November 15th, 2020

Rain On Tower Hill

They said we might have an early morning thunderstorm- and I was rather hoping we might- but they were wrong. The other part of the prediction has come true, though; they said it would rain and rain and so it has. The front path is now a shallow waterway with rafts of oak leaves floating on the surface like waterlily pads in a late Monet.

The news is dominated by the palace politics of the Johnson administration. Wolsey has gone and Anne Boleyn is triumphant. For Wolsey read Dominic Cummings and for Boleyn read Carrie Symonds. And for bluff King Hal read Johnson himself with his bulk and his charisma and his cold, cold heart. Actually, the more I think about it, the more the correspondences pile up. So who gets to play Cromwell? Is there anybody out there with that degree of competence? Michael Gove perhaps? But here the analogy breaks down because Gove wants to be more than the ideas man of this regime, he wants the crown itself.

Isn't it strange how ambition blinds its devotees to the worthlessness of the prize they're after. What does a modern British Prime Minister get out of the job apart from sleepless nights and mockery? There are quite a lot of ex-Prime Ministers knocking around at present- Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May; are any of them happy in their shadowy afterlife? There's the money, of course- and the getting to eat expensive dinners with the likes of Henry Kissinger and the being able to drop in on the Pope at short notice. Perhaps the Tudors had the right idea. Instead of allowing their once great men and women to knock around the world for years in wordy impotence, they prescribed the block and the axe. It was arguably more merciful.

Footnote To The Previous Post

Incidentally, John Ward (who I sometimes agree with and sometimes don't) thinks the departure of Cummings and his anti-Europeans is the result of the incoming Biden people talking to Johnson's people and saying "If you want our chlorinated chicken and other goodies you're really going to have to modify your stance on Brexit." He may have a point.