The struggle to be Top Tory is revealing. Most of us will have no say in the appointment of replacements for the defunct government, but all of us are exposed daily to the wilder notions of contenders. Today the UK is not exactly Sri Lanka but almost as scary.
By the time you read this the field will have shrunk and the stakes raised for the finalists – but there’ll be no public vote. Relegation for those hanging on at the bottom of the league is not, for them, the worst possible outcome.
Pitching for prime is like a confessional – all contenders are complicit in the making of the mess but all cry out for trust and forgiveness. In the timeless words of the General Confession ‘we have erred and strayed from our way like lost sheep – and there is no health in us.’
The full judgement of their various sins of commission and omission will not be made until the next General Election, but we cannot now unhear the truth. Now we know that our local MP holds deeply offensive positions on ‘economic migration’, on the European Court of Human Rights, and on adherence to International Law. You might disagree with her view on the intellectual capacity of disabled children and we all might be worlds apart on the supposed riches that would assuredly flow from her beloved Brexit. In the unlikely event, dear reader, that you are a local Tory Councillor, you might even disagree with her populist stance on the strategic gap between Stubbington and Fareham or the relevance of gender identities in a grown-up world.
Regardless of outcomes in the next round of voting, the question facing local Conservative Party members is whether they’ll still like the cut of her jib. Is there any plan to deselect? Maybe, surely, they can find an alternative candidate?
But wait. A ray of sunshine has appeared. Jacob Rees-Mogg has declared an unwillingness to be involved in any government led by the current front-runner. Perhaps there’s hope for the county, yet.