Finally, if disingenously, cabinet ministers have had enough. Why it takes l'affaire Pincher, a trivial and sordid little occasion, to precipitate matters is a bit of a puzzle, but here we are. A Geoffrey Howe / Nigel Lawson moment; and it's off to the bookies for MSM editors everywhere. Of the runners & riders I noted here less than a month ago, Mordaunt appears to have risen to the top just now. And Starmer's puppetmaster will be hoping and anticipating there's more than one Big Vacancy in the offing as the dominos fall. That strategy of simply being there looks better than ever.
... Johnson is always going to self-destruct: possibly sooner rather than later: the key is to be in position for when it happens ...
So what happens now. My guesses:
- Boris, being copper-bottomed shameless and utterly desperate, not least for money but also for fame and glory, will not quickly see his way to the exit
- The remaining Cabinet ministers will be in agonies of indecision. Has Sunak stolen a march on them all and restored his earlier, pre 'non-dom moneybags' standing? Or does the rule about wielding the knife hold good?
- The 1922 Committee, proven to be able to act with lightning speed when the mood takes it, will move into permanent session, making it clear they have the power to change the rules in whatever manner they choose (just watch them)
- Team Boris (which exists, and will also be pretty desperate now) will have been up all night plotting his next moves. They may be fairly adroit, in a last-chance sort of way. Expect to see him abroad very soon (he is scheduled to be in Poland next week, and there may be ways of advancing this), wrapped in the Ukrainian flag again. Mention of tax cuts was near-instantaneous. Expect also to see hints that if directly threatened, he'll bring down the pillars of the temple in some unspecified way.
We must thank the Lord there is no UK equivalent of the Presidential Pardon, or there'd be no saying what else he might do.
Have at it!