IF the demonstrable failings of our Home Secretary didn’t have such grave consequences, you would have expected her to be the subject of her own resignation lettuce livestream by now.

At the weekend, we saw what happens when cynical party politics is weaponised by – and for – those with bad intentions.

Boris Johnson embodied all the qualities and characteristics of somebody uniquely unsuited to lead a country through a pandemic. In a similar way, Suella Braverman is the worst Home Secretary at the worst possible time.

Tensions were already high ahead of the pro-Palestine marches at the weekend. Braverman exploited those tensions with her incendiary op-ed for The Times.

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She described the marchers calling for a ceasefire as a “mob” and the demonstration itself as a “hate march”. The marches, she said, would be an “affront to the British public” and called on the Metropolitan Police to use anti-protest powers to ban the London protest, despite the fact that organisers had already pledged to stay away from the Cenotaph and  delay the start of the march until after the 11am Armistice Day commemorations took place.

Her accusation that the police were guilty of double standards in their treatment of protesters from the left and right was heard loud and clear by the thugs that the message was intended for.

Many of them descended on London on Saturday, led by hate-filled rabble-rouser Tommy Robinson. These brave lads marched in defence of a statue but not before sinking a few pints and throwing a few punches to demonstrate just how deeply patriotic they are.

The National: Counter-protesters clash with police in Parliament Square in central London, during pro-Palestinian protest march which is taking place from Hyde Park to the US embassy in Vauxhall. Picture date: Saturday November 11, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story

As their thuggery was broadcast live for all to see, one reporter described the scenes as more reminiscent of a football match than a day of solemn commemoration. These shameful scenes were in stark contrast to the moments of quiet, unshowy, remembrance that took place elsewhere.

There is no doubt Braverman’s brazen attempt to interfere in the operational workings of the police was designed to inflame tensions ahead of Remembrance weekend.

Rishi Sunak looked weak when he said he had full confidence in her, after it was revealed that her piece in The Times hadn’t been given the go-ahead by Number 10. She challenged him and he bottled it.

And if he looked weak at that moment, then he looks thoroughly pathetic now.

We all saw the consequences of the Home Secretary’s words play out on national television. She undermined the authority of police officers and then remained silent as they came under attack by a band of far-right louts.

No prime minister who enjoyed the full confidence of his party would allow such antics to go unchallenged. For as long as she remains in the role, Braverman will serve as a walking reminder of the weakness of Sunak’s position.

In seeking to avoid conflict with the loony right of his party, he is allowing the UK to be put in the incredibly risky position of having a freelancing Home Secretary.

Just like the thugs who descended on Whitehall, Braverman will have been emboldened by the weekend’s events. In anticipation of her party losing power at the next election, she is conducting a leadership bid from the comfy vantage point of a ministerial office.

If the Prime Minister thinks he can control Braverman’s rebellious tendencies with behind-the-scenes pleas for restraint he is in for a shock. A minister who is unsackable is also by definition uncontrollable.

It seems unconscionable that Sunak deems the disgruntled mutterings and threats from his hard-right backbenchers more of a risk than keeping an unscrupulous Home Secretary in post who is intent on his downfall.

Of course, it is possible that the Prime Minister wanted to wait until Remembrance weekend was over before taking action. Perhaps his long-overdue hunt for a backbone will prove fruitful.

He might yet come to the belated realisation that the hard right of his party cannot be soothed and placated, so there is no point in even trying. But it would be too little too late. The damage has already been done and few will forget those disgraceful Armistice Day scenes any time soon.

It is clear time is running out for the Conservative Party. Rather than use the little they have left before a General Election to right the wrongs of their time in government, it seems to be on a mission to do as much as damage as possible before it is turfed out of office.

And it should worry us enormously that people like Braverman, who hold the powers of one of the great offices of state, are in a prime position to inflict maximum harm upon our democratic norms and institutions in the months ahead.