There is a certain continuity in British politics that could be relied upon. The Tory Party in Parliament has always had its eccentrics and fools, some very funny at times, some bonkers. But somehow the best tended to rise to the top. Some were found wanting for various reasons and some excelled unexpectedly. John Major, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clarke, Chris Patten, Willie Whitelaw – they were “One Nation” in the days when we were.
Today the cupboard is bare. Sunak looks promising though too swiftly over promoted. He’s a lot to learn. But the rest of the Cabinet ? Liz Truss is Johnson’s Anne Widdecombe – given prominence and power for inexplicable reasons. Remember Widdy was Hague’s shadow Home Secretary. 😂
Johnson’s lack of judgment and lazy, narcissist nonchalance has got him into trouble all his life. Ministers run things and Prime Ministers run the country. Johnson has never run anything. The London Mayoralty is a sinecure. Johnson was briefly Foreign Secretary and rather an indolent one. Otherwise he’s a comic turn but now more Jim Davidson than Eric Morecambe.
Matthew Parris despairs in The Times today. He will remember “Cry the Beloved Country” about Southern Africa by Alan Paton. I’ll borrow the title to describe Britain today. The decline wasn’t inevitable – after the painful disposal of Empire, Europe offered us the chance to be something. Along with Germany and France we could have been central to the development of a new European Age. But we blew it and in so doing lost everything except our memories.