Ah, remember those fond, heady days when Theresa May was Prime Minister… Those days when we thought things couldn’t get any worse. How naïve! In Brexit Britain, things can always get worse!
Now the British public waits on tenterhooks. Will Jeremy Hunt be our new PM? Or will it be Boris Johnson?
Luckily this weighty decision has been taken out of our hands and delegated to 150,000-ish card-carrying members of the Tory party.
Governed by oddballs
So who are these responsible, thoughtful individuals who will take this decision for us?
According to BBC statistics they look as follows: 70% are men, 97% are white, 60% are southern, 86% are of higher social classes, their average age is 57, and a high proportion are no longer in work. Six out of 10 want the death penalty back.
In short, they look like a retired, white, southern, upper-class male aged 57 who believes in hanging. As the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee points out, these are oddballs.
It is clear on what basis the oddballs will make their choice: they will choose the candidate most likely to bring about a no-deal Brexit. In fact, so great is their hunger for Brexit that they are willing to sacrifice almost anything to bring it about. A recent YouGov poll showed the following:
When I saw this, I was vaguely reminded of the scene in Nineteen-Eighty-Four when O’Brien asks Winston and Julia how far they would go to bring down the Party.
‘You are prepared to give your lives?’
‘You are prepared to commit murder?’
‘To commit acts of sabotage which may cause the death of hundreds of innocent people?’
‘To betray your country to foreign powers?’
I imagine the YouGov poll followed a similar pattern:
‘You are prepared to break up the Union?’
‘You are prepared to destroy the Conservative Party?’
‘You are prepared to inflict significant damage on the UK economy, causing disaster for millions of innocent people?’
Or something like that. The difference being that in this case it will not be the Tory party members who end up in Room 101. It will be the rest of us. But who cares! At least we’ll have Brexit!
The only thing the Tory members will not countenance is Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. To paraphrase Meatloaf, they would do anything for Brexit, but they won’t do that.