The next Tory Prime Minister
The Maybot is dead. She clings on, God does she cling on, but at some stage she will be dethroned and shuttle off her political coil. So who’s next?
Our sane readers may well wonder why anyone would ever want the job of PM, particularly at this time of Brexit madness. But of course to want to even just be an MP these days, any candidate must possess that perfect concoction of bullet proof arrogance, a deep capacity for utter self-delusion and a superhumanly overactive ego: exhibit A - Gavin Williamson, until 1 May Private Pike our illustrious Defence Secretary. PM candidates need all these horrible attributes on steroids, and then some.
Readers may recall that last year we called the leadership for ‘The Saj’. Time has moved on and that is now not so clear cut. He has underwhelmed as a rather wooden Home Secretary and leadership candidate, and others have upped their game, viz Dominic Raab. You need more than an eye-catching back story it seems. And as the contest begins to hot up, other factors are beginning to play in.
First, remember that the most important electorate is Tory MPs themselves. They get to decide the two candidates put before the 100,000 old aged pensioners Tory Party membership. This tends to rule out the loners with big egos who have a very small band of supporting outriders – David Davis or Johnny Mercer anyone?
Second, the winner is likely to be a Brexiteer of some kind, for obvious reasons. And even if a Remainer did somehow manage to slip through the MP filter, the membership would be highly unlikely to vote for them. So that kind of rules out Hammond, Rudd, etc.
Third, there are those who… hmmm, how shall we put this…whose ego may not have entirely caught up with reality. Their bathroom mirror tells them something each morning that is kind of different to what any other humanoid might necessarily see.
So where do all the main protagonists sit right now:
Already ruled themselves out – Ruth Davidon, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Tom Tugendhat
Dead as dodos – Stephen Crabb (too much sexting), Priti Patel (too much Israel), Kemi Badenoch (too much hacking of Harriet Harman), David Davis (too unloved by everyone except himself), Amber Rudd and Phillip Hammond (too much Remain), Michael Gove (too much backstabbing), Gavin Williamson (too much leaking)
Unknowns with no hope – Damian Hinds, Rishi Sunak, Lucy Frazer, Suella Braverman (yes, us too, some of them are not even well known in their own homes!)
Children pretending to be adults – Matt Hancock, Rory Stewart, James Cleverly, Johnny Mercer, Ester McVey, Andrea Leadsom, Liz Truss and James Brokenshire (really, all of you, just grow up!)
Serious players – Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab
Wildcard – The enigma that is Boris. At DI we still struggle to see this. If he ever gets into the last two, he will win for sure – God help all of us. But he is just so unloved by the overwhelming majority of Tory MPs, especially after having failed so dismally to reinvent himself as Foreign Secretary after catastrophically imploding in the previous leadership election.