Boris Johnson’s return. Operation Wrecking Ball

July 26, 2022

It’s a dream. A nightmare. Conservatives wake up this morning bathed in sweat, but it’s not a nightmare. It’s not fake news.

Return of the undead. Team Boris has launched a warning attack on the day Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss were preparing for the first WrestleMania battle for the crown vacated by Boris Johnson.
‘What vacancy?’ cried Jacob Greased Mogg, his long-time cuts manager.
‘They tried to steal his crown’, sobbed Dobbin, his overwrought corner-woman.
The cunning plan is revealed in The Sun, an out-of-hours drinking den favoured by derelicts and conservative lawbreakers:

A Bring Back Boris petition was close to reaching 10,000 Tory members yesterday, as anger mounts over the ousting of the PM. At least 9,150 true blues want Bojo’s name to be included on their ballots, alongside leadership contenders Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

It’s been organised by two ultra-BoJo loyalists – the multimillionaire Tory peer and donor Lord Crud, and ex-MEP David Campbell-Flagman

Lord Crud raged: ‘The ousting of Boris Johnson as prime minister by a minority of MPs is deeply anti-democratic. It defies the will of the country and the Conservative Party members who elected him. It amounts to a coup. I am ashamed this can happen in Britain, the birthplace of modern democracy.’

Meanwhile in an equally dubious diner off the M6, two figures are taking an early breakfast in a nearly deserted Motorway service station.

‘So we agree, then?’, the elegantly dressed man said.

His beautifully coiffured companion reluctantly nodded. ‘This baby’s not for turning. No, no, no!’

The emotion in her words sent an eavesdropping spy from the Sun ducking behind the returned tray counter. Operation wrecking ball has begun.

The haunting words of Miley Cyrus are piping out of the intercom.

I came in like a wrecking ball

I never hit so hard in love

All I wanted was to break your walls

All you ever did was was wreck me

[You can listen to the podcast of this post including my Karaoke debut at


The Virtuous Book Club. Help us suggest a name

July 22, 2022

Catherine Hull our super scribe and editor of our newsletter from Everyday Creativity suggested that TudoRama should form its own book club. I like the idea a lot.To use the expression suggested at the foundation of our Podcast

Listen to the podcast here.

we are becoming a community of poddlers starting to create a podcasting community. This will be supported by the long-established blog Leaders we Deserve, and its offspring Everyday Creativity.

We already know our subscribers have a love of reading. So, as a first step to founding our virtual bookclub we need a name. My first idea The Virtuous Book Club.
My second thought, that in the spirit of a creative community, we should invite our wider network to come up with a better name.
So suggestions welcomed.

Then there’s the choice of book. Tell us about a book you are reading and why you like it.

Thank you for your continuing support and contributions,


Choosing a new Kitchen Cabinet: Sunshine Sultanas threatens to return

July 21, 2022

I fell asleep watching a debate on choosing a new leader to succeed the ousted Boris Johnson. My last waking thought must have been influenced by the candidates and their lively jousts. The whole performance reminds be of some ghastly game show, a combination of Strictly Come Dancing, I’m a Celebrity GMOUH, The Apprentice, and Love Island. There are the manipulated interactions, and the trap-door voting systems arranged by those sitting in judgement.

In my dream, I become a a game master involved in selecting from the various animated ingredients the on who would become the prime ingredient in my kitchen cabinet. The candidates are being invited to discuss their merits. Picture the scene, rather like a competitive toy story.

But Banana and Porridge Oats Two of my condiments, have also pulled out of the debate. I rather thought they believe they have done enough to demonstrate their superiority for the moment. That leaves Boil in the Bag Rice, Golden Shred, and the jar of Picked Onions to take part.

‘Why have they left?’ I asked.

‘Shows they have no confidence’ snorts Boil in the Bag Rice.
‘I regret the absence of Porridge Oats’ says Golden Shred. I would accept him in my plans. We have always got on well together.
Picked Onions cannot conceal a deep dislike of Porridge Oats. It’s hard to see any coming together between them: ‘Porridge Oats has shown unacceptable features. He is a cereal offender exaggerating his calorific values. I would never accept Porridge Oats into any bowl of mine.’
‘Let’s hear what Porridge Oats and Banana have to say for themselves’, I say, hastily.
Porridge Oats. ‘I will not demean myself defending accusations against my calorific values. I am well ahead of all others in consumer choices.
I show a clip of Banana interviewed about the withdrawal. ‘I will not resort to inter—consumable squabbles. I will bring the virtues of group harmony of my bunches of supporters. I already have the momentum going for me’
‘Some momentum,’ Picked Onion retorted. ‘When does a banana show momentum? Even your closest bunch members admit you were silent in the great bendy-banana controversy’.
The debate is beginning to reveal the deeper features of the participating condiments. Then I spring a surprise> I have a video line to the disgraced condiment, Sunshine Sultanas, sunning himself on a beach in the Bahamas. He is reason I am seeking a new leader in my kitchen cabinet. He is as blustering as ever.
‘While others falter, I have soared beyond the clouds into the realms of the Gods. I have brought back the secret of eternal conserve success. With my help, all of my fellow conserves are improved far beyond their sell-by date. I have returned to grace the breakfast table again.

