By a great effort of will, I am trying to imagine what I would have made of Rishi and Liz if I had ever interviewed them for a job in teaching. Rishi, applying to be Head of Business Education, a job, at my school, held by a series of excellent teachers, which means we would have been looking for someone of a high calibre. However, that said, teachers of Business Education were always in very short supply and historically we just struck lucky. So I expect Rishi – affable if slightly smooth, cheerful and not unattractive, nicely dressed and, of course, having the twin advantages of being a multi-millionaire and coming from an ethnic minority, would get the job. And thus, I suppose, it should be with his current job application.
Over the piece, the applications were disappointing, with several of the candidates really lacking the qualifications necessary. Mr Tugendhat would have done fine with the CCF and Ms Mordaunt had a certain winning way with her but really…Head of Department? I don’t think so, not yet. I would appoint Ms Braverman, but only as an inpatient at an asylum. I think I would like Jeremy Hunt, but other voices would have told me not to trust him, and they might well have been right. I like the look of that Ms Badenoch, but she didn’t really seem to understand the liberal traditions of the school. And then there is Miss Truss.
You know these moments in film or TV where something really terrible happens and leaves you slack-jawed? There was a moment in Mare of Easttown, which I only caught up with recently [brilliant btw] which left me shouting at the television. In a similar vein, I cannot believe I have lived to see the day where someone like Liz Truss could be PRIME MINISTER. It’s like a comedy film where the well-meaning cleaning lady becomes the President of the USA except a) I don’t think she’s well-meaning and b) inevitably in that film (think of ‘Being There’) the cleaner would do the job really well, whereas Ms Truss will be a disaster, not I expect due to a lack of hard work or will, but simply because she so obviously just isn’t up to it. So many of us did not like Mrs Thatcher – stuck up, bossy, out of touch, profoundly English. I don’t believe that Mrs T (who if nothing else, was clever, and believed in what she said) would have had Liz Truss as her personal dresser, far less her Foreign Secretary. It feels like only yesterday that the world was saying that Theresa May couldn’t hack it. Ha! How decent and clever and honest she seems now, next to the shower of s***e that replaced her.
Liz just seems so…vacant. I hesitate to use the word ‘stupid’ but there…I’ve used it. And yet, can she be that stupid? She’s got a degree in PPE from Oxford. Yes, okay, okay, remember I was heavily involved in school and university debating, so of course I know that there are plenty of people with that degree who live their life in the smoke and mirrors of clever chat. But she doesn’t even have the clever chat. I wonder indeed, if some clever Spad somewhere has suggested to her that appearing like an earnest, humourless, tight-lipped anxious woman of limited intellect might appeal to the old, white, male Tories who are the only people allowed to decide who our next Prime Minister will be. And of course, she might win because she’s suggesting…cutting taxes…oh right, yes, that’s what we need. They don’t do Economics at National 4, but if they did, the kids would all know that cutting taxes right now is not going to work.
Nicola (actually clever, actually principled, actually articulate, actually something resembling a national leader) must be praying for Liz Truss to win. She’s not even amusing like Boris; old ladies aren’t going to trust her because of her hair and bumbling ways. Rishi, well Rishi’s got plenty that the First Minister can get her teeth into, not least the lack of personal taxes paid by his family into errr…the Exchequer of which he’s Chancellor, but he seems to have a wee bit of intellectual gravitas. Ms Truss is the mother at Parents’ Night who just can’t get the subject choice columns and she’s going to be PM because some old guys (who, let’s be honest might just be a teeny bit racist anyway) think they need an extra £20 a month. It’s a scandal, an affront to real politicians, and it makes my teeth grind in a manner unsuitable for the age of my teeth. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh.