One influential figure on the centre-left told me recently that he isn’t bothered about who wins the Tory leadership contest. He argued that the tsunami of problems waiting to hit the new leader – rising energy prices, inflation and a creaking NHS, to name but a few – means the Tories will be in trouble regardless of whether it’s Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak who triumphs.
These issues are enough to sink any government, but especially one that has been in power for 12 years.
During that rather strange summer of 2020 I used the phrase ‘the gentle armed robber George Floyd’ in several articles for various publications, but the phrase was often taken out. I had thought it a mild corrective to the seeming beatification of a man who, while having been wrongly killed, was not, to my mind, quite worthy of the retrospective adoration being poured upon him. Nope, there would be no corrective – not about George.
Joe Biden’s week did not get off to a good start. When running for office in 2020 he repeatedly boasted that he was going to ‘shut down the virus’, not the country. And then in the space of a few days last week it looked as if he had managed to achieve his promise, just the opposite way around. The President appears to have shut down the economy while suffering from the virus.
Despite being endlessly vaccinated, the President recently tested positive for Covid.
‘Truss’s campaign to be Britain’s next prime minister,’ wrote one political commentator this week, ‘seems to have unstoppable momentum. She has won the backing of heavyweights Tom Tugendhat, Brandon Lewis and the Chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi.’ Across a range of commentary you will see that word ‘momentum’ used in this sense in the weeks ahead. I am uncomfortable about what drives it.
You may realise that if I were still a member of the Conservative party I would be voting for Rishi Sunak this month.
Most push notifications that pop up on my tablet concern impending catastrophe. But last week, one newsflash made my day. Glory hallelujah, the NHS is closing the Tavistock.
A clatter of tattletales have warned since 2005 that the UK’s only clinic for minors confused about which sex they are – having been encouraged to be confused by British media and their own teachers – was fast-tracking children into often irreversible treatments in the service of ideologically driven ‘gender affirmation’.
‘What’s worse, they’re paying the profits to shareholders,’ said a grey-haired woman ahead of me in the Co-op queue. ‘Bloody shareholders,’ her friend of similar age and class spat back. I guessed they were talking about Centrica, parent of British Gas, which at a time when domestic energy bills are rising 23 times faster than wages (as Frances O’Grady of the TUC puts it) has announced half-year operating profits of £1.