Behold! The latest metamorphosis of the Conservative Party. In recent years, the churn and turnover at the top of government has been enough to make an onlooker seasick. The old guard has fallen away — except for the consummate survivor; king of the ring, Liz Truss. From their ashes, a cabinet of record-breaking diversity has risen. For the first time in history, not one of the top four jobs in government is held by a white man.

This is a real achievement, and Labour are naturally eager to undermine it. ‘The faces change, but the policies stay the same’ is the message. This may resonate with voters, but it is a profoundly inaccurate characterisation. The new cabinet not only looks different to the old Tory Party, it has also abandoned the defining principle of Conservative governance: self-preservation.

The Tory Party has reinvented itself repeatedly throughout its 11 years in power. Its most effective transformation came after the vote to leave the EU, when, by a combination of ruthlessness and subterfuge, it transformed itself from a party riven by Europe into one united by hating it. Conservative costume changes are never usually about ideology. Every new outfit is worn with a single purpose. Remaining in power.

This latest costume change is different, however, because it doesn’t involve any clothes. The new front bench are entirely naked in their ideological dogmatism and their disregard for the British people. Massive and overt tax cuts for the super-rich almost made it through, removing the cap on banker bonuses, rejecting a windfall tax on energy companies, crashing the pound, and all this in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

I once saw a man rollerblading down Brighton seafront completely naked. It was shocking and unpleasant, but in a way, you had to respect it. He was living his truth. The same respect is due to the current cabinet. The veil has fallen. The frothing greed sits naked, its diverse buttocks sticking to the green leather of the front bench.

This disregard for self-preservation is not only manifesting itself in political suicide, but substantive policy as well. The selection of Jacob Rees-Mogg to head Business and Energy is indicative of a newfound yearning for death in the Tory Party. Mogg has bemoaned climate alarmism and wants to drain, ‘every cubic inch of gas from the North Sea.’ This would take years and have zero impact on current energy prices. However, a more immediate impact of such a policy would be to send the country skipping down the path to climate catastrophe.

What is so baffling about Mogg’s gluttony for North Sea oil is that even the International Energy Agency — the UN organisation tasked with ensuring the world has enough energy, and which is famously lackadaisical about the environment — has said it is completely unnecessary because of renewable alternatives. Unfortunately, Mogg and his boss don’t like windfarms, although no one quite knows why. When we literally do not need the gas, burning every last drop of it is a mindless act of arson. Your house, his house, he doesn’t really care. He just likes burning houses.

The clamour for death is not contained to the top of the party, either. During the leadership hustings, there were two pledges which guaranteed applause from the selectorate. One was to frack, and the other was to start a nuclear war. Any mention of fracking was met with rapturous celebration from Tory audiences. In their lust for the culture war, these staunch advocates of a bucolic Britain, free from wind turbines and solar panels, are apparently desperate to see heavy industry move in, increase the chance of earthquakes, and risk poisoning the water table.

With the leadership contest down to just Truss and Sunak, the time came to address the big red button. Instead of asking whether they would return fire in the event of a nuclear attack, the host asked Truss how it would make her feel to annihilate millions of people. When stone-faced Truss replied that she was ‘prepared to do it,’ the crowd erupted in feverish adulation. Clearly, a choking, peeling death is something they like the sound of very much. So much, in fact, that they want to share it with the entirety of the Northern Hemisphere.

From top to bottom, the Tory Party resembles nothing so much as a doomsday cult; gagging for the end times, and actively working to bring them about. The self-preservation that has long been central to conservatism in this country has vanished. In its place, a cackling band of armageddonists are pouring sarin gas into Britain’s ventilation system. Their disregard for normal people may lose them the next election. For whomever replaces them, the clean-up job is going to be enormous. I just hope there’s something left to clean-up.

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