I’m sitting here on my sitting room sofa, a dog either side of me, watching West Ham take an absolute tonking at home to Arsenal. As I write the score is 0-6. What an utter embarrassment. Sunak out! Sorry, I mean Moyes out! Or do I? Because what I am feeling now is the same feeling that many Conservative supporters may feel after Thursday’s probable by election losses, and the probably catastrophic local elections. Just as West Ham supporters sometimes think everything would be solved by the man who led us to win a European trophy, so might Conservatives think the same about Rishi Sunak. Well, that’s the argument.
Sometimes a change in football manager does indeed lead to a change in fortunes. Politics in an election year is surely different. I would argue that there is only one replacement for Sunak who could save a few seats for the Conservatives when the election comes, and that is Penny Mordaunt. But what a poisoned chalice it would be, and I can’t really see the circumstances in which it could be brought about.
Nadine Dorries’s book THE PLOT was dismissed by many as a work of fiction when it came out. Now? Less so. There are indeed people plotting behind the scenes to bring about a toppling of a fourth Conservative PM in a row. Are there strings being pulled by Dougie Smith, as Nadine and others allege. I have no idea, but it is clear there is a concerted campaign.
Rishi Sunak has not had a good week, for sure. The crass bet with Piers Morgan followed by an unfortunate remark at PMQs has led many Conservatives to wonder how he would fare during a six week election campaign. When he tries to do the party political bit, he just can’t pull it off. When he tries to do the folksy Blair on a sofa act, it goes the same way. He seems out of his natural orbit.
I see absolutely no point in changing the man at the top despite his obvious deficiencies, and I’m not talking about David Moyes.
But it may get to the point where senior Tories think they have nothing to lose. And that maximum point of danger will come the weekend after May local elections. If Sunak survives the trouncing the Tories will get that weekend, and is still in situ two weeks later, he will remain in office until the election in the autumn. Or… if there is a concerted move against him he may just think, ‘Sod it, Sod them, let’s have an election in June’. It’s a thought.