Saturday, 22nd October, 2022

[Day 950]

As the weather forecasters had predicted, today dawned as a beautiful bright autumn day which is just as well in view of what we had in mind for today. After we had breakfasted, we went to collect our newspaper and then made our way to the park where we anticipated that we might meet up wih some of our park friends. This we did and we met up with Seasoned World Traveller first of all and then our University of Birmingham friend secondly. As we settled down for a coffee, the former reached into his rucsack and pulled out the bar of chocolate which I had now won in a bet. I predicted a few weeks ago that Liz Truss would be gone in three weeks time and won my bet. I divided the chocolate into two and was about to offer half of it back to my friend but he wouldn’t take it as he is abstaining from chocolate as part of his healthy life style so the rest of us shared the chocolate between us. Naturally, we had a lot of discussion how the next day or so was going to pan out politically as the three probable candidates for the Tory party leadership are busy securing nominations to attempt to reach the high threshold of 100 nominations each by 2.00pm on Monday. We decided to cook a fairly early lunch as I particularly had in mind that I wanted to get the lawns cut today if I possibly could. Fortunately, we got the lunch prepared and eaten and the washing up done so that I could start the lawn cutting promptly at 2.30. I was pleased to get this done by 4.00pm which gave me a little bit of time to descend into Mog’s Den and to liberate one or two of the larger apples to eat during the week. Having got the lawns cut this late, there will be one last cut this year which I generally time around November 5th or bonfire night. On the the last cut of the season, I take pains to drain the petrol tank completely and also to empty the oil from the oil sump. Normally speaking it is getting dark when I do this as I have to run the engine of the lawn mower until the petrol tank is exhausted but I will try and short circuit the process a little this year by getting myself a petrol siphon.

The whole day today has been dominated by the rumours of how the various contenders for the Tory party leadership are doing to secure their nominations. It looks as though Rishi Sunak has easily reached the minimum required for the nomination of 100 supporters. But the really critical question is whether Boris Johnson can reach the required minimum number – there are some commentators who felt that he might not. But now in the late afternoon, some of Boris’ supporters are claiming that they have the required number ‘in the bag’ but this does not match up with the numbers reported on the various spreadsheets in the Main Street Media. Of course, there might be a certain amount of ‘spinning’ in all of this but less us assume, for the purposes of argument, that Johnson does exceed the required minimum. We could end up a scenario in which Rishi secures the nominations or votes of one half of the party but Boris Johnson only about a third. When these two choices are put out to the wider electorate in the constituency parties, the received wisdom is that Boris Johnson will almost certainly win and therefore be back in Downing Street by Friday. This prospect is filling various parts of the political elite with both fury and dismay. The editor of the Conservative party website, ConservativeHome, is of the view that the Tories may be engaged in a ‘spiral dance of death’ as a Johnson election could lead to the total annihilation of the Conservative party. Having been rejected by a majority of the party quite recently and ejected from Downing Street, the prospect of a PM voted for by only about a third of the Parliamentary party means that we are in a Jeremy Corbin/Lix Truss type of scenario again. The Conservative party may well be ungovernable and it could be that a chunk of MPs might vote with the Opposition to precipitate a General Election (which three quarters of the population want, by the way) Any legislation might be impossible to pass as rebellions will be widespread and a period of massive instability is the prospect before us which can only be alleviated by the calling of a General Election. The Tories are trying to avoid this like the plague as it will mean the practical wiping out of the Tory Party which it will take some two or three parliaments to reverse, if ever. The ultimate irony about all of this is that the greater the mess that the Truss administration is judged to have left behind and more the Labour Party pulls ahead in the opinion polls, the more there is a call from some (uninformed) sections of the electorate to ‘bring back Boris, to sort it all out’