You can ignore the howling of a country that hates you and doesn't want you in power. You can dig yourself into Westminster like a toad under a stone for four years whilst this country bleeds from a thousand cuts. But you can't run from progress, and you can't roll back the changes that thirteen years of progressive government have put in place. Labour did many terrible things, but they also helped open a pandora's box of visceral social change. You can't undo that, not ever.
You did not win, and you cannot rule absolutely. The Liberals may have turned traitor, but they're going to shackle you. They're going to neutralise the rabid dogs on your backbench and pare down the most illiberal of your schemes to shit magnificently on the poor and the disposessed, on welfare claimants and women.
You can't 'rebuild the family'. The nuclear heterosexual family, that fragile unit of industrial capitalist economy, has been broken for a generation as people realise that they don't have to chain themselves to each other in order to survive. You can't cram that back in its box, no matter how many women you try to persuade that they'll be better off wedded to their sinks, no matter how many children you shame for having divorced parents, no matter how coldly you judge or how hard you slice at people's earnings. Times are hard already. They won't stand for it.
You can't put gay liberation back in its box, either. You can't replace the official prejudices of the Thatcher years, section 28, that's not ever coming back.
You can't stop people wanting more than this. You can't erase people's resentment at privilege and pride, especially in difficult times. People won't be patronised or wheedled into behaving. The public are not going to behave. We won't allow it. You may be prime minister today, but the country is not behind you.
You can't stop the cities. You can't stop the internet fracturing everything that was solid and safe about the priggish culture that made you. You can't stop the riot that's brewing as people in Britain realise that they have been cheated, time and time again, by a system stuffed with people who hate them and want to put them into boxes and make them do what they're told.
And you can't, as a new Tory MP just told the BBC newscaster, 'put Britain back.' You can't ever put Britain back. You can't disappear inside Number Ten and slam the door on the future; if you do, the future will go on without you. And we all know what happens then.
If you try to push back at the raw edge of modernity, it's going to cut you.
And gods, I'm scared right now, I'm scared as hell of what's going to happen to this country and city I love, but I'm going to enjoy watching you bleed.