Every-so-often, we Brits do get it right. Faced with the prospect of another interminable Conservative leadership contest, the vast majority of us have done the only sensible thing and completely ignored it.
Who cares that the winner will become prime minister? In a country of more than 65 million people, less than 150,000 of us have any role to play in choosing who comes out on top.
Besides, there are more enjoyable ways to spend a summer, like watching England’s women win the Euros; more inclusive activities, like queuing for hours at the border before crossing the Channel to France; and more important things to worry about like inflation and the cost of living, heat waves and failing crops, strikes and a crumbling NHS, flash floods and sewage being liberally pumped into our rivers and coastal waters.
Sadly, our list of woes far outstrips our list of joys.
Can it get worse than Johnson?
It is against this backdrop that the Conservatives are once again rearranging the deck chairs. Since 1991, they have held a leadership contest, on average, every two and a half years – hardly a vote of confidence in their ability to choose a capable leader. Perhaps this time will be different. After all, it cannot get much worse than the narcissist Johnson, and just look at the glittering shortlist of candidates that put themselves forward for the top job.
Kemi Badenoch, who is laser focused on the war on woke, while the rest of us worry about war with Russia. Penny Mordaunt, whose prime ministerial levels of judgement led her to include disgraced former Olympian, and convicted murderer, Oscar Pistorious in her campaign video. Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid, both former health secretaries, both yesterday’s men, both serial leadership election losers. And Tom Tugendhat, who was apparently once in the army.
I know what you are thinking, but out of the rough emerged two diamonds. Step forward Rishi Rich and @instaLiz.
Surely these two will elevate the debate, demonstrate a grip of the issues, and have the bold ideas needed to lead a bruised nation through these most challenging of times? Right Mr. Sunak? I hope to get McDonald’s to bring back the breakfast wrap. Okay. Ms. Truss? I’ll dress like Maggie Thatcher. Well that’s just terrific.
Come 5 September, one of these two (most likely Truss) will be prime minister of the United Kingdom. It hardly bears thinking about. So don’t.
Sit back and enjoy the final few days of summer, as there will be no turning a blind eye once the results are in and another incapable leader takes hold of the reins of power.