For our foreign readers:
No English tradition is older or more steeped in History than the autumn ritual of the “coming of the Men in Grey Suits.” Traditionally at the same time as the Lord Mayor’s Parade and the State Opening of Parliament, its origins date back in the mists of time, but the same rules have always been observed.
The custom is triggered when the traditional Conservative leader, such as Anthony Eden, Lord Home, Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Ian Duncan Smith, William Hague , Michael Howard, Theresa May (that’s enough names-ed) are traditionally held to be so lacking in even the most miserable vestiges of support and authority that their removal to the dung heap of history is deemed to be essential to the traditional Survival of the Conservative Party. At this point, deep in the Palace of Westminster, certain men (led by the traditional Sir Graham Brady) put on the time-hallowed grey suits and go round to the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Prime Minister then utters the traditional Formula reserved for such occasions-“there was no party, well, only one to my knowledge, which I don’t have, because I wasn’t there so how could I know anything about it, and we’re doing well on the vaccine rollout, and I’ve asked Sir Simon Briefcase to investigate it, and he couldn’t possibly have been there, it is alleged, because they never happened, and anyway all the rules were followed. Or something like that.”
After the traditional offerings of a revolver and a bottle of whisky, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party is formally escorted by the men in grey suits to a special house, very often in Chester Square, where he/she spends the remainder of her/his/its days bitterly plotting to undermine his/her successor, while everyone else tries to pretend he/she never existed.
Next week: A traditional English Christmas. Perhaps.
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