It’s none of my business …

… because you’ve got to be a member of the Conservative Party to be able to vote in choosing its new leader. But I can have an opinion.

The good news of course is that Boris Johnson is going, not quite gone yet but going. He’s been a disgrace to the office he’s held and an embarrassment as a representative of this country on the world stage. It’s right that he goes but ‘be careful of what you wish for’.

I’m not saying that none of those lining up to replace him are any better than he is but you’ve got to worry about the future of this country when you see what’s in their manifestos because they’re all some variation on taxes, intolerance and Brexit. And of course they would be because they’re the hot buttons of their electorate, the members of the Conservative Party.

Taxes: you tear your hair out of course but lower taxes mean less money to spend on schools, hospitals and, it you must, defence. Nobody’s talking about his, except perhaps Sunak, there’s just this blind faith that somehow the cuts in taxes will magically stimulate the economy and result in more income for the Treasury and not less. With the economy trending downwards these cuts can only be funded by Austerity 2.0.

Intolerance: Tories have never been comfortable with people who are different whether that’s a difference in race, sexuality or economic circumstance. That’s why you get this barely concealed racism, the unnecessary ‘war on woke’ and the barbaric Rwanda policy. There was a time that Theresa May called the party out for being nasty. Now it seems to revel in such an adjective and even Ms May was on board with her ‘hostile’ immigration policy.

Brexit: you’d think that just one of the candidates would buy into the notion that when you’re in a hole you stop digging. Brexit has been ‘done’ and it’s causing (predictable) damage to our economy. If you’re going around saying that whatever’s been done we’re going to do more of you will just pile more pain onto more misery. But that doesn’t matter and all the candidates seem to want to be more macho than the rest in cutting us adrift from Europe.

I might have some sympathy if some of the candidates would at least talk about the bigger issues which should be front and central of any policy. Issues like Climate Change, where’s Alok Sharma when you need him, NHS funding, energy security and the cost of living squeeze. And whatever happened to levelling up? Is that going to be sorted by cutting taxes, being more intolerant and pushing Brexit further? Methinks not.

I despair. How long do we have to wait before we can have a general election?

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