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Opinion

The knives are out for the great Tory egg-and-spoon race

17 Jul 2022 4 minute read
Photo Victoria Jones PA Images

Ben Wildsmith

There’s nothing like naked ambition to reveal the inner-child in a person. Dangle anyone’s deepest desire in front of them and you’ll see the raw fundamentals that drive their personality: the stuff that therapists are there for.

None of us looks at our best when we are grasping for something, and we are normal human beings, so when the emotional cripples who people parliament compete for the mother lode of validation they believe to exist in 10 Downing St, it can resemble the dog end of a sixth birthday party that’s featured too many E numbers.

We rarely see the little darlings unsupervised. Ministers are usually dressed for school by their departmental civil servants who have reminded them to be polite before dropping them off in the morning.

During a leadership election, grown-ups are banished and there is nobody to check the contestants’ homework before they hand it in.

As any teacher will confirm, you only really see what they are like on a school trip.

So, what do we have on our hands?

Ready4Rishi has been Head Boy his entire life. At conception, one imagines his father’s most responsible sperm approaching the egg with a fully costed plan for Sunak Minor’s education‒ to include a budgetary allowance for on-point leisurewear.

What an absolute ballache he must have been for Boris Johnson, urging caution three times before breakfast and refusing to join in with the bullying.

His problem is that he looks so destined to be PM that it’s irresistible to spoil it for him. If I were a Tory backbencher, I’d introduce him to smoking.

Wrong ‘un

Something’s going on around Penny Mordaunt that we haven’t been let in on.

On face value she’s a Tory backbencher’s dream: youngish, well-spoken with a military background, and reputedly possessed of a barrack room sense of humour, you’d think she ticked every possible box.

Someone with Establishment poke, however, clearly disagrees and this morning’s Mail on Sunday devotes six articles to trashing her whilst Lord Frost, the éminence puce of Brexit, has been rushing around TV studios to insist she’s a wrong ‘un.

Ms. Mordaunt, it seems, has untold history.

Kemi Badenoch, meanwhile, is strictly about the future.

With no chance of winning this time, she’s free to burnish her reputation without immediate consequence.

Tellingly, she was the candidate willing to stick the boot directly into Mordaunt during the first televised debate by invoking the trans issue, with its vast, deranged hinterland of woke phobia.

Earlier in the day on LBC she had dismissed criticism from comedian Dane Baptiste by announcing, ‘”I don’t need people whose only experience of being black is being an ethnic minority in the UK to tell me what that means.”

With Michael Gove in her corner, it’s fair to assume we’ll be hearing a great deal from Kemi Badenoch over the coming years.

Sensational weirdness

Tom Tugendhat, it turns out, used to be a Super Army Soldier. Did you know that? Because he was an actual soldier in a proper war and he’s pretty disgusted at what he’s found since lowering himself into the fetid swamp of politics.

If horned-rimmed rectitude is your thing, then Tom has a pleasing 1930s vibe about him but he’s a bit John Major for a party still gnawing on the red meat of Brexit and will be left to chunter away about decency until he jacks it in and starts writing books on military history.

Which leaves Liz Truss.

Putting the sensational weirdness of Liz into words has been taxing writers for a while. She’s an authentic jolt to the senses when she goes full League of Gentleman.

Blinking furiously, her thoughts seem to collide behind her eyes on the way to finding expression in a series of disconnected statements and unsettling facial expressions.

Dressing up as Margaret Thatcher is something most of us do at one time or another but exactly replicating a specific 1979 outfit for a TV debate is a step beyond harmless fun.

One of these characters will soon have won life on the terms they set out as children.

Events will conspire to suggest that, just as they suspected, they are special and marked out for greatness.

Our role in all this is to ensure they hate every moment of it.


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
26 days ago

What a fabulous summing up of the democracy free selection circus to elect the next leader of the opposition as some or all of them together with their tightly controlled media appear, despite simultaneously rubbishing him, to be terrified of Keir Starmer and they need to be. In the personality stakes, if Sunak is not the winner, Starmer will tear apart any of the others at the dispatch box.

Pawl
Pawl
26 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Yr un Starmer pwy’n edrych fel petai’n gwneud c***u trwy’r amser?

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
26 days ago

Excellent article….

