Regular readers to this blog may have spotted my prediction on 4 April here that Operation “Nail Starmer” had begun. I foresaw that Starmer would be invited into the General’s tent, when Corbyn was not.

Today, twenty-three days later from Starmer’s ascension, on his first day back after his brush with death, Reckless Boris said he would bring “in opposition parties as far as we possibly can because I think that there is no less that what the British people would expect…” Sensible British people expected this move months ago.

Why this move now? From the country’s perspective, the optimum time to involve opposition parties was during the five COBRA meetings which Reckless Boris missed. Opposition parties were ignored at the outset because of Corbyn’s toxicity and the Tories’ delusion of competence. Quite simply, Starmer would have been invited to the party many days ago had it not been for the PM’s absence.

As Reckless Boris told us today, now is the time of maximum risk – that’s why this amoral political genius will look to Labour for political cover. But will Starmer get involved? If he doesn’t, Starmer will be painted as unpatriotic, but if he can withstand that criticism, and the country’s fortunes nosedive, we may see an election before the five years specified in the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act. Providing the narrative – that Reckless Boris missed five COBRA meetings – is repeated ad nauseum, the Tories will be toast.

Skilled Starmer must dance on the head of a pin in order to escape the accusation of treason – for not helping the PM in this hour of need; in addition, he must dodge the charge of Joint Enterprise – for being associated with economic collapse if he does join the quasi-Government of National Unity. Starmer must set a price which is both reasonable in the eyes of the public and yet unpalatable to Boris. Already the PM’s emissaries will be doing his bidding. As Boris is twice the political operator, my money is that he will get his man.

Postscript: The Times chose not to report the PM’s words about the potential involvement of opposition parties.