It’s their party and they’ll cry if they want to

It’s party conference season, which is usually an exercise in partisan backslapping and preaching to the converted.

That’s unlikely to be the case this week in Birmingham as the Conservatives try to deal with the fallout from the electoral hara kiri that has gone on over the past week courtesy of the new PM and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Tory MPs had been told that any of them who voted against the policy to remove the cap on bankers’ bonuses and give tax breaks to the richest, which has sent the pound into freefall, when it is presented to Parliament will have the whip removed.

Yet two former cabinet ministers had already spoken out against it and many others who can see their job prospects disappearing into the sunset like a killer cowboy on the Yellowstone ranch were set to do the same in a mass rebellion that would make the removal of Boris Johnson look like a minor tiff.

On Sunday, the new PM appeared on Laura Kuenssberg’s programme on BBC1 looking like she had spent the previous evening standing in front of the mirror practising her stern face while listening to Margaret Thatcher’s “The lady’s not for turning” speech from the 1980 Conservative Party conference.

She even used the old Labour excuse from the last election that the policy was sound, she just hadn’t explained it sufficiently for us idiots to understand.

Meanwhile, Kwasi Kwarteng was also sticking rigidly to his guns over how the way forward was to make the rich richer so that the rest of us could eat the scraps that fall from their sumptuous table.

There was even the added insult of dismissively telling people who are struggling to manage or on benefits to just “get a better paid job.”

And that was supposed to be the general tone of this week’s column.

Until Monday morning that is.

It turns out that after it became apparent late on Sunday that tax cuts for the wealthiest was not going to get through a Commons vote, the lady, and her henchman, are indeed “for turning” after all, choosing humiliation now rather than later.

And all the peasants in the kingdom shouted hurrah.

Last week I described the first act of the Liz and Kwasi show as a “mess” when my first choice had been a word beginning with “cluster…”

After living with it for a week, I decided on a better description for this disastrous attempt to impose trickledown economics upon a nation where people are facing real desperation in a cost of living crisis not seen in generations – pure evil.

Now, instead of spending a few days blindly applauding and cheering every piece of empty rhetoric that comes from the dais, the Tory faithful could well present a hostile audience when the two lead protagonists of this cluster… take the stage.

Almost makes me want to watch it unfold.


Boris must be stifling a wry smile at the moment.

Be careful what you wish for.


Funniest moment of the week: Lewis Hamilton riding a motorised scooter in the pit lane at the Singapore Grand Prix while his physio and constant shadow Angela Cullen runs behind him. Ooh I’ve got an itchy ear Angela, can you scratch it? Yes boss.

What’s going on there? None of the other drivers have an Angela tending to their every need.

Stupid TV quiz answers of the week

Tipping Point:

Q: Equestrian Life is a publication for the riders and owners of which animal?

A: Dogs

Q: Australia’s third largest island is named after which native marsupial?

A: Kiwi


Edward Case