From Reggie to Rory Sahib: Here at Westminster, you can smell the fear and ambition
Subject: The Never-Ending Leadership Contest
I must congratulate you and your team at fighting a very successful insurgency. All that wandering around the countryside and use of social media has certainly spooked the other candidates. As I told Soames last week, I never thought you’d get 19 votes – Soames went into his conspiratorial mode and whispered (which could be heard in Trafalgar Square): “some of us know how to stroke the fillies or at the very least give them a mickey finn”. I think he sees himself as your Gavin Williamson – the Tom Watson of the numbers game for Boris.
But I have to tell you, old friend, that your idea of having Brexit resolved by some form of Country File jirga is for the fairies. I don’t let my activists elect the officers, let alone anything really serious in my Association.
I have been much amused to see how the candidates who fell at the first fence or were scrapped from the fixture have rallied around Boris – Hancock, Leadsom, McVey and Cleverly. Of course, many of the sacked ministers – Fallon, Mitchell, Shapps and a dozen others are hoping for preferment under a Boris administration. Suspect hope springs eternal, and many will continue to vegetate on the back benches.
You might not recall from your army days how agitated the senior brass in Germany became when the C-in-C was replaced by a new brass hat. Fat lot of good, as they usually appointed thrusters with the same cap badge – Green Jackets and Guardsmen.
Whilst you were out stirring up apathy and performing on TV, I spent the weekend in Northumberland at our small residence. Lady Mary was out doing good works and I settled down with several bottles and the jack russells to watch every episode of Killing Eve. These female dramas are very violent and I suspect Parliament will be like this in a decade.
I switched off my mobile phone to stop the campaign managers of the candidates attempting to persuade me to declare my vote. Did I tell you that last week one of these babus offered me the promissory note of a knighthood? – I gently pointed out I had already been blessed.
The real question to be answered is: where is Boris? His team have understandably put him under house arrest, and sworn him to a vow of silence. Soames and I can guarantee that, if let off the leash, he will drop several clangers. I said to Soames that Boris has become the Gordon Brown of the Conservative Party. Desperate to be PM since at prep school, but hasn’t the foggiest idea what he wants to do with it. Ben Wallace who looks after the spooks and is the Boris cup bearer told me, over a tincture at the Carlton Club, that I need have no worries – and that, as when he was Mayor of London, Boris would be surrounded by “grown up adults.” All he had to do was the panto. I pointed out that being PM was somewhat more challenging than being Mayor!
Well another day of excitement and hysteria here at the Palace of Varieties – you must be aware that only here can you smell fear and ambition. My Labour friends have cheerily offered to give us some advice over the leadership stakes. I pointed out that it was a bit rich coming from a PLP that had Corbyn.
Did you see that some experts have said that dogs can manipulate humans by putting on droopy eyes. Never seen it myself – I have seen a glint in the eyes of my jacks when rattin’.
Well, Rory Sahib, it is nearly all over one way or the other. Good luck with the vote and keep your opponents off guard.
Soames and I will be at The Flouncing Queen restaurant in Victoria on Thursday evening for a serious bevy of liquid delights.
Yours behind enemy lines.
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