Boris Johnson and Liz Truss both fell to Tories' mysterious Slayer of Prime Ministers. When will voters get to choose? – Susan Morrison
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She made me go back and get another shampoo. As she cheerfully told me, a wee extra freebie always comes in handy, and she’s right. Although maybe not about Prime Ministers.
This was the year of the buy-two-get-one free Prime Ministers, apparently. We fairly went through them, didn’t we? Well, we didn’t. No-one actually asked us.
Rather entertainingly, the Tories like to consider themselves officer class with spines of steel, but the merest whiff of weakness in the party leader and it’s panic stations and plotting. And deep under Westminster, they invoke the 1922 Committee, the deliciously gothic little outfit lurking at the heart of the party, so mysterious they make the Papal Conclave look like the final of the X Factor.
To be fair, though, in the case of Poor Liz even we could see the weakness. She was starting to blink ‘SOS’ messages with her eyes during press conferences. She was less Prime Minister, and more hostage situation. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d sent in the SAS to bust her out to freedom.
They send in a chap in a sharp suit to do the Prime Ministerial offing. Disappointing. I had hoped that the 1922 Committee had at their bidding a cloaked and hooded figure who could waft past Downing Street security to suddenly materialise before a trembling soon-to-be ex-PM. One long skeletal hand extends clutching a resignation letter, the other brandishes a Daily Mail with a headline blaring a terrible poll result. If they do have someone like that, they got their money’s worth out of the lad this year.
Of course, no-one bothered to check with us about this change. Like a Kirkgate shop assistant, the committee knows better than we poor voting mortals and so we need not be consulted about who’s in charge. In fact, they even managed to avoid asking other Tories when they binned Poor Liz. This from the party who got themselves into quite the lather over unelected people in Europe making decisions, as I recall.
I worry though. What happened to that wallpaper? Is it still there? Who’s looking after Dilyn, the dog drafted in to make Boris look cuddly? Carrie's busy with the kids and he’s off globetrotting, giving speeches for serious wonga. Well, he has to. Posh interior designers don’t come cheap, y’know. He’s keen on a Caribbean holiday as well, but ever ready to shoot home on the merest sniff of a leadership bid. Oh, I have no doubt he’ll be back.
They never got around to getting a four-legged friend to make Poor Liz look more human, but she was only there six weeks, just long enough to take the school hamster home for the holidays.
She’s not really raking it in on the speaker circuit, but she is doing sterling work at state funerals and Remembrance Day events, which is apt, because the stake they drove through her political heart was permanent.
Well, perhaps the Slayer of PMs can hang up his tattered cloak for this coming year, since Mr Sunak appears safe for now. Well, from the murky machinations of the 1922 Committee, at any rate.