And so the battle for NumAnd so the battle for Number 10 is down to a duel played out against a backdrop of a country in chaos. When the votes of Conservative Party members are counted in the first week of September, what sort of UK will the winner be taking charge of?
Former chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are to square off in front of the party faithful over what remains of the summer.
Whoever emerges victorious must spare us the jokes and japes of Boris Johnson’s final Prime Minister’s Questions.
It will take more than an Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired “Hasta la vista, baby” to raise a smile across a country where empty dinner plates are being held out to pitiful pleas of “Please, sir, can I have some more?”
The master was, as Dickens wrote, a fat man gazing on the population with “stupefied astonishment”.
His replacement will have to cut a more disciplined figure if the country is to be set back on course.
Week by week it looks harder and harder to navigate a route through the many problems plaguing the UK today.
We live in a country which has not seen a rate of inflation this high in 40 years. Over the next few weeks we will hear how Sunak warns against immediate major tax cuts, how Truss wants a plethora of cuts right away. Opposing viewpoints from within the same political party.
But does the former chancellor have the magic wand to tackle inflation before it reaches a startling 10%?
Can Truss be trusted to implement cuts to taxation and put more pennies in people’s pockets as a way of stimulating the economy?
We can only hope the Conservative faithful choose wisely.
It’s another two years before the next General Election, when the public will finally have their say on who they want to lead the country.
In the meantime, businesses continue to close, most notably in hospitality, with many simply unable to cope with the rising cost of supplies.
In some places, prices have soared overnight. In others, business owners have slashed their prices in a bid to attract more customers through the doors.
They don’t know which way to turn.
Johnson has been terminated as prime minster, but who should his successor look to for inspiration?
They could do worse than follow the words of Dickens: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”