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Something strange is going on


OTHER Prime Ministers have made disastrous mistakes but none has been forced out of office in barely 40 days by their own side. Certainly there was a run on pension funds after the now reversed Kwasi Kwarteng mini-Budget, and some remedial measures were called for, but the overthrow of a new PM?

John Major and Norman Lamont survived the calamities of the ERM and Black Wednesday in 1992 to stagger on for a further five years. James Callaghan and Denis Healey survived the IMF bailout needed in 1976 to rescue the British economy for a further three years, and could conceivably have won another General Election if they’d held their nerve to call one in 1978.

By contrast, Liz Truss has been shown the door having been forced, presumably against her will, to appoint Jeremy Hunt and Grant Shapps, two of her fiercest critics in the Conservative Party at Westminster, to top posts in the government.

I couldn’t help noticing how assured and ready Hunt looked for his new role despite supposedly having been plucked out of nowhere for it, having been definitively beaten in two party leadership elections in the last three years. It was almost as if he was expecting it to happen. He even had his own team of advisers, or should I say minders, handpicked from very senior positions at BlackRock etc (do an internet search for Rupert Harrison) ready to move in with him.

Now, if current speculation is to be believed, we face a fresh leadership contest between Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, the two most senior figures to preside over two years of us being locked in our own homes, telling us how long we can exercise when we’re let out, mandating face nappies, spending all our money on dubious vaccines, not lifting a finger to halt the tidal wave of illegal migration across the Channel and spending millions housing them in 4-star hotels, plus saddling us with the insane Net Zero policies which have led directly to the current energy crisis.

Add to this mix Starmer, leader of our supposed ‘Government in Waiting’. Not only did he support every lockdown measure, he constantly called for longer and harsher ones, including as recently as last Christmas when he called the Government an ‘outlier’ for holding out against the clamour for another one, together with what amounted to vaccine passports which many other governments around the world, including the regional assemblies in Edinburgh and Cardiff, succumbed to. There were measures that at best made no difference to infection rates, and indeed in Scotland and Wales seemed to make those rates worse.

You really couldn’t make it up. As I said to begin with, something strange is going on.

This article appeared in Patrick Clarke’s Column on October 21, 2022, and is republished by kind permission.

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Patrick Clarke
Patrick Clarke
Patrick Clarke was briefly active in politics during the 1970's before leaving to 'get a life'. You can read more articles from Patrick Clarke in his Substack column.

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