Hardly a day goes by without an old chum turning to me sadly and saying that he is no longer a member of the Conservative Party because of the the crass awfulness of Johnson and his incompetent cabinet. They tend to be split into two groups. Those on the right who think the government has become too socialist & and those on the left who will never forgive him for the lies he told over Brexit. In many ways Johnson has achieved in what so many Tory leaders failed. Uniting the party.
I had a drink with the splendid Michael Crick a couple of days ago. He asked me if I was still a member of the party. I had to remind him that I was only briefly a member of the party when I was an MP. I had just forgotten to pay my subs. We then swapped the names of those Tory MPs who actually voted for other parties when they were standing for the Tories……
I am beginning to wonder whether Boris really has gone bonkers. Of course, he has always been an active high end sociopath. What I am talking about is going the whole goat bleating, blood spattering Halal with a bit of traditional carpet biting thrown in for good measure.
So, what is the evidence for this? Well, mid week whilst putting down the rebellion over the completely useless plans to raise national insurance to pay for community care (because all the money will disappear in the the black hole of the NHS) Number 10 put it about that the prime minister was ‘invincible’. What made me chuckle was that so many ministers and backbenchers were troubled that they were going to have to explain not just one broken manifesto promise, but three. Did they really think that Johnston cares about any broken promises? Did they really think that he’d actually read the manifesto?
Then yesterday Number 10 put it about that Johnson wants to beat Thatcher’s record of eleven years in the job and would go ‘on and on’. If that doesn’t set alarm bells ringing, klaxons sounding and red lights flashing what will? I just have a horrible feeling that he really does think that he is invincible. Perhaps because he is egged on by some of the swivel eyed Taliban Tories who are caretaking Labour seats in the North. Oh, and don’t the children at Number 10 have any sense of irony or history? Don’t they remember who was the last Tory prime minister with her back against the wall who famously said ‘I will be going on and on’ just before being defenestrated?
I am not going to bang on about the reshuffle as you know my views on this little farce. But he only has one shot at maintaining project fear. One moment he loves Patel, the next he wants to be rid of her. Another moment he loves the forever useless and hopelessly over promoted Liz Truss, then he wants to tip her out. There is not a single Cabinet minister who has not been briefed against. This is not clever politics, it’s desperate brinkmanship. But the election of 2024 is appearing on the horizon which will sharpen minds and stilettos’.
And what about poor old Raab? I was lunching with some old Foreign Office hands yesterday who just whoop with laughter every time his name was mentioned. It reminded me of dear old Walter Harrison the much feared Labour deputy chief whip. I remember him telling me over a drink or five about the time a minister had gone AWOL. Eventually the poor devil plucked up the courage to speak to Walter. “Where the fuck are you?” fumed Walter.
“Well son, if you are not back tomorrow you’ll be in fucking concrete”.
How history repeats itself.