I want to learn at least about how to do this. I always want to learn and here is something else to discover: how political assassinations work. So I have been educating myself.
Not from scratch, however. I remember a few short months at the University of Essex, with an MA course and accommodation that didn't work out. For this period, within 1981-82, I had activity as 'an agnostic' in the Chaplaincy and within the Liberals at the Student Union. At that time politically there was a choice as to whether to align with the Broad Left or go with the emerging Social Democrats. The Liberals were a bit lefty and the intention was to go with the Broad Left. Leighton Rees was about - he has since enjoyed well-known public office at the Welsh Assembly for Labour. Well, I favoured the Social Democrats, and I won. I overthrew the establishment so to speak. Someone said I had done this before; I hadn't but seemed to know what I was doing and how to do it. Now, before the outcome, one of the warnings at the time was not to win and then end up leaving the University, as it was known things were going wrong for me regarding settling into the course.. On winning I immediately tacked in the direction of the losers. Then I was given notice of losing the accommodation - a family member needed my place and I'd already moved a number of times. I'd had enough of the course and personnel and left. Consequently I left them with a bit of a mess.
A bit like Boris Johnson, eh, years later? Boris strived out, could have been pro or anti-European, was anti-European, sidelined Cameron, won, then tacked towards Remain, and then left, leaving a mess.
His tack-back was a Daily Telegraph essay that even gave a possibility that Article 50 might not be invoked. It's as if he might have another go at getting a deal of loose association but within the EU. He was certainly pro-single market, and he had become 'liberal' on immigration - the basis of so much tribal Out voting. So the going narrative was that Farage suspected backsliding and Gove was concerned and so Gove ran.
Until it turns out that Gove almost certainly had a hand in that article: had looked at it and gave it the nod. The team then was still running. But it isn't just that. It also seems that back in February 16th this year Gove, Johnson, wives and Evgeny Lebedev had a meal at which Johnson was persuaded to back Leave. Gove was always clear Out.
Thus Gove had Boris on his side, and Boris would make a difference. It would severely wound or topple Cameron. Clearly Gove knew that Johnson was luke-warm all the way through, and let Johnson write and publish his highly-paid article. Probably Johnson thought Gove was also being tactical regarding the 48% and practicalities as well. But not so, because it became evidence of backsliding, the Gove wife Sarah Vine then did an email leak (and another newspaper proprieter considered) and Gove stood. Johnson was outmanoeuvred and then became an entertainer again at his 'not me' for the leadership.
Meanwhile, it turns out that all this time through the campaign, Gove has had regular meetings with Osborne - so that in a Gove regime Osborne would have a top job, like Foreign Secretary. One can imagine this the other way around, that had Remain won Gove would have had a top job in an Osborne takeover. Gove would have represented the minority for Out, pressing, presumably, for maximising the terms Cameron had negotiated. Presumably a wounded Cameron who'd said he'd go would have had a succession attempt from Osborne.
The February meal and hand in on the Daily Telegraph article show real political skills of treachery and skullduggery. I must say: I have to admire the man Gove for wielding a very sharp and timely knife.
Unfortunately it never quite works out. What works best is to allow degrees of betrayal and the ability to be flexible. Johnson did lead Leave, he assassinated in the process, but then he had to tack-back and isolate the likes of Farage, Leadsom etc. and possibly Gove. But Gove had set him up all along, and so Johnson fell, and Gove moved from the number 2 to the number 1.
But in doing so, Gove relies on some very disgruntled pro-Johnson people, and cannot rely on the 'stop Johnson' ones either. His hope is that he can be number 2 in the selection process by MPs, and then get the vote of the membership instead of Theresa May. Unfortunately the appearance of the unbloodied - someone who does well from the sidelines and as committed as Gove to being 'Out' - can sap the vote from the knife-wielder himself. He has to find a way to undermine Andrea Leadsom, or she will undermine him and conclusively.
And she has potential to win in the membership against a Theresa May. Suspicions will arise that Theresa May herself will not invoke Article 50. It is why she says the referendum means she will do it, why she 'benefits' from her own very luke-warm 'Remain' position (loyalty to Cameron plus a speech bashing the EU). But she is vulnerable. She has to do the opposite of Johnson, and tack towards the 'Out' people. It might not be enough and Gove is saying so.
Meanwhile the argument has to be made, and if not made become a challenge, that the Executive alone cannot invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, because its place in UK law comes under the European Communities Act (if I have its name correct) and the Lisbo Treaty like all others is deeply part of UK domestic law. Indeed the Scottish Assembly as devolved is so partly under a European dimension.
That brings it to Parliament and then under the influence of time, and also the authority of a newly led Tory regime, by May or Leadsom (presumably), and its ability to survive under a small majority of Tories when many are driven anti-EU and some pro-EU as well. Labour must only vote for invoking Article 50 if the negotiation is positive. The SNP will vote against. All this makes a General Election more likely, at which point candidates are perfectly within their rights to wish to be elected on a 'stay in' basis.
The Manifesto of a Party or individuals says: the Referendum was advisory. It was called to solve a Conservative Party split and gambled the country. The Out side lied and could not keep their promises. The potential result of removal is evidently destructive. Vote for us/ me and we will not vote to invoke Article 50.
A party that does this, and makes it a cast-iron promise, will attract a lot of votes.
This is not over yet. What we know is that we got here by politicians exercising skullduggery on the risk of destroying the country over which they have had responsibility.