AND thus did the fighter quit. And so did Liz Truss find the contemporary Conservative Party to be all but ungovernable in government.

It is, very largely, her own fault. At a time of market jitters and public fear, she instigated a groundless, unfunded tax-cutting programme.

She insists her programme was well-meant. She did not anticipate the tsunami of disquiet which crashed the pound and increased government borrowing costs. Well, as the laconic Dr Snoddie informs young Finlay in the Tannochbrae of A.J. Cronin: “Ye ken noo!”

I have heard one or two commentators express personal sympathy for Ms Truss. At a human level, I understand. However, I cannot share such sentiments. Her actions, albeit implemented with vigour by Kwasi Kwarteng, have caused real, measurable damage to business and household living standards.

Plus, she was warned. Her rival (and possible successor) Rishi Sunak told her to her face during the previous leadership contest that her plans were “fantasy” and would have a catastrophic impact. Still, she persisted.

However, there is more in play here than just the ineptitude of one here today and, thankfully, gone tomorrow politician. The Conservative Party itself has changed internally beyond all recognition. That affects us because that transformed organisation is, once again, to choose the next UK Prime Minister.

I understand the view expressed by Opposition leaders that the Tory mandate, gained by Boris Johnson, has now degraded to such an extent that there should be a General Election. That view, vigorously expounded, is only partly self-serving. There is genuine revulsion at the events of the last few weeks.

Equally, I recognise that at Westminster we have a Parliamentary system. We choose MPs and, collectively, they guide His Majesty’s pick of Prime Minister.

My broader interest is in the Tory metamorphosis. All political parties are coalitions of the more or less willing. Members suppress personal views in order to sustain unity and retain power. Sometimes, though, an issue becomes so potent that it fractures any effort at unity. The party either transforms or splits as a consequence.

In the 19th century this happened to the Tories over the Corn Laws.

It happened to Gladstone’s Liberals over Home Rule. (The Conservative Party has “Unionist” in its title because breakaway Libs later merged with the Tories.)

It happened to Labour in the early 1980s when bitter arguments over economic policy resulted in the creation of the SDP.

And now it has happened to the Conservatives over Europe – not just at the Westminster level but on the ground, in the constituencies. Mostly in England, of which more later.

It began for real with the Maastricht Rebels who afflicted John Major. It moved through the insistent pressure on David Cameron to hold a Brexit referendum.

Now, it is not just sporadic Euro-scepticism. Opposition to the EU and all its works has become endemic within the wider Conservative Party. There is simply no place today for the views of, for example, Ken Clarke.

To be clear, there is more happening here than simply one policy, one issue. I have argued previously that Nationalist or patriotic movements frequently advocate flight from perceived tyranny or suppression.

Again, as discussed here, the SNP is different: it advances Scottish independence as a form of confident refuge from what Nicola Sturgeon called this week “a travesty of a partnership” with Westminster.

However, I believe that current Conservative attitudes in England owe much to a sense of escape. From Europe, yes, but also from modernism and from contemporary notions of inclusion. In a way, it is classic right-wing behaviour. At a time of turmoil, including the self-inflicted, seek solace in concepts derived from the past, from England’s history.

I have long argued that the good and sensible people of England are puzzling over their identity. What does it mean to be English today?

That phenomenon has three facets. It helped generate Brexit, in flight from European incorporation. It plays a part in stances on immigration. And it helps explain the nuanced views on the Union which we are beginning to hear from Tories. Instead of urging Better Together, we get an assertive Unionism, with Liz Truss declaring that she will ignore Nicola Sturgeon. (She did too. The departing PM never had a formal conversation with the First Minister. Too late now.)

Again, though, there is more. I would not want to push this too far. But I detect within the Tories just a touch of Poujadism, the reactionary French movement.

I stress, the parallel is not exact. But, as with Poujade, modern Tories are instinctively anti-tax and pro-business. Not just as a pragmatic policy, as a budget line. This is about intuition. Just listen to Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s zeal and passion – before, of course, it all crashed.

Also, like Poujade, there is a distinctly anti-intellectual tone. Such Tories advocate basic common sense. They dislike spread sheets and loathe psychology.

Michael Gove is decidedly analytical. But he also knew exactly what he was doing when he said, during the Brexit campaign, that we had “had enough of experts.”

Mainly, of course, he meant experts who disagreed vehemently with the Leave campaign. But he also sensed that his vituperative remarks would resonate with contemporary attitudes on the Right in England.

Further, these new model Tories find inclusive society inimical. Their chief emotions are nostalgia and escape. They laud the ordinary. Just listen again to Suella Braverman’s “anti-woke” tirade in the Commons.

Now, the key caveats. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with such attitudes. I am simply identifying inchoate trends, not excoriating them. They are by no means universal across the Tories. By no means. A new leader may seek to broaden the Conservative base once more.

However, right now, these trends have tended to exclude alternative views, making the Westminster Tory talent pool somewhat shallow.

Further, these trends pose a problem for the Scottish Conservative leader. He operates in a different polity, with different discourse. His discomfort is evident.

We may return to these matters in time. For now, though, folk crave stability – whether from a new Tory PM, a different UK government or an independent alternative to UK governance.