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When I spot my neighbour I have to run back inside, otherwise there will be an hour of politics chat coming.

Yet he told me he wasn’t watching one of last week’s Tory hustings in favour of, I kid you not, a repeat of Midsomer Murders.

I respect that fully. Anyone in their right mind would rather spend an hour in the company of John Nettles than watch the endless bickering between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

The bits I have forced myself to watch have been a fruitless, useless and unedifying spectacle.

We haven’t learned much, other than Mr Sunak has come slightly unglued, drifting to 8/1 with the bookies, which is long and embarrassing odds for a two-horse race.

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Leadership contender Rishi Sunak ( Channel 4)

At the moment, Ms Truss (1/8- on in some places) looks a dead cert, drifting towards being our next PM with the same inertia as a spider on its way to the plughole.

Still, there’s a long way to go, I suppose, and stranger things have happened than overcoming 8/1 odds. But still, it looks inevitable.

It is good news for people in my line of work – she will be an endless source of amusement – but it is a terrible, terrible thing for Britain.

It does make an early general election more likely, though, and increases the probability of a Labour government, which is no bad thing.

Having said that, Her Majesty’s Opposition is doing its best to put people off. They, rather grandly, describe themselves as a “government in waiting”, which begs the question – waiting for what?

Waiting for the other government to implode is the only answer I can think of. I’d rather they were more proactive: waiting to save the country, waiting to solve the NHS crisis, waiting to implement a grand policy plan. Instead, they are just waiting.

Which, again, would almost be excusable (it wouldn’t be) if they were waiting quietly, doing what the rest of us do when we’re waiting – reading a magazine or messing about on our phones.

But their approach is like group of toddlers, i.e. the best way to pass the time is starting a fight among themselves.

This week has been a prime example. I don’t know if you followed it, maybe you did, but Mr Starmer fired a junior minister, Sam Tarry, who was out on rail picket lines.

He was sacked, ostensibly, for breaking off from the protests and giving an interview to TV about how public sector workers should have a pay rise in line with inflation.

Seems reasonable to me. Seems reasonable to a lot of people. Apparently not.

Mr Tarry was fired for this view, which is not Labour policy – again, raising the question, what actually IS Labour policy?

Because if it’s not giving workers a fair deal, supporting strikers asking for decent pay and conditions, opposing refugees being deported to Rwanda, and all the rest of it, then who is going to vote for them? And why?

A strange thing to do, sacking Mr Tarry. Could have let him picket, could have just slapped him on the wrist for going on the TV.

Not the Labour way at the moment. The party is supposed to be reuniting but the old fault lines are opening up again. Some things never change.

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