The next unelected Tory prime minister will be chosen by members, and will be whoever most closely matches their paranoia on that particular day.
It might be immigrants.
Might be taxes.
The fate of our statues.
Or gay Santas in Scandinavian Christmas ads.
Maybe they’ll vote to lower benefits for poor people.
Or vote to increase mortgage relief on second homes owned by rich people and rented out to poor people, which is also a benefit, but a “good” one, naturally.
Maybe they’ll vote for somebody who promises to further increase their house prices.
Or for somebody who promises cheaper housing for their grandkids.
Or more likely, the candidate who promises both at once.
But obviously no new houses, cos – there goes the neighbourhood!
Perhaps they’ll vote for whoever promises harsher sentences.
Or whoever demands forgiveness for Tory MPs.
Maybe it will be the candidate who offers them more expensive and less efficient lightbulbs.
Or wants to make carol singing legally mandatory in Islamic schools.
Perhaps it will be the one who wants us to invade Calais.
Or the one who wants us to send refugees to live in a volcano.
Or the one who doesn’t know which way up to hold a phone.
Or the one who hates misogyny, either “against men or against women”.
Maybe they’ll pick the one who did sexual assault.
Or the one who did physical assault.
Or the one who did both.
Or the one who hired a Brazilian male prostitute, asked him to procure illegal drugs, and then gave him a secret tour of the Houses of Parliament.
Maybe they’ll pick the one who got questioned by police for filming him and his mate poisoning a dog with alcohol, before getting into a shit-faced fight that spilled out onto the streets.
Or the rapist.
Or the other rapist.
Or the alleged rapist.
Perhaps they’ll pick the one who excused an illegal expenses claim because he “forgot” about seven houses he owned – and who amongst us can honestly say we haven’t occasionally forgotten about seven houses we own.
Maybe the one who was a chief economist at Lehman Brothers just as they crashed.
Or the one who was MD of Deutsche Bank when the US Treasury said they caused the 2007 crash.
Or the one who corruptly defrauded the Help To Buy scheme for first time buyers when he owned three houses.
Or the one who shared an address with a company she gave a multimillion pound Covid contract to and never mentioned it.
Or the one who used his ministerial position to promote his brother’s business to MPs and lobbied them to pass laws that made him richer.
Perhaps they’ll pick the drug addict/s.
Or the alcoholic/s.
Or one of the 18 current or recent ministers on a “warning list” of sexual predators that is circulated to new female HoC staff.
Or maybe the one who decided to became a Tory MP after reading “Politics For Dummies”.
Maybe they’ll pick the one who gave a multi-billion contract to Serco, the company for which he had only just “stopped working” as a lobbyist.
Or the one who took £350,000 from horseracing then let racing go ahead in a pandemic, doubling deaths in the area in the next month.
Perhaps they’ll pick the one who wants to sterilise the poor.
Or the one who wants more police violence.
Or the one who wants to “wean children off dependence” on food.
Perhaps they want all three of those things, which is lucky, cos this is all one man.
Maybe they’ll vote for the one who abandoned thousands to the Taliban cos he was on holiday and couldn’t be bothered answering the phone.
Or the one who stopped a £20bn trade deal over the fate of £16,000 of Stilton so she’d have a good speech at the Tory conference.
Perhaps they’ll pick the one who didn’t commit treason, simply held secret meetings with a foreign power, after which she secretly tried to redirect UK spending to aid that foreign power’s military goals, even though they were contrary to Britain’s declared foreign policy.
Or maybe they’ll choose the one who was engaged in corrupt selling of access to ministers, to public money, to British ambassadors, to Covid contracts, or to direct influence over media policy.
I should narrow it down, cos that’s over 50 of them.
Anyway: as I was saying, there’s little point in speculating which of these people Tory members will select as the next unelected Prime Minister.
But it’ll be one of them. And I, for one, am terribly excited about a return to proper Tory values.
You can order Russ’s book, The Decade in Tory, here. It’ll be a hell of a read.