HAVING observed the Conservative leadership contest for the last two weeks, it’s clear that Jacob Rees-Mogg, the member for Old Sarum, now represents the moderate wing of the party. Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have come to resemble Baron and Baroness Bomburst from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Sunak, whose wealth could buy the north of England and add it to his family’s property portfolio, has rather let his mask slip. The New Statesman has posted a clip of him addressing a Tory garden party in Tunbridge Wells.

“I want to make sure areas like this are getting the funding they deserve because we inherited a bunch of formulas from the Labour Party which shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas.”

I expect Ms Truss to respond in kind by providing like-for-like sustenance for other disadvantaged neighbourhoods such as The Cotswolds and Guildford.

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“It’s unfair that deprived urban areas have access to free barbecued hula-hoops and steak-bakes. I want to see an artisan food bank in every village south of London and will impose a windfall tax on the swollen northern foodbank sector.”

I THOUGHT of Sunak and Truss when, as part of my essential research, I consumed some mid-morning television on those channels which give us American law enforcement documentaries like Hands Up Or I’ll Shoot and 20 Most Memorable Electric Chair Executions.

Last week though, featured repeats of Dale Winton’s Supermarket Sweep. Dale was the king of mid-morning television in its golden age of the 1990s.

Supermarket Sweep was my favourite. It featured competing teams of low-income people trying to fill their trolleys with high value comestibles for the sorts of prizes you used to get in Jim Bowen’s Bullseye.

With the impending recession promising household energy prices to climb as high as £4500 a year and a real threat of profound civil unrest this winter I’m told that some Tory strategists want to roll out mass participation games of Supermarket Sweep, Bullseye and It’s a Knockout across England’s edgier regions.

As well as keeping truculent poor people occupied there could be regional heats where the most brawny young lads and lasses try to win a winter’s supply of food and fuel for the entire community. The Hunger Games are here.

TO Edinburgh and a long-overdue visit to the Shortbread City. It’s the day before the 75th Edinburgh Festival Fringe and so it’s Barrier Day, when steel railings are erected throughout the city to keep the residents of Pilton and Wester Hailes out.

Edinburgh in August has now come to resemble a monstrous theme park for the affluent international gap-year set and those whose incomes permit them to take an entire month off work.

I recall a visit with my old chum, Simon Pia who was once the Samuel Pepys of Edinburgh as The Scotsman’s diarist. It was the 20th anniversary of the cinematic release of Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh’s great novel. Mr Pia told me that Edinburgh’s working class people rarely attended any Edinburgh Festival events simply because they were never accustomed to visiting the city centre at any time.

“These people loved Trainspotting because, for the first time, something important had been written and performed that reflected the way they spoke and the places they lived.”

Pia was absolutely spot-on. The city caters for the global itinerant demi-monde and effectively tells them that Edinburgh doesn’t have poor people and that the children all wear short trousers and brown, braided blazers.

Still, I always make it through for at least one festival night where I gather with some old Scotsman contacts and take advantage of the city’s liberal licensing laws to get festivaled out our nuts.

NOT that Glasgow has much to crow about these days.

If Edinburgh has become a sort of high-class Westworld, Glasgow has become a go-to destination for those festival gap-year hoppers when they do actually start the serious business of studying.

Those bits of the city centre that don’t currently look like a setting from Escape From New York now look like dormitories for affluent international students.

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These breezeblock Portakabins with windows are now hollowing out vast swathes of the city centre.

Meanwhile, in the west end, Glasgow University is altering the built aesthetic of the neighbourhood. A new architectural avant-garde ecole is flourishing known as Rusty Shipping Container. Check out that yellow excrescence that sits in the vicinity of Kelvingrove, by the way.

IT’S reported that Aberdeen University under-graduates studying the Anglo-Saxon classic, Beowulf are to get trigger warnings. These will alert them to the epic poem’s black magic, eviscerations and beer-drinking, all of which could harm their mental health.

A number of other works will also come with health warnings attached. To be on the safe side the English Literature department is now considering an entire course on the themes of hubris and redemption in Three Craws Sat Upon A Waw.