Boris Johnson aka Count Bojo Bandicoot may soon face gang of latter-day Van Helsings – Susan Morrison

In my lifetime, I’ve seen a fair few Prime Ministers and party leaders done in by their parties. The Tories always struck me as the real sharks.

Friday, 21st January 2022, 4:55 am
Boris Johnson may discover the Conservatives' 1922 Committee are on the way to see him (Picture: Richard Pohle/pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The minute blood appears in the water, the grey suits start circling. Not for Tories in Scotland, I have to say. For some time, I have suspected that Conservatives in Holyrood just get a shot at the leadership if they want to try it out, like kids in the playground having a go on the swings. The current one is that Ross laddie, who, rather alarmingly, looks like Ruth Davidson’s wee brother.

Thatcher went down in a blaze of fury and hairspray. The party saw rust on the Iron Lady and they piled in. Nanny was becoming fallible, although they waited until she was out of the country before launching their attack.

She was in Paris. The BBC’s John Sergeant was on the doorstep of the embassy doing his bit to camera when he was bulldozed away by her press secretary Bernard Ingham, a man with a face like thunder and a temper to match. Bad news was afoot. Thatcher steamed in behind him like the Terminator with a handbag.

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She fought on, she fought on to win, but the boys took her down. She announced she would go, then appeared roaring at one last Prime Minister's Questions in the House and promptly ate the Opposition alive. God knows, I loathed the politician but I remember admiring the woman. She was a street fighter in a twin suit and pearls.

In the last moments of Terminator 2, Arnie’s virtually indestructible cyborg is lowered into a vat of bubbling molten metal. As he melts, he raises one middle finger up to the world in defiance. That was Maggie at the Despatch Box.

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John Major lost and resigned. Dave Cameron, remember him? Just about. He smashed the place into smithereens and then danced away humming. Mrs May, a poor, exasperated woman who resembled a faintly irritated primary school head teacher with a particularly unruly class to deal with, threw in the towel and fled to the back benches, where, it has to be said, she suddenly developed a seriously good line in disapproving side-eye and grimly amused curled lip.

And now it looks like Bojo Bandicoot, the man who hides in fridges and can’t tell a meeting from a booze-up, might just get a visit from the 1922 Committee.

Just exactly what these shady dudes do seems a bit of a mystery, but, rather charmingly, Tory Prime Ministers appear to live in terror of them turning up at Number 10.

I like to think it's like Dracula facing Van Helsing’s vampire hunters. One minute, there you are being Prime Minister and doing Prime Ministery things like ordering lockdowns for other people and declaring war on Kiribati when suddenly, in a swirl of Jermyn Street tailoring and trailing the whiff of public school puddings like spotted dick, the 1922 Committee appears, waving 54 letters like garlic and crucifixes. Quick stake through the heart of your political career, and off you pop, ex-Prime Minister.

Now, the big question for the Tory Party will be, can you steam that wallpaper off and resell it? Cost a fortune, you know, and it seems a pity. Wasn’t needed for long.

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