God help us in this relentless game of Pinball PM - Susan Morrison
There was a time in this country, you know, when prime ministers lasted the course.
Good lord, Churchill carried on working well past pension age, despite an alcohol intake that would have felled Stalin. Eden was a functioning drug addict. MacMillan had to cope with his wife having a giddy old time behind his back but very much in plain view. Many thanks to Netflix’s ‘The Crown’, there, for the background history.
But through all this, there was none of this ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ malarkey.
Margaret Thatcher was there so long we’d started to forget there was a time when she wasn’t there. She was the Snow Queen holding Narnia in her icy grip, until John Major, playing the role of Mr Tumnus, helped send her into exile. She was melting as she left Downing Street, or at least, leaking from her eyes.
Mr Major was there a full seven years and even found the time to mess about with Edwina Currie, a notion that still makes the nation boggle today.
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Tony Blair put in a serious shift of ten years, before the saturnine Mr Brown came and went in a mere three.
Since then they’ve been pinging about like a sort of Pinball PM game, caroming about from crisis to crisis until the lights flash ‘Game Over’.
That Cameron one hung about for a bit, wrecked the country, and then wandered off humming a cheery tune whilst the rest of us looked on aghast. The buffoonish Mr Johnson played a major role in that premature end to a prime ministerial career by knifing his erstwhile pal in the back over Brexit.
There was Mrs May, the one who looked like a faintly startled praying mantis. She got three years, then she, too, fell to the political back-stabbing assassin, Boris Johnson.
We got Boris, finally, until he got knifed in the back by, well, Boris Johnson, a man who seemed to want to be prime minister, but didn’t appear willing to put the work in when he got there.
There were times when I watched him wondering if he wouldn’t have been happier playing the role of a PM, say Churchill, in some blockbusting TV drama like The Crown, rather than actually having to do the job of a real prime minister.
The lad couldn’t help self-sabotaging with parties, appalling wallpaper and a relationship with the truth that could best be described as ‘light touch’. There’s no-one to blame but Boris. He must have thought it a sad day when the Tory party decided it couldn’t see past a couple of whopping great fibs, a few major scandals and a complete lack of integrity.
Three PM’s driven away from Downing Street. That’s a fair old total. The man’s a regular menace around prime ministers.
And now we have Liz Truss, a woman with all the sincerity and intellectual heft of a Hallmark ‘In Sympathy’ card and the serene air of the St Trinians PE teacher who hasn’t realised that the girls are distilling gin in the gym. .
Perhaps we should get them to start wearing name badges. Not sure how long we’ll get out of this one.
For one thing, Johnson the PM Terminator is still at large, and I have a horrible feeling he’ll be back.