A tale of two ex-PMs as Boris is eclipsed by Liz Truss’s ‘I woz right’ crusade
It strikes me that Liz Truss is the Noele Gordon of politics, the Crossroads star whose firing upset housewives, confirmed bachelors and, most powerfully, Ms Gordon.
One can imagine Truss being interrogated by Russell Harty in an 80s TV studio full of palms: "Liz, darling, why did they sack you from Britain's longest running soap?"
"I don't know! I learnt my lines. I never missed a cue. I gave that show the best 49 days of my life!"
As Liz geared up for the latest salvo in her "I woz right" media campaign - with its unsubtle implication that Rishi iz wrong - Boris thought it better to show his magnificent face in the Commons, to prove his loyalty as one of the backbenchers.
He did a darn good job of nodding as they railed against joyriding in Kent and refugees being housed at Pontins (it wasn't clear whether one's sympathy was meant to be with the holiday camp or the refugees). Anna Firth told us that a 17-year old in her constituency was able to purchase a 2ft "zombie knife" online and have it delivered by mail - an astonishing achievement, as most of the Christmas cards I sent last December have yet to arrive.
Finally, Boris leapt to his feet in full-throated defence of the Rwandan deportation plan, adding that its critics "have probably never been there!" - though this doesn't mean they're wrong about its grisly human rights record. I've never been to Pontins, but I have a pretty good idea what to expect.
Alas, Boris was eclipsed by Liz, who having dropped a bombshell in The Telegraph followed it up with a TV appearance on … Spectator TV?!
Truss is notoriously bad at interviews, so one can understand why she avoided the lefty BBC. But did she even think GB News would be too confrontational? I'm told by a fictitious source that her preferred choice was a scripted chat with Christopher Biggins on Forces TV, but that station folded months ago.
Hence she sat down with Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls, confidants of the Tory elite - Fraser with the daytime good looks of a young Nick Owen, Katy with an expression of surprise and alarm that suggested she was realising in real time how out of depth her subject was. In the event, Fraser and Katy, a couple of pros, were more probing than Truss might have hoped, and they knew where the wounds were most sore.
Did it hurt to sack her chancellor? A sad shrug said yes.
We learnt that Truss doesn't regret running for PM. She would never do it again. She will support Sunak. But, of course, the memoir of a premiership that brief is interesting primarily for its implied critique of the successor - and of those shady men who prevented her from cutting taxes and drove her from power. Just as the bosses at ATV did for dear Nolly.
Liz should've ended the broadcast with a song. "Je ne regrette rien!" accompanied by Michael Fabricant on the piano.