It was a very British coup.
So polite that you could almost have missed it. So restrained that Liz Truss actually had to mastermind her own dismissal.
It was like asking a death row inmate to administer their own lethal injection.
But it was a coup nonetheless.
There may have been no military berets but we might as well have had a TV announcer saying: “We interrupt this programme to inform you that the United Kingdom has a new junta.
There is no need to panic, but we advise you, for your own safety, to remain indoors.
What the country now needs is stable government.
Liz Truss is not, I stress not, being held under house arrest.
She is just being kept hidden for her own good. And now a quick word from your new prime minister.”
Cut to Jeremy Hunt.
The same Jeremy Hunt who was a disaster as culture secretary.
The same Jeremy Hunt who had taken the NHS to the brink as health secretary.
The same Jeremy Hunt who had twice campaigned to be Tory leader and been rejected.
Yet this new improved version of Jeremy Hunt was being paraded as a safe pair of hands.
He was the de facto prime minister.
Truss was sidelined.
Only nominally in place.
Just for as long as it took for her party to work out how best to dethrone her.
Hunt looked straight at the camera.
You have to hand it to him.
He has the style.
He sounds plausible.
Then, right now it’s hard not to. A child of 10 could make a decent fist of being chancellor at the moment.
It was an open goal and Hunt happily took it, delivering the most brutal U-turn on government policy in living memory.
And he made it sound so matter of fact. As if it was an everyday event.
Normally when a government can’t get its budget through parliament, it calls a general election. Hunt had other ideas.
What everyone needed to do was take a deep breath and wait for the cuts.
Meanwhile, Labour were worried about the prime minister formerly known as Liz.
Was she OK? By lunchtime, Keir Starmer was so concerned he tabled an urgent question inviting her to come to the Commons to explain herself.
And give her life some meaning.
Only it turned out Librium Liz was in no fit state for anything.
And Penny Mordaunt was more than happy to answer the UQ on her behalf.
Mordaunt is keen to be seen as the next possible leader. What better way than appearing to be loyal while gently ridiculing Truss?
The opposition still wanted to know what conditions Librium Liz was being kept in.
Mordaunt became even more gnomic.
First she said that Truss had been desperate to take the UQ but had been prevented from doing so.
Then she declared: “The prime minister is not hiding under a desk.”
At which point, Truss meandered in.
Her eyes vacant, unblinking.
A rigid smile.
As if she had no idea she was now starring in her own hostage video
. She sat there, devoid of emotion, as first Rachel Reeves and then her hostage-taker rubbished her reputation.
Just as silently as she had arrived, Truss pootled off after less than 20 minutes.
It had been a Scandi noir cameo.
With the killers in plain sight.
A few Labour MPs shouted after her.
Was she really OK? Nothing.
The Tories ignored her.
She was an aberration.
A past tense.
The last few weeks had just been a bad dream.
Onwards with the new regime. To oblivion.
‘Meanwhile, Labour were worried about Truss.
Was she OK? By lunchtime, they were so concerned they tabled an urgent question’