Well, we’re down to the last two runners in the Conservative race to Number 10. And does anyone honestly care anymore? The whole thing is as farcical as the EU referendum, the 2017 general election and basically anything major that has happened in British politics for the last two and a half years. We have a parliamentary party without a majority in the House of Commons voting on someone to lead the party through an issue where there is no real consensus that came about from a referendum that was called to cool party tensions, was not legally binding but advisory in nature and returned a marginal result. Yet, those in power insist we continue to smash our collective foot on the gas pedal and careen towards the cliff edge of a no-deal Brexit,
And once again HMS Bloated comes rising from the depths like The Flying Dutchman in Pirates of the Caribbean to make his case for why we should turn over the keys of power to him. While people in the Conservative Party either ignore or erase from their memory banks his complete ineptitude in any ministerial post before, his continual public gaffes, the fact he lies through his teeth to get himself closer to No. 10, switches his position on any and all issues to garner support, has no moral backbone, is a cynical populist and is worryingly cosy with Steve Bannon and an adulterer who is only loyal to himself, others most certainly do not. Johnson has already said publicly that Tory MPs who do not agree with a no deal Brexit will not be asked to serve in his cabinet, which feels dangerously like he will surround himself with ‘yes-men’. This man clearly never believed in the principle of collective responsibility while he was Foreign Secretary but will most certainly demand it of any minister in the cabinet, almost using it as a loyalty test.
His opponent meanwhile has done more to tear the National Health Service asunder than any other Conservative in recent history. Jeremy Hunt is responsible for the struggles the NHS has gone through in the years since the coalition government was formed. Yes, the overall policy was austerity in an ill advised attempt to get the government deficit down as quickly as possible but Hunt didn’t help things during his tenure with the trouble surrounding the new contract for junior doctors springing to mind. And while money has been pledged towards the NHS once again, it’s still nowhere near enough to rectify quickly the damage done during Hunt’s time in charge of the Department of Health. His tenure at the Foreign Office has not been anywhere near as incompetently handled as his predecessor but it hardly inspires confidence in his ability to steer the country through an incredibly difficult time. Hunt has shown his refreshingly dry sense of humour on occasion during this leadership campaign, and he does appear to be more honourable than Johnson, not that that is terribly difficult.
In the end, neither of these gentlemen will have support of the whole country or even of the House of Commons. That the next Prime Minister will be not be chosen via a general election is frankly outrageous. For a party that insist that following through with Brexit is the will of the people and that to block or impede it would be a betrayal of democracy, that doesn’t seem to be terribly democratic.