In Brexit Britain, there seem to be few aspects of human behaviour that do not seem to be in some form of crisis. The return of the Conservative party to the sleazy days of yore is not exactly a surprise. What is a surprise is that it the rather clumsy Sir Michael Fallon who was forced out, rather than the considerably more predatory Boris Johnson. The fact is that with sleaze, as with everything else, the Conservatives are engaging in a vicious kin strife.
Fallon had to go because he was loyal to Theresa May. Johnson stays because he isn't. That the odious Andrea Leadsom was the occasion of Sir Michael's fall merely underlines her ambition and her utter absence of any wider loyalties at all. She is, of course not very good, which is why her perfidy was quickly revealed. In fact her aspirations are way beyond her skills. I encountered her at Perpetual, which she "administered" and it was clear that this was a pretty unhappy ship, with good asset managers over ruled by a woman with little understanding of the investment process. She has, I judge, "delusions of adequacy" rather than grandeur particularly, but whereas Theresa May now inspires little but pity, Mrs. Leadsom is increasing the object of hate from her own back benches.
Meanwhile Jacob Rees-Mogg, who I also encountered when he was investing -again rather ineffectually- for Lloyd George Asset Management similarly over estimates his own skill set. Although the Rees-Moggs are not especially grand by the standards of Eton, Jacob has affected a false persona of unfashionable suits and deeply reactionary opinions. he gets away with not because he was a star fund manager- he was actually pretty useless- but because he acquired a great deal of wealth the old fashioned way: he married it. His wife is widely believed to have been worth over £ 300m upon their marriage. His ultramontane religious ideas - extreme though they are- is not why Rees Mogg is as dangerous as he is loathsome. The reality is that under the urbane Etonian charm, Rees-Mogg is about as right wing and reactionary figure as Nigel Farage. It is not merely a taste for unfashionable and ugly clothes that unites these two figures, but a similar contempt for those who disagree with them. Farage over the weekend declared that he would "pick up a rifle" if Brexit was overturned. Yes he would- that's what fascists do when they lose the argument and their madness is overturned. Rees Mogg shares this intolerance of the true fanatic. There is no negotiation with such people. Farage has finally left his long suffering wife, but Rees-Mogg's views on women, despite his own famously uxorious life, are at least as primitive as Farage's- arguably more so.
So the Conservative Party, at a time when the UK faces an extraordinary crisis- which is largely the result of the Tories sacrificing the national interest for their own sectional advantage- is turning to a bunch of duds. Gove and Johnson are hugely overpaid journalists in the pay of the borderline criminal Rupert Murdoch organisation, and of the senior cabinet ministers only David Davis has any significant business experience at all. May is a broken reed, Any loyalists are being broken by the 80 or so Tories who insist that the only way forward is a suicidal hard Brexit.
The economy- as long predicted- is now beginning to splutter alarmingly. There is now less than 2 months before British business must know at least the kind of transition that the incompetent Tories are aiming for. I predict they won't get it, and that starting in January and through the whole first quarter that many of the strongest businesses in Britain will be relocating tens of thousands of jobs offshore. National moral is going to take one hell of a beating- and the b*******s who delivered this disaster will finally start to face their judgement.
Mene mene tekel upharsin,