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Ideas & Observations

We need an election, not another ride on the Tory merry-go-round

So the Westminster roulette wheel spins again.

With busted flush Liz Truss having put all her chips on a punt that brought her entire house down, we’re watching once more to see whose number comes up.

At the time of writing, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak was the apparent unifying figure the Conservatives had identified to stitch their ragtag outfit back together.

Which is fine, but for the absolute bloody gall of the whole situation.

This is the party, remember, that has spent the last few years – particularly from the beginning of Boris Johnson’s era – doing a great job of tearing the country apart.

This is the party, which having seen a Prime Minister leave in utter disgrace, was able to choose another without the electorate’s involvement.

And now, having made such a colossally terrible choice in Truss, it has had another go – with Johnson, inexplicably, part of the conversation.

It’s like watching a gambler who just can’t stop, who has grabbed someone else’s chips for another go in a moment of utter panic and misguided belief that the next pull on the one-arm bandit will deliver fortune.

Democracy is democracy, and the party is playing within the house rules, but, as we’ve seen, their favourite numbers aren’t coming up, and the more political capital they’ve spent trying to get a winner, the poorer the country has become.

We heard a lot about the metaphorical reset button during COVID-19, but if there was ever a time to find a real one, and wipe things clean, that moment has arrived.

Liz Truss was never the answer to the UK’s ills, and Johnson, simply by his nature, was always going to balls things up.

And that is why we need a general election.

The country has had enough. Enough of a Prime Minister doing as he pleased, enough of his replacement making a complete hash of things, enough of a party being given yet another go.

What happens if Sunak fails? Do we fire up the merry-go-round yet again, and watch as ministers line up behind one candidate before dramatically – and conveniently – changing their tune at the 11th hour, when their preferred choice is bounced out of proceedings?

In the short-term, of course, we need to hear what the former Chancellor has to say.

After having the last few weeks to tell everyone, ‘I told you so’, he now has the opportunity to put his policies into action – and he’s got to make sure his numbers come in.

Because if they don’t, then we get a repeat of Truss’ tenure.

And as we saw then, nobody wins.

Words: Steven Hugill, editor of North East Times