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Thursday, July 07, 2022

So what now?

The Whitehall farce that has unfolded over the last 24 hours is an embarrassment not just for the Tory party but for the whole country. When our own Prime Minister, with a history of lying and rule-breaking, effectively barricades himself in to 10 Downing Street, in defiance of his own Ministers, and refuses to budge, then we have to question the whole basis of our constitution.

The very idea being put about by Johnson and his allies that he had a mandate, as if we have a presidential system, just underlines how our whole democracy is being subverted by personality cults and leader-centred politicians. Prime Ministers are not directly elected by voters, and no political party has secured the majority of votes cast since 1950. The idea that any government has a mandate for anything is nonsense.

So where do we go from here? Johnson wants to cling on as a dead-duck PM until his successor is elected, roughly around August/September this year. But are there any ministers left who will work with him to ensure we have a viable government in that period? And then there is a question of who would replace Johnson?

I am not one of those who believe that there are no obvious contenders. Putting aside the wild-eyed loyalists like Dominic Raab, Nadine Dorries, Jacob Rees Mogg and Priti Patel (who it is hoped any successor will banish from government permanently), there are a number of Ministers or former Ministers who are capable of doing the job. The problem is of course the Tory Party membership.

Getting one of the more sensible candidates past Tory members is going to be difficult. If we are to avoid another idiot taking up residence in 10 Downning Street, then we are going to have to rely on MPs to present members with two sensible candidates to choose between in the first place. I am not holding my breath.
Let's enjoy the Tory Party blood letting and watch that party tear itself apart. I would have sort the chance of what you call a sensible candidate, let alone two being put before the Tory membership is vanishingly small. I heard that the dreadful Steve Baker is planning a run for the job. Heaven help us if he gets the job. Apart from the swivel eyed loons which Tory MP is going to want to lead this shower anyway?
Steve Baker has ruled himself out in favour of the even more reactionary Suella Braverman.

I know it will never happen, but I would like to see a vote of the whole House for the next PM, using the Alternative Vote. Given the Conservative majority, the winners would inevitably be Tories, but the second preferences would reduce the risk of a Johnson Mk II getting the job.
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