He is a formidable conserve. I have to put him back on the shelf. I ignore him and ask the selected conserves a question. It tempts them to show they were never really comfortable with the effect Sunshine Sultanas had their performances with him.

‘Do you want Sunshine Sultanas to be part of future breakfasts you will be involved in?’
No answer.
‘Any one of you?’
Pickled Onions. I have never been particularly close. We were always on different shelves.’
Golden Shred. ‘I am proud that we worked together, but I warned him about his illicit ingredients until I could not accept his company any more’
Banana. ‘This is not the time to discuss hypothetical matters of taste which might create condiment clash’
Porridge Oats. Sorrowfully. ‘He has got many calls right. He got breakfasts done. But his continued claim he had locked-up sunshine in his very fibre was not as I understand it. Sadly, I have already told him what I would do without him in future.’
Boil in the bag rice. Says nothing. Shakes his easy-pour opening sadly as if to say, ‘never again’.

I replace Sunshine Sultanas on the back shelf with other rarely-used members of the Kitchen community.

The search for the leader of my kitchen cabinet continues. I wake to find the leadership debate has concluded, and the television is screening Celebrity Gogglebox.

When asked by a pollster whom would I vote for as our next Prime Minister, I reply without thinking ‘I’d rather vote for jar of pickled onions’

Choosing a New Prime Minister. The Beauty Contests continue

July 20, 2022

Charismatic Kemi Badenoch reminds me of another politician who once won a party’s affections.

I was alerted to the admiration being showered on Charismatic Kemi through the Daily Mail. The paper had been discarded outside a Deli, in the left-leaning borough of Hampstead on Medlock recently. Seizing it for disposal in one of the plentiful rubbish bins, I glanced at its contents.
I Read on, learning much more about the also recently discarded Kemi, now ejected from the leadership contest despite her impressive performances.
The article was written by Richard Kay, Editor at Large at The Mail. His prophetic words were burning themselves into my memory.

Until a couple of weeks ago, almost no one outside Government circles and her Essex constituency had heard of Kemi Badenoch.
Today, not only is she a household name with huge numbers of admirers on the Tory Right, she is also being taken seriously as a possible future party leader,
Most people think this contest has come too soon for her, and she is a long shot to reach the final two contenders. But she is already being tipped for a major Cabinet post in the next Government. It is easy to see why her ‘small state’, anti-woke platform is winning support. She has become the poster girl for the culture wars and someone who does not shrink from confrontation, wading into arguments over race and radical trans-activism with the gusto of a political street fighter

I take it that these policies are approved of by Mr Philips and his proprietors.

He goes on to list Charismatic Kemi’s glittering credentials for GOAT, greatest of all Tory leader candidates. Kemi has a background story that includes the necessary stint of childhood poverty (in Nigeria).
She rises above poverty, as fortunes turn for her family, who chose British citizenship for the unborn Kemi. Even after her removal as candidate this week, her political future seems secure whoever becomes Prime Minister in September.

I read on, advancing slowly towards the rubbish bin. As I did, I thought of anther charismatic young politician, active from a time before these days of branded TV-friendly figures.

The person I had in mind was the future once, (as another politician remarked wryly about himself on his departure from politics). But I have been warned about casual talk. My lips are sealed. There is always chance of a political comeback.

Readers are invited to suggest other politicians who put defeat behind them and rose to successful careers …

Leaders we deserve: Choosing a new prime minister

July 12, 2022

Leaders we deserve examine the process and the leaders involved in the election in July 2022 of a replacement for Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland

We begin with the build up to the election process, at the start of the Jubilee celebrations in early June

Wednesday 1 June 2022
What will the new month bring? A week of royal celebrations. A month in which a new Prime Minister is appointed?

