So that was quick

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Imagine it yourself: Boris Johnson resigns and waits in the wings for his successor to screw up. She duly screws up and Johnson steps back into the limelight to save the day! Expect Donald Trump to be licking his chops over the prospect. It’s the kind of thing that makes for great theatre.

Except of course we’re talking about the fate of lives and homes and jobs and not the internal dramas of a bunch of tin-pot dictators. But these titanic jerks seldom take those kinds of things into consideration.

Well, whatever Boris Johnson must be thinking right now (or Donald Trump for that matter), after surviving a scant four and a half Scaramuccis, Liz Truss is gone. She has resigned as head of the Conservative Party and will be replaced as prime minister within seven days by Parliament. There’s a great deal of speculation on who will be her replacement, but touts are saying it’s probably going to be former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, the candidate I (reluctantly) endorsed to begin with.

If by some miracle, however, they should resurrect Boris you can bet that Trump will be thinking about Grover Cleveland and his two nonconsecutive terms as president. He will see Johnson’s fate as a dark harbinger of his own. It’s the kind of desperate thinking people like Trump often engage in when all is lost and they are headed for disaster.

As a curious footnote to all this, though, Johnson’s hero Winston Churchill had something similar happen to him with completely opposite results. Lord Halifax stepped aside as a candidate for prime minister to let Churchill take over from Neville Chamberlain in 1940 with the perfectly reasonable expectation that Churchill would screw up and that he (Halifax) could step in to save the day himself. Naturally, that never happened. But history can sometimes make for ironic and bizarre expectations.

Whomever Parliament picks for the successor of Liz Truss, they hold the future of the country in their hands and they’d better get it right this time. Britain is in dire economic straits thanks to Ms.Truss and her short but disastrous premiership, and we cannot allow another ultra Conservative adventurer to take the reins of power.

Even so there’s a lot of grumbling. Just as in America, ultra-right Conservatives make for lousy leaders, particularly in tough economic times. Rishi Sunak is seen as “too moderate” for a lot of the far right Conservatives who still want to see most of the goodies handed out to the super rich. Liz Truss was doing exactly that and they loved her for it, they just hated the way she publicly screwed up while simultaneously screwing the little guy.

   

But even the most shamelessly greedy and corrupt leader cannot endure the ill will of her own party, and in 44 short days Ms. Truss cultivated a mountain of ill will. All we, the powerless people, can do is sit back and watch what new conservative political hack someone else picks. This will be the fifth time in a row a prime minister has been chosen without an election, and it reminds me yet again how, at the end of the day, Democracy really is the best way forward. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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