All the same, that episode left an unhappy aftertaste. While placating public rage by brutally discarding a few older MPs, Cameron shielded members of his own team who were quite as culpable: Alan Duncan, Michael Gove and Francis Maude. It was the action of a capo who whacks a few civilians but spares his made men, and it caused considerable, though so far private, resentment on the Tory benches.
It also confirmed a sense that, with all his political talent, Cameron is a smartyboots surrounded by a cabal of shady charlatans and shifty chancers…
Hey, give it another ten years - and another quarter or so shaved off the electorate - and we’ll see some prize degenerates sniffing round the ruins, under whatever brand. People think we’re going to end up being run by some character like Richard Branson or Alan Sugar. I don’t think so, but we’ll pine for such lost leaders in the same way that ordinary Russians pine for Brezhnev.
And check this out from Edward Pierce’s review of the Wheatcroft book:
It does tend to be forgotten that what we're going to have next year is more of a succession than an election. I think we need more analysis in this context.