ANYONE who still believes the Conservative minority government can yet steer themselves out of their current post-election mess presumably hasn’t yet watched Theresa v Boris.
The BBC documentary, currently available on BBC iPlayer, is given extra relevance as, astonishingly, Boris Johnson remains the bookies favourite to take over as Prime Minister from dead-woman-walking Theresa May.
The programme gives fascinating, but disturbing, insight into the original leadership battle between the two protagonists a year ago which resulted in May claiming the position vacated by David Cameron.
It is given much greater credence by being based on extensive interviews with the teams backing both May and Johnson, plus contributions from Tory big hitters including former leader Iain Duncan Smith and Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan, former cabinet minister under Cameron.
Quite honestly, the decision by these people to co-operative actively with a programme that, without exception, makes a public mockery of them all ranks alongside some of the extraordinary own goals during the leadership campaign.
Johnson, clearly, was plotting his way to number 10 well before Cameron fell on his sword in the light of Remain’s shock European Referendum defeat.
The story of the piece is that he was totally in the box seat to complete his remarkable rise to power – but fell due to a combination of his own incompetence and the almost unparalleled back stabbing of Michael Gove.
At one stage, he appeared to have both Gove and Andrea Leadsom, the more inexperienced minister who played a significant role in the Brexit vote, firmly on side. His team thought wrongly they could conclude a deal with May’s backers that would have all but bankrolled his victory.
May won because all the dominoes fell in her favour. Boris failed to fulfil his promise to confirm a prime position for Leadsom, who then announced her campaign. Then Gove, who comes across totally minus any principles, pulled the plug on Boris hours before he was due to publicly confirm his nomination.
Then Leadsom left May to walk into the job with another mind-boggling gaffe when she tried to claim her motherhood gave her an advantage over her childless rival.
Loughborough voters should consider that their MP first backed Boris, then defected to Gove.
What comes across very clearly amid all the skull doggery – and there was plenty – was that nobody was thinking of the bigger picture, that elephant in the room of the future of the country!
Deals were done to placate political interests and cement unholy alliances that almost make May’s current partnership with the DUP look real.
The bare faced ignorance of it all was breath-taking with the thought that bumbling Boris may yet get a second chance to shuffle his unprincipled way into the hot seat almost beyond belief.
There’s an irony here too. For after profiting from the own goals of her three rivals, May has now produced an incredible one of her own by announcing a General Election she always said wouldn’t call – and performing so very badly.
But let’s not be too keen to see May leave number ten – the alternative could be worse.