British politics has gotten itself into an unusually bad spot

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

What’s happening in Britain is unusual, and we should note how unusual it is. The Fixed Term law suggests that the Tories can sack Theresa May and appoint her successor, without asking the public to weigh in. 150,000 Tory members, mostly older and wealthy, will choose the next Prime Minister. I’m unclear why the Queen would agree to this. Are they even asking the Queen?

The Tory members mostly support Boris Johnson, who will clearly be the most incompetent Prime Minister in history. He also has shown a remarkable contempt for the public. Take a basic question, such as, How many children has Johnson been father to? Not clear.

We can also learn something about Johnson by looking at the kind of people who support him:

Meanwhile, there is a very particular type of chap who goes in to bat for the Old Etonian Johnson with the somewhat tragic deference of a man who knows his own public school was one of the minor ones. This peculiar type of longing underpins much of the writing of Quentin Letts (Haileybury), with his most recent Sun column a case in point. Here he is on Johnson: “At an age when some blokes find their virility drooping, he still plainly has some lead in his pencil, with a new and much younger girlfriend … He has swanned through life breaking the rules, laughing and bonking. That INFURIATES [the elite]!” Always a pleasure to take lectures on “the establishment” and “the elite” and “the ruling class” from Rupert Murdoch’s highest-paid columnist.

So, the new Prime Minister is a guy who ditched his wife last year, for someone younger:

Johnson left his wife, Marina Wheeler, last year and began a relationship with Symonds, who has been credited with revitalising his appearance and approach to politics. She was part of his team when he publicly launched his campaign for the Tory leadership earlier this month.

This new relationship is not going well:

The neighbour said they recorded the altercation from inside their flat out of concern for Symonds. On the recording, heard by the Guardian, Johnson can be heard refusing to leave the flat and telling Symonds to “get off my fucking laptop” before there is a loud crashing noise.

Symonds is heard saying Johnson had ruined a sofa with red wine: “You just don’t care for anything because you’re spoilt. You have no care for money or anything.”

The neighbour said: “There was a smashing sound of what sounded like plates. There was a couple of very loud screams that I’m certain were Carrie and she was shouting to ‘get out’ a lot. She was saying ‘get out of my flat’ and he was saying no. And then there was silence after the screaming. My partner, who was in bed half asleep, had heard a loud bang and the house shook.”

I am pleased that the rigid and prudish British are finally developing a French acceptance of one’s leaders pursuing their own romances, with a certain amount of privacy. But did they really need to start this cultural tolerance with Johnson?

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