others there have ever been. None have been “moderate” because there is no such thing. Their goal is to ensure that the writ of the most powerful and richest in UK society continues to run unhindered.

Johnson, knowing that he possesses more charisma than his predecessors, can thus afford to be more carefree and honest about it. He is no worse than those who sacrificed the lives of soldiers in illegal wars; weaponised the apparatus of the British state to destroy the miners and the mining industry; created a hostile environment to persecute British citizens whose ethnicity they considered suspect and who cheerfully push many others to the edge of insanity by withholding benefits they and their families had properly earned over generations in service to this country.

The most chilling aspect of the Boris Johnson era, however long it lasts, is that all this will be considered normal when he is gone.

Johnson is merely a tactic in a long game played by people he probably doesn’t even know himself. And we are all falling for it, as we always do.