The triumphant flight of the lame duck

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 07:22 GMT, Oct 8, 2015 |

David Cameron’s self-harm, turning himself into a lame duck with just one shot to the foot, does not stop him from flapping serenely into the future. The quacking squabbles from the pond below do not yet spoil his serenity.

The prime minister’s speech acknowledged that the end is nigh.

This speech was not an epilogue, but we do know we are flicking towards the final chapter, even if the denouement is a way off yet.

This sense of finality is an odd thought so soon after an election victory, but it is a fact after Mr Cameron’s kitchen confessional that 2020 will see him max the chillax.

It doesn’t just mean we all know he won’t be leading his party into the next election. More importantly the person who will be leading the party and potentially the country knows that too.

Hence all the histrionic auditions.

As ministers spoke this week, their eyes were on the prize. And take no heed of the dodo in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, for the UK does not caucus, and not all will win prizes.

Luck, accident and the unexpected will all play a part, but two Es, will dictate the next leader: Europe and the economy.