This whole thing is like a bobbing for turds competition, it feels like you’re drowning and it won’t stop until you have a face full of excrement… Westminster is just terrifying.

…and how much less of a scumbag is Starmer and whoever it is that runs the Lib-Dems these days?
I am seriously considering leaving this country, see if I can get asylum in Ireland or something… because its proper crazy across the border and I just don’t think we are taking it as seriously as we should be in Cymru.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
25 days ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

You are so right!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
26 days ago

Don’t you just love IDS, whose record for seeing off the poor and infirm has only recently been beaten by Fat Shanks and Rishi, he comes out slagging off Penny Dreadnought in favour of the Farmer’s Friend Truss who has gone belly up at every turn, she couldn’t deal a pack of cards, or make a facial expression…What a bucket of crabs…imagine them going on holiday together…or being at Fat Shanks’ Chequers garden party of the Ugliest (hearted) People in Britain Contest, security courtesy of the KGB…I hope someone switches the sun cream for cooking oil…have a look how big… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
26 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Ok I’ve read it now, I had write my bit first to avoid plagiarism…great read, I will just say Naval and Wardroom, she is named after HMS ‘Pepperpot’ I suggest looking it up on Wiki, bravery and tragedy in equal parts…There is a book of the same name, quite rare nowadays…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
26 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Mea Culpa…Paras! Must have joined naval reserves in Portsmouth, career move? Why named after HMS Penelope so we are led to believe. Interesting came via Kensington and Chelsea like Virginia Crosby and Paget-Brown of shell building and company fame, must be a hive!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
26 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

The higher one lifts the stone the less of substance there is to find, just smaller crabs feeding on even smaller crabs all looking for bigger shells to occupy…why not stick with the arts and science background and leave the Whale Island smokescreen behind…Photo; more Pointless than Eggheads…

Last edited 26 days ago by Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
26 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Wouldn’t it be funny if MI5 turned up at Chequers and arrested him for treason in front of all his mates…only joking their boss is probably there to pick up his gong…this ain’t Foyle’s War…

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
25 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Do keep up, the FSB. And the English deep state hate Russia, as they got their butt kicked in Crimea and lost the race for Berlin.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
25 days ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Lebedev senior ex KGB…do get a sense of humour…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

If this the best the Conservative party has to offer the electorate .God help us! It’s like throwing away the political wheat and ending up with the Conservative chaff. This is one of the ugliest beauty pageants I’ve ever witnessed. All are fighting like dogs over the same bone whilst trying to channel their inner Thatcher. And yet again we have another Conservative Prime Minister chosen by a minority of party members to rule over us without a referenda or general election. Take note Andrew RT Davies . Time we the voting public had our say so we can vote… Read more »

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
26 days ago

Liz Truss not only dresses like Thatcher, she uses similar mannerisms as well, tilting her head and constant nodding, she’s even had a voice coach to deepen her voice, and has said she’ll carry on where johnson left off, as for Kemi, this article doesn’t really convey just how dangerous she is, She thinks schools should teach the benefits of empire, denies colonialism was an issue, and has a bit of an issue with other black people, and she’s not bothered about doxing journalists if they ask awkward questions, typical nasty tory with a chip on her shoulder. Ms Mordaunt… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
26 days ago

Sunak also like Fat Shanks (whose forebears were all shacked up in one building at the poor end of Bournemouth at the beginning of the last century, Johnson was his great grand mother’s maiden name) wholeheartedly believes in an underclass…levelling up with a steam roller

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
26 days ago

Why are we faced with this fiasco again? How mant times over the last few years have we seen this, Cameron to May, May to Johnson and now Johnson to some other useless turd. The Conservative’s annual version of Love Island without the beauty and fit bodies. Come the next GE the country must kick this self-indulgent lot out. Or maybe it’s better we keep them and gain independence quicker.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
25 days ago

Two of them are WEF young leaders, so watch out. Good can only defeat evil if it is very very careful. Not enough attention is payed to this NGO in Cymru. About time you did.

Last edited 25 days ago by I.Humphrys
CJPh
CJPh
25 days ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Which candidates? One of those two will get the nod.

Kevin coakley
Kevin coakley
23 days ago

Great article, hit the nail on the (nodding) head Mr Wilde Smith!

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