Thursday 2 June
As expected. Near black-out of non-jubilee news

Friday 3 June
PM and Carrie booed by royalist crowd outside the memorial service. Commentators see this as dangerous to Boris Johnson, already weakened by the long-running ‘Partygate’ allegations.

Saturday 4 June
Repeated items of joyful Jubilee celebrations reduce news of the ‘Boos for Boris’ story

Sunday 5 June
The royal celebrations have transported the country to a land beyond time. It will soon be time to re-enter the 21st century.

Monday 6 June
Boris Johnson’s fate is presumed to be settled. The news swamps all other headlines.

Tuesday 7 June
Those headlines continue.

Sunday 12 June
More troubles for Govt plans and actions. Rail strikes, leaked reaction to healthy food study, refugee resettlement plans. Major financial backer claims Govt struggling with a Johnson ‘cult’.

Tuesday 14 June
The first refugee flight to Ruanda has now become a focus for protests. The rejected food recommendations also retain potency. And the Titanic iceberg of cost of living and political realities get closer and closer.

Wednesday 15 June
The first flight to Ruanda postponed after interventions in the high court which succeeded but then halted by the international Court of Human Rights which stayed the Govt’s hand.

Thursday 16 June
A flurry of political stories. Mostly minor in isolation, but collectively damaging. Lord Geidt, PM’s ethics advisor resigns after being placed in an untenable position by the PM. Financial outlook worsens. The rail strike looms.

Friday 17 June
Boris Johnson pays an unprompted visit to Ukraine. Some criticism that it is largely self-promotional. A group of red-wall MPs were expecting him to attend a levelling-up event.

Monday 20 June
PM has minor operation, leaving Dominic Raab in charge of the Govt response to the start of the rail strike.

Tuesday 21 June
First day of the rail strike. Strange day for Govt to announce the removal of salary cap for top earners.

Wednesday 22 June
News headlines shared between rail strike and inflation figures.
Trump investigation has testimonies of Trump’s direct and sustained efforts to overturn the Presidential election result with ‘the big lie’ .
Major earthquake in Afghanistan scarcely reaches the news headlines.

Thursday 23 June
Happy Brexit day. For some. Sixth anniversary of the fateful vote.
The by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton are expected to bring poor results for the Govt.

Friday 24 June
Dreadful losses to labour and the Liberal Democrats. Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden resigns, says ‘somebody must take responsibility’.

Saturday 25 June
The PM speaking to the BBC says he humbly accepts his share of the Govt’s difficulties. But the quote catching attention is that people shouldn’t expect a change in his personality.

Tuesday 28 June
Metropolitan police placed under special measures order by police watchdog. The Met currently leaderless after the forced resignation of Commissioner Cressida Dick. No mention of its investigation into Partygate.
Dame Deborah James, cancer campaigner, dies.

Friday 1 July

Hong Kong anniversary. Boris Johnson gives China a piece of his mind. Says he doesn’t use it any more.
Conservative MP Chris Pincher resigns from his Govt role after a sleazy night-club scene, and is quickly suspended from the party.

Saturday 2 July
National news headlines anticipate a wave of strike actions to add to the Govt’s problems. Its ‘don’t mention COVID’ policy is also being weakened by news of a 30% increase in cases in a week.

Monday 4 July
Headlines reports on growing dissatisfaction with Boris Johnson’s conduct, and on his falling poll ratings.

Tuesday 5 July
A mass shooting in a Chicago suburb at an Independence Day parade.
The Govt forced into further denials in the ‘what Boris Johnson knew about Chris Pincher’ story

Wednesday 6 July
News headlines are summed up as Johnson on the brink.
Remarkable day of political action. No of Govt resignations since yesterday clocked up 42. PM rejected pleas from cabinet colleagues to resign.

Thursday 7 July
Headlines: even more unanimous that the PM is clinging to power. But these were similar during much of June.
12.30pm. Facing multiple resignations Boris Johnson speaks behind the lectern announcing his resignation as leader of the Conservative party. It later emerges his speech agreed by a deputation was unilaterally altered in his actual speech.

The story so far

In the space of a week, Boris Johnson has lost his most difficult battle, which was of retaining the support of his cabinet ministers and the wider group of MPs in Parliament. He makes a grudging admission he has resigned as party leader, clinging to the role of Prime Minister in a temporary or acting Capacity. The action now swings to the process of evicting him, and bringing in his successor.

Leaders we deserve will be covering the leadership election. Audio versions of the proceedings can be found on the regular podcasts from TudoRama.