Letter from London

LONDON—There’s an upside of arriving in London right in time for a record-breaking heat wave that was pathetic by California standards. It only lasted two days, and temps are already back to normal, whereas every Californian will tell you that any self-respecting heat wave lasts at least five days. In any case, 104 degrees yesterday meant that I got more time to spend in pubs quaffing cold local brews, which was high on the agenda to begin with. Right now my favorite stop for a pint is The Coal Hole, which is right next to the Savoy Hotel, and has fabulous air conditioning, which you’d rightly expect of a place named for Britain’s primary fuel for several centuries. In fact The Coal Hole used to be the colliery for the famous hotel, and good to see that while Britain wants to end all coal use—just not yet—it has not banned the mention of the word “coal.”

So the heat wave was convenient, and besides, the New York Post reports this week that “Beer can help you survive a heatwave, doctors say,” though I’ve been practicing this form of preventive medicine for more than 45 years now, so who needs doctors. Take no chances I say, and order than next pint.

Kemi Badenoch

Along with the heat, I’ve managed to arrive just in time to catch the hotting up of the race to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister. I’ve watched a couple of the televised debates among the field, and they seem a dispirited and mediocre lot, with the exception of Kemi Badenoch, who was booted from the field yesterday in the latest winnowing by Tory MPs. She was by far the best and most interesting of the field. And we took note of Badenoch here on Power Line two years ago, wishing that we could “amend the Constitution so she can come to the United States and run for President.” Badenoch, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, is supremely anti-woke (the only one of the field), who as a junior cabinet minister under Boris directly attacked critical race theory and issued an official report that denied Britain is “institutionally racist,” which infuriated the cultural left. She’s also the most open (though imperfect) critic in the field of Boris’s Net-Zero energy madness, which means a Badenoch government would have offered the sublime virtue of annoying the two most vocal segments of leftist opinion—environmentalists and race-mongers. She also supported Brexit! Can it get any better than this? She is popular with the Tory rank-and-file, and survived the first several rounds of party MP voting.

We’re down to three (and I think the final two by this afternoon, though one nice thing about British pubs is that they don’t have CNN or the BBC or Pravda on their TVs, so you don’t have to put up with any blather with your suds, or yell “sod off” at Britain’s equivalent of Don Lemon). The final three are Rishi Sunak (former chancellor of the exchequer), Penny Mourdant (who is doing her best imitation of Margaret Thatcher, but it isn’t very good), and foreign secretary Liz Truss. All three make you yawn. And snap polls out this week show all three of these aspirants to 10 Downing Street would lose in a landslide to Labour’s Keir Starmer. Way to go, Tories!

Meanwhile, it is good to take in the London tabloids, which remind us of what real news coverage is like. From Metro this morning (no link—I’m going from hard copy in the pub):

Indignant hotel guest’s pavement protest falls flat

A drunken guest lay down in front of a Premier Inn when staff refused to let him into his room—only to find he was protesting at the wrong hotel.

Police were called after the man refused to end his lie-down demonstration on a Bournemouth pavement early hours of Sunday.

“An intoxicated man was trying to gain entry to a hotel where he didn’t have a booking,” Dorset police later tweeted.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. No—it wasn’t me! (Though I am staying in a flat right across the street from a Premier Inn.)  Now, time for another pint.

Chaser—a reminder that summer comes once a year, and is quite predictable:

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