I missed the channel 4 debate on Sunday night I was out being a dad with my wonderful daughter enjoying a rather splendid Tapas feast in a very nice Spanish restaurant in Mosley. However, I did manage to watch the highlights such as they were as selected by various news channels. The first thing that struck me was a woman who had dressed as a chicken, this was a protest at Boris Johnson who had refused to take part in the debate, apparently as advised by his support team. Of course there was an empty podium with his photo behind it and an ongoing offer from the debate compare that he was welcome to attend at anytime. Instead BBC1 news showed him staying at home and having a take away delivered.
Now, do’nt get me wrong I enjoy a good old take away as much as the next man, but to make that a priority, rather than stand before the people of Britain on national TV, and debate your claim to be the next Prime Minister, suggests to me that Boris might just have his priorities wrong, or that is one hell of a fine take away place. His team argued that he saw no benefit on a blue on blue skirmish. And more importantly he is way ahead of anyone else anyway so why bother. After all he does not need to persuade the electorate that he should be the next PM, only several hundred Tory MP’s, and under 180,00 middle aged plus white men that he is the man for the job.
As for the five who did turn up, well from what I read and observed it was as Rory Stewart said a machismo affair with undeliverable Brexit promise made time and again, often underpinned with fantasy tax cuts with no obvious source of funding to pay for them. Jeremy Hunt came over as a bit of a school bully, calling out Boris for not being there. Michael Gove did ok but yet again had to answer for his sins of drug taking. Dominic Rabb appeared to me as quite insincere (Methinks he doth protest too much), and dare I say it seemed more drab than Rabb. The Jav (Sajid Javid, Home Secretary and my local MP) for me just does not come across as credible, he has the sincerity of a game show host, and even worse I can never actually remember anything that he ever says.
Interestingly, the only candidate who I have any time for what so ever, is the rank outsider Rory Stewart. No one knew who the hell he was before Mrs May decided that it was time for her to step down as PM, and join the ABBA tribute band she always dreamed about. This chap has emerged from the shadows being honest and telling the truth about Brexit and everything else as well. Articulate, funny, highly educated and respected (ex Eton, of course, Oxford and Harvard, he even delivered his second child at home ) A little gander into Wikipedia revealed a really interesting man, and dare I say it a man of principle and integrity, and he is a Conservative.
Of course he has as much chance of winning this sham coronation as I have, but, more importantly he has staked his claim after the court Jester Boris has been exposed for the real man that he is. Buffoonery is a front for some nasty human characteristics, including being sacked twice for dis-honesty, and even more worrying, attempting with a journalist friend of his to have a man beaten up. And of course his racist views on various skin colours, nations and of course Scousers are widely documented. Do not get me wrong I have enjoyed his comical turn of phrase, but he has always struck me as having a large dollop of Flashman the notorious school bully from Tom Browns schooldays for those old enough to recall the book or film.
So, as the jockeying commences amongst those who want to curry favour with team Boris we can only hope that a credible contender emerges from the shadows of the remaining hopefuls. Gove, Hunt, Rabb, Javid, and Stewart. For me there is only one decent contender and that is a man who spent a short time as a commissioned officer in the Black Watch Regiment, and was also reputedly a spy for MI6, and has written some outstanding travel books( with talk of a film being made with a Hollywood A lister playing the man himself). And for me the icing on the cake, a man who gave a speech in the House of Commons that was reputedly one of the finest ever given. And the subject of this masterclass in oratory was would you believe Hedgehogs. Truly, his man should be the Prime Minister, a giant amongst small men.