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.