Boris Johnson's continued survival shows that most political careers do not end in failure
The endgame for most failed senior politicians is not public shame, but a long and heavily remunerated career.
“All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure,” wrote Enoch Powell back in 1977.
This saying has become so commonplace that it has now moved beyond a cliche.
Yet in reality while most attempts at political careers do end in the failure of a lost deposit, for most senior politicians the end is almost never a bad one.
A quick look at the government’s back-benches reveals a long list of former ministers whose careers have continued years, if not decades, after they should have ended.
Rather than collapse in the failure of ignominy, or rejection by voters, most of these individuals have benefited from long and financially rewarding careers while quietly gathering dust on the House of Commons’ green benches.
The best example of this is Theresa May, whose premiership was by any objective measure one of the least successful of any Prime Minister in living memory.
Yet rather than get booted into obscurity, she has gone on to rake in huge amounts in speaking fees while attempting to reinvent herself as an elder stateswoman.
And while she occasionally gathers plaudits for her supposedly principled public criticisms of Johnson, on issues other than those related to her own personal grudge against her successor, she displays little obvious principle.
One obvious example of this can be seen on her positioning on Heathrow expansion.
While the MP for Maidenhead once campaigned hard against a third runway, she completely reversed her position once she became prime minister and now publicly lobbies her successor to speed airport expansion up.
Of course whether or not this sudden eagerness to blight the lives of her constituents is related to the tens of thousands of pounds in hospitality she has since received from the airport is impossible to know.