Sometimes, a comment seems to define the mood around public events. During the December 2019 general election – how distant that now seems – a friend of mine was canvassing for a Tory candidate in a red wall seat. He asked a self-confessed traditional Labour voter about Jeremy Corbyn. The chap shook his head: “He’s not right for us.” The wall was crumbling.
This weekend, a Swindon voter gave her opinion of Boris Johnson: “He’s making a fool of the country.” A large number of Tory MPs having been hearing variations on that theme, from a large number of constituents. A consensus may be emerging that it would be better to wait for Sue Gray’s report before sending in letters to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. But many Tories are also praying that Gray’s findings will be damning.
It is unlikely that they will be disappointed. Those who know Sue Gray say that she has a powerful forensic intelligence, so we can expect a lucid narrative. She is also a devout Roman Catholic with a strong though unobtrusive moral sense. Her Catholicism is somewhat different from Boris Johnson’s.