MOURNERS last week returned to the harsh economics of end-of-an-era Britain, vainly hoping that the warm glow of a dead queen and her surviving corgis will heat their homes this winter.

Working by candlelight, in the gloomy aftermath, is our previous prime minister writing the memoirs of his catastrophic time in office.

Boris Johnson is of course a former ­columnist and the disgraced editor of The Spectator, so hacking out the first draft of his time in office will be as easy and ­unreliable as the rest of his charmed life.

If Johnson conforms to type, he’ll be busy feathering his nest, doing the usual round of compliant boardrooms, or trying to star f*** a Netflix commissioning editor, in the vain hope of pulling off an output deal in the style of Barack Obama.

One thing we already know is that ­concluding a book deal will be as easy for Johnson as constructing a racy cliche. If Johnson is smart, he will ­reinvent the literary genres, merging the ­political memoir with the bonk-buster. What would be more suited to his ­temperament than recounting the scene where he is ­being briefed on president Emmanuel Macron’s ­prospects in the French ­presidential ­elections while participating in soixante-neuf with a Tory Party researcher?

I fear Johnson’s book may even be ­woven around chapters headed by his ­favourite catchphrases – “Get Brexit Done”, “Oven-ready Deal” and ­“Getting the Big Decisions Right”. What we ­cannot yet predict is how much space will be devoted to Nadine Dorries, his hapless culture secretary and one of the least ­talented women ever to hold public office.

What is it about the blonde, ­flirtatious and seemingly permanently semi-pissed Dorries that attracted Johnson to ­promote her to such a culturally sensitive office of state?

We may never know the real answer but it’s a safe bet that for her duty in ­office, Dorries will soon be rewarded with a seat in the House of Lords to join other worthy nobles like Michelle Mone, the Evening Standard’s Russian oligarch Baron Lebedev and Malcolm Ian Offord, or Baron Offord of Garvel, the Scottish financier and now Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to the Scotland Office.

Let me not get diverted by Offord’s ­previous misgivings – rest assured he does not have a “Yes” T-shirt in his wardrobe.

It’s not yet clear how clear Dorries’s path to ermine will actually be. Last week, the online media industry ­website, Deadline, reported that the SNP MP John ­Nicolson, who sits on the ­influential ­Digital, Culture, Media & Sport ­Committee (DCMSC), is attempting to block her path to the House of Lords. His move comes in response to Dorries’s claim that Channel 4 used actors in Love ­Productions’s reality format Tower Block of Commons.

Nicolson has written to House of Lords Appointments Commission chair Lord Bew and referred the matter to the UK’s Commons Committee of Privileges, ­arguing that Dorries knowingly ­misled a parliamentary committee with her ­“seemingly entirely false” claim.

Earlier this year, Channel 4 said an ­investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing and it is Nicolson’s presumption that Dorries misled the committee as part of a wider campaign of vindictiveness against Channel 4.

Nicolson’s letter to the appointments committee is the latest chapter in the stand-off between Channel 4 and the Johnson administration – the threat of privatisation still hangs over the public service broadcaster.

With Dorries’s departure from government there are, however, some signs of a thawing of relationships. The new culture secretary Michelle Donelan has already announced that she will ­reconsider the economic case for ­privatisation, in the wake of a public campaign of ­opposition and heavy lobbying by commercial ­production companies. It is a sign that she may well row back on what many saw as Dorries’s personal obsessions or at the very least an act of Tory vengefulness.

As Dorries imagines her next move, there is much to reflect on about her character and personality. The most ­obvious question is the party she chose to join. Dorries’s personal background was unquestionably Labour-leaning. Born in Anfield in Liverpool, the Catholic daughter of a bus driver, overcoming dyslexia, studied as a trainee nurse within the NHS and after a year married, and worked for charities in Zambia. She then returned to England and set up Company Kids, which provided day-care services for the children of working mothers.

So far so New Labour, but a gene ­within Dorries’s composition – the need for fame and attention – came to dominate her ­story.

Elected in the safe Tory seat of Mid-Bedfordshire in 2005, Dorries is said to have been uncomfortable in the company of “posh boys” like David Cameron and had a turn of phrase that would have been more at home at her dad’s old bus depot. When the Daily Mirror investigated her daughter’s salary as a Westminster researcher, Dorries charmingly tweeted: “Be seen within a mile of my daughters and I will nail your balls to the floor.”

Dorries’s political career coincided with the rise of reality TV formats, a pop subculture she was too easily attracted to. In 2010 she signed up to living in a tower block in Acton for the Channel 4 show then she agreed to appear on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. Her ­absence from Parliament brought her into disrepute, suspended from the Tory whip and then ignominiously voted out of the “jungle” in the early stages.

Rather than drawing on her rich social background to build up her reputation in the House, reality TV framed her a lightweight attention-seeker – characteristics that proved not to be a barrier to ­promotion under the stewardship of the selfish Johnson.

As she awaits being ennobled, Dorries has come to typify the many problems with the House of Lords. Failure in office is not seen as a barrier to entry, personal baggage is easily discharged at the door and motivation for being there and taking the emoluments on offer is never deeply scrutinised.

AS the disgraced friends of Boris Johnson take up their places in the Lords, it is shameful how little appetite there is for either reform or radical surgery.

Even the Labour Party, who have ­trumpeted their opposition to the Lords since children were stuffed up factory chimneys, seem to have lost the will to ­seriously demand change.

On the contrary, too many of their ranks have their eye on the long game, and relish the day when they can try on the wrinkled tights and take the ultimate cosplay of Westminster.

Anyone who doubts the lure of the Lords need only watch the ingratiating weaknesses of the current speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle whose Dickensian ­grovelling during the funeral for Queen Elizabeth has become a raging internet meme.

Hoyle took to television to claim that the Queen’s death was the most ­monumental event in world history, presumably eclipsing the collapse of the ­Roman Empire, the Second World War and 9/11.

If it had been Hoyle’s first royal overreach he might be forgiven for melting under the studio lights, but he had previously drafted an unctuous letter to ­Heathrow Airport proposing it be rebranded in honour of the dead Princess Diana. They thankfully shelved the letter.

Although Hoyle was required to relinquish his party-political affiliations back in 2019, his complicity with a parliamentary charade that has allowed proroguing, an openly contemptuous prime minister and disgraceful disrespect for opposition parties has signalled to many his unwillingness to grow a backbone.

What can and has been an effective second chamber is now so badly padded with placemen and bloated with bizarre appointees that it has become a parody of democratic scrutiny, rather than a gold standard. Bringing Nadine Dorries to its benches will confirm rather than challenge that parody.