Friday 21 June 2024

Oblivion Project back on track


For a few days last week, Sunak’s Tory Oblivion Project was put on hold as he trotted off to a remote corner of Italy for a G7 meeting and then headed up to Switzerland for a meeting on Ukraine. In his absence, there was a serious danger that his project could stall, but he’s safely back in charge now, and making up for lost time. Losing his Campaigns Director to the already simmering betting scandal was a masterstroke. That should certainly help to ensure that his enemies within the Tory Party – the whole of the party, basically – don’t have much chance of derailing his project. It’s made him so “incredibly angry”in his own words – that he’s going to do precisely nothing about the two candidates involved (so far; who knows what else is yet to emerge, given that the bets appear to have been part of a much larger surge) until after the election a probe by outside bodies is completed, despite the fact that a policeman involved was rapidly suspended in an unusually swift response from the Met. England failing to win a football match might have been outside his control, but was undoubtedly a lucky boost to his little project.

Finally this week came the news for which he has been anxiously waiting: the polling is now so bad that even his own seat could fall to the opposition. So far, it’s only one poll, and others are still showing that he might be put on the spot about his insincere pledge to serve a full five years, but there’s still almost two weeks left for the other polls to confirm such an outcome. He needs to get the final total below 53 seats to be reasonably certain of regaining his own freedom of movement across the Atlantic, although achieving his true target of zero looks as though it might still be just beyond his grasp. But there’s an increasing chance that the next Tory leader will be chosen by putting all – or maybe even just both – the remaining names in a hat and pulling one out rather than bothering with an election process. All in all, he’s had a good week. He can only hope that there are no further international distractions to take him away from the campaign trail during the limited time remaining.

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