On Leadership Farce and Tory Debacle

They’ve had twelve years and the country is on its knees. Now they are parading as if they are the solution to the crises they have created on every front imaginable. Takes some balls I suppose.

Whether it’s PM4PM, Ready for Rishi?, TiT or whatever awful slogan Liz Truss has come up with, the poisoning of public discourse and the mainstreaming of disinformation is front and centre dominating and distorting any serious political debate. But now its backfired terribly and hilariously.

After weeks of wall-to-wall media coverage, as if this was somehow a democratic event that would warrant impartiality guidelines to be thrown out the window, the Tories have suddenly realised their toxic roadshow is actually just a terrible advert for a terrible bunch of people.

Having shifted the entire focus of policy onto a political agenda that basically says that Brexit was a good idea and climate change is unimportant, that workers pay should be suppressed and a Scottish referendum forever banned, the ‘candidates’ — who share pretty much all the same political outlook — were reduced to personal abuse.

Now, having been allowed to dominate every news outlet as if they are credible people and this is a credible process, they’ve just switched it off withdrawing from the live Sky leaders debate tomorrow night. The media are utterly complicit in all of this.

As the media debates wore on it became clear that they couldn’t resist trashing each others deplorable records and tragi-comic time in office.

There was a poignant moment on Sunday night when the ‘candidates’ were asked if they’d have Boris Johnson in their cabinet. No-one raised their hand, but trusty old Liz Truss attempted a feeble spluttering apology. There are loosely the following ‘camps’: the “Treasury establishment”, otherwise known as Rishi Sunak, the “Boris establishment”, which is falling in behind Liz Truss, then the Penny Mordaunt juggernaut, plus the unfortunate Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat. The likely result is that it goes down to Sunak via Mordaunt with the racist Conservative party members switching for the Thatcher-impersonator PM4PM rather than Rishi Sunak.

This could be further disaster for the UK, England and Scotland (not necessarily in that order). Mordaunt is socially liberal (these things are relative) but an aggressively orthodox Tory on economic policy. The combination of navy-background and cos-play Maggie will be catnip to the party faithful. She’s your next PM.

But the real tragedy and farce isn’t the Tories turning the media off and on like a faucet, the real tragedy and farce is the media failing to nail them to the wall about the costs of living crisis and the ecological crisis both spilling out into your worlds after twelve years of festering Tory intransigence.

As the candidates crowd each other out to denounce NetZero and ignore the biggest challenge facing our species it comes as no surprise at all that the frontrunner has been stuffing her pockets with cash from prominent climate deniers.

The trade minister has previously received £20,000 from First Corporate Consultants, a company run by Terence Mordaunt, who chaired the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) between 2019 and 2021.

Open Democracy tells us: “Earlier this year, the GWPF’s campaigning arm Net Zero Watch published two reports claiming that there was “no evidence of a climate crisis” and arguing that the UK should increase production of fossil fuels while phasing out renewables. The group says its aim is “to provide robust and reliable analysis of climate and energy issues”.

The entire process of the leadership challenge has just amplified everything that is broken about British politics and media.



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