Monday 24 January 2022
Blowing Out The Candles
This time, Carrie Antoinette really did say, "Let them eat cake." And Lulu Lytle is obviously a drag name. But whose? If it turns out to be Owen Paterson's, then the Government must fall in the next 24 hours.
This is the best leaking operation that we have ever seen. Every time that the Government looks as if it might get back up again, then it is whacked with something else about which the people wielding it had known ever since it was happening.
A resigning Prime Minister recommends a successor to the Queen, and while she would have every reason to tell Boris Johnson where to stick it, she would be most unlikely to do so. Someone would become Prime Minister on the spot, making a Leadership Election wildly unlikely.
Meaning that we might already have seen the last ever Leadership Election in either main party, even with a franchise restricted to MPs. The provision would still exist, but it would never be used. Whenever a vacancy arose, then someone would just emerge, and there would never be enough people to make a fuss.
Labour has already changed its rules to make it practically impossible for more than one person to stand for Leader, and it is also busily taking away what little say constituency parties have over the selection of parliamentary candidates. Being less inclined towards committees or to writing things down, the Conservative Party will find even more insidious ways of doing the same thing. The best that we can say is that far more constituencies are meaningfully competitive now than was the case three years ago.
Elections are a recent innovation in Britain, and we still avoid them as much as possible. If you knew people who were in their eighties or older at the turn of the millennium, then you knew people who had been born before either women since 1832, or working-class men ever, had had the vote.
It has been 25 years since anyone has become, rather than remained, Prime Minister by winning an overall majority at a General Election, and that was the first time that it had happened in 18 years. Two of the last four Prime Ministers have never won an overall majority.