If Suella Braverman explodes it won’t be because of her deeply offensive and inflammatory words about migrants. It won’t be because the government is going to have to have a more realistic policy on filling staff shortages which is crippling growth and closing small businesses. And it won’t be because she is just not up to the job. It will be because she ignored legal advice about conditions in Marston and lied to the Commons about it. That time bomb is ticking louder every passing day. What makes it so dangerous is that there will be a paper trail. That terrible noise that will soon have Tory MPs putting their fingers in their ears will be the sound of whistle blowers from the Home Office. Best the the nasty business out of the way before the Autumn Statement. Nothing, apart from Matt Hancock nibbling on kangaroo cock, which to most of us is much less of a humiliation than serving under Boris Johnson, must be allowed to distract from that.


A brief word about Hancock. I have met him a few times and found him good company. He is a decent fellow whose lockdown transgression in the normal scheme of things was not particularly shocking. Just stupid. Similarly with I’m a Celebrity. Not particularly shocking either. Just a bit daft. On the other hand he will make truer friends in the jungle than he ever will in Westminster. And his challenges less surreal than any he had to make in a Johnson government.


Talking about a sense of the ridiculous brings me onto Gavin Williamson. We all know that he is a bit of a dick, over promoted, feels entitled and has convinced himself that he is a great political operator. As he stares into looking glass he sees Machiavelli. We look at him in the flesh and see Johnny English. Now what of his crime? A former chief whip is accused of bullying an incumbent chief whip. The word fuck is used. And so is shit. There is a whiff of menace….


Really? Is that it? Does Wendy Morton need trigger warnings before  receiving messages from pissed off back benchers? Does she need a place of safety just in case she bumps into one of them? For God’s sake grow up. On many occasions I felt the need to tell a whip to fuck off and they would respond by rightly suggesting that I shouldn’t behave a like a total wanker. This would happen in times of pressure and stress for all of us. Things were said that we didn’t really mean. But we always remained friends. I never harboured a grudge and neither did they. It’s life a Westminster. Well, that’s how it was in my day….


However, there is a bigger picture about Williamson which is causing a great deal of unrest which may be the reason that this rather trivial story is being flammed up. Again, it is about whipery. Simon Hart, the latest chief whip has caused some eyebrows to be raised and serious annoyance by some about many of his junior appointments. Hart is seen as a creature of Williamson and that Sir Gav’s favourites have been given plumb positions. I haven’t a clue whether this is wholly true or a semblance of the truth. In Westminster the mere fact that it is being said in the tea rooms and bars is enough. Yet Williamson is just a minor irritation with a junior role in the cabinet office where he can’t do too much damage. He will be allowed to gaze into his looking glass  and convince himself that he is the power behind the throne as opposed to the Master of the Stool. No need to tell him to go away and shut up just yet.