The obituaries for Theresa May’s brief premiership have been written, and the predictions made not only for who’ll be our new Prime Minister, but also for the demise of the Tories, the rise of the Lib Dems and the end of our party political system.
As a paid up remoaner, and a supposed member of the metropolitan liberal elite I can only watch the Westminster shambles with a mix fear, futility and fantasies that we can find a leader who can bring a semblance of unity and pull this country back from the brink.
With both the Conservative and LibDem leaderships up for grabs, I indulged in a little sport of snog, marry, avoid to see who should take charge. For a bit of fun – or hope – I added Labour into this game of thrones (without dragons or nudity).
Snog – Sticking to the declared candidates, who could I live with? Rory Stewart is an obvious voice of reason, but he has no chance, so you are left with Jeremy Hunt or Matt Hancock. It’s not very appetising but at least they might stop the no deal bandwagon.
Marry – Can we bring back Ken Clarke? Or failing that, the voice of reason - Dominic Grieve.
Avoid – Where do you begin? Boris, Gove, Dominic Raab, Ester McVey or, heaven help us, Andrea Leadsom. It’s like choosing between strangulation or drowning.
Snog – Either of the two favourites – Jo Swinson or Ed Davey – would be acceptable but Swinson feels like a breath of fresh air, has shown herself as a good campaigner and isn’t tainted by being part of the Cameron collation.
Marry – I don’t understand why slapping her ex-boyfriend in a Scottish hotel should put a break on Leyla Moran’s career.
Avoid – Please LibDems, chose a leader you can get behind and stick with. All this chopping and changing does you no favours.
Snog – Clearly, we’d be talking about a post Corbyn era so you need someone who might unite the party and produce a coherent policy on Brexit. Tom Watson is positioning himself as the Moses to lead Labour to the land of milk and honey, but he does appear too nakedly ambitious and is prone to leading with his mouth. Kier Starmer might also be acceptable but he’s shown himself to be weak in the corridors of power, failing to commit Labour to a policy on the most important political issue of our generation.
Marry - Much as I love Jess Phillips, she’s made too many enemies on the left, and I fear that also might be true of Yvette Cooper. But as someone who has shown a strong grasp of the issues, she is an intellectual giant in a house of pygmies.
Avoid - I think we can discount Dianne Abbott, and John McDonnell keeps saying he doesn’t want the role (we’ve heard that before). Rebecca Long-Bailey is positioning herself as a new generation candidate, but her left wing bandwagon jumping is becoming tiresome, and her nickname Wrong-Bailey is starting to stick.