As soon as it was over everyone turned around and wondered why they’d put up with it for so long. That which seemed impossible now seems inevitable. That which seemed invincible now seems intolerable.
That we are in the last days of Theresa May’s rule sees clear. What also seems obvious is that as the acrid smoke of Grenfell Tower clears, the putrid Britain of spiv landlords profiting from sub-standard housing seems as exposed and anachronistic as top hat and tails.
Grenfell speaks to much wider social problems. The disaster reflects terribly on a society where profit, privatisation, deregulation and contempt for the poor have become defining features. The anger is palpable and growing, and huge anti-Tory protests are planned.
It’s wildly obvious that Theresa May cannot continue.
She won’t be allowed to lead another election and its extremely doubtful she can lead the Brexit negotiations. Her polling is through the floor. Britain Elects reports: Public opinion towards… May: Favourable: 29% (-13) Unfavourable: 63% (+16) Corbyn: Fav: 46% (+10) Unfav: 46% (-4) (via
But as the famously fratricidal Tory party looks about the Cabinet table, the question is who could replace her and fight-off the now lugubriously confident Corbyn, who finds himself surrounded by his former enemies, most of whom have sheathed their weapons at least for long enough to submit their CVs.
May looks like a grotesque figure, haunted by her own failure, brutally exposed, a leader in hiding. She’s like a gothic figure, a Bride of Frankenstein comprised of the social conscience of Margaret Thatcher and the grace and charm of Rosa Klebb. Marina Hyde calls her “our bloodied Prom Queen”.
Who will replace her?
Amber Rudd lacks clout. Ruth Davidson lacks a constituency. Philip Hammond is charmless. He’s like a male version of Theresa May with less expensive trousers. Michael Gove can’t even clap convincingly. There’s only one way this is going. There’s only one man with the money, the connections and the ruthlessness to go for it. The Conservatives will take a knee-jerk reaction to Maybot’s introverted communication nightmare and jump for Good Old Boris. They are oblivious to the fact that he appears obnoxious to the general public and the mood of the country is not for another oafish Bullingdon Club boy.
In their delusion that the issue is purely personal they will try and knife their leader and propel Boris into the limelight. Where May seems nervous introverted and cautious, Boris appears bold confident and spontaneous. But he is also a gaff-factory with more skeletons in the cupboard than a Scooby-Doo episode and a personal back-catalogue of sinister ill-will that reads like an Edgar Allen-Poe novel.
So it will be Boris and he will fail and Labour will win and it will be funny.
The entire British political elite is teetering on the brink of spectacular failure because it thinks that the answer is Boris Johnson, Arlene Foster and Vince Cable.They actually thinks that’s credible.
Made in (Kensington and) Chelsea
The mood says this is a big mistake.
— Fiona Rutherford (@Fi_Rutherford) June 15, 2017
But if Corbyn wins it will be a pyrrhic victory.
Like Obama he will inherit his predecessors shambles. In America it was a broken economy, here it is a mountain of debt and a Brexit fiasco. He will be surrounded and hounded by Britain’s tabloid press who are angry that their power is on the wane as an entire generation just bypasses them for more reliable, less toxic sources of information.
This will be a test for the Labour Party, who shouldn’t forget the vitriol of their own right flank. Don’t let the wolf back in because times are going to get hard.
The last few hours has seemed like a two-decade-long backlog of resentment has been unleashed. The housing crisis lies at the epicentre of a society disfigured by inequality, low pay and insecurity. The political forces that created this culture of contempt, this Shirebrook Britain may be about to pay the price. And then, amidst serious social unrest and political upheaval, along comes the biggest foreign crisis of our generation. The “Brexit Dept” today confirmed talks will start in Brussels on Monday, even though there’s no government, no plan, no aims and a Prime Minister too scared to debate with Tim Fallon.