SO, have you seen Theresa May’s official portrait yet? It’s actually quite an impressive piece of work by the artist Saied Dai. It makes the former Prime Minister look rather imperious, to be honest. Someone who is capable and serious. Which just goes to show how sometimes art doesn’t always tell the truth.

Still, it may be useful in Mrs May’s current attempts to reinvent her public image following her depressing, miserable period as Prime Minister between 2016 and 2019 and her inglorious record as Home Secretary in the six years before. The Windrush scandal, in which British citizens were deported because they didn’t have the right paperwork, blew up under her watch. And then there were those interminable Brexit debates and stalemates. Not much of a legacy.

Of course, her own party has done its best to rehabilitate her in the years since she left office by being even more malignantly incompetent than she ever was. To create an artistic portrait of the self-serving venality and sense of entitlement that marked the Johnson years we’d need to find a contemporary equivalent of George Grosz. And as for Liz Truss? Peter Howson might have nightmares at the prospect of painting her portrait.

The damage the Tory Party has done to this country in the last 13 years is remarkable. And every week a new marker of their utter unfitness to govern seems to emerge. This week it can be summed up in the acronym Raac, an issue which they’ve - surprise, surprise - failed to address properly. There are no Daily Mail headlines in admitting that our schools and hospitals are in danger of collapsing, I suppose.

The dread realisation is we have another year of this still to go. Another year of a zombie government chasing approval by attacking lawyers and teachers and union members whilst pushing through egregious laws such as The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, which will give conditional immunity to those accused of murder during the Troubles. It’s a bill opposed by every political party in Northern Ireland, as well as victims’ rights groups. But this is a government that has no actual interest in what anyone else thinks or feels. It believes it is always in the right even when all the evidence points in a different direction.

The truth is Rishi Sunak hasn’t really steadied the ship since he came to power. He has simply carried on in the same blinkered manner as his predecessors, running a government that has little sense of purpose or drive or, frankly, point.

There’s a sense of exhaustion at large in the nation. And to know we have another 12 to 14 months of this political sleep deprivation in front of us is enervating.

And then what? An election that will be dirty, desperate and divisive. What a prospect.

Last week I spent an afternoon with James Naughtie for this Saturday’s Herald Magazine. Among other things, the former Today presenter and I were discussing the state of the nation. Looking ahead to next year he saw challenges for both the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition in the election that is due before the end of next year.

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“Starmer is anxiously trying to steer a course between those who say, ‘We want a radicalism to match Atlee,’ and at the same time being conscious that the public appetite for that may be patchy. It’s a very tricky balance,” Naughtie suggested.

As for the Prime Minister? “Sunak, I suppose, has to decide how far he will tack to the right,” he added. That is the fear, of course. That as a final roll of the dice, the Tories live up to their name as the nasty party. They haven’t much else to offer after all. It would be quite something to campaign on their record given it is so flagrantly hopeless.

In the past elections, Naughtie pointed out, were always believed to be won from the centre. It’s possible that hasn’t been the case for a while now. Will it be again? We have a year until we find out. What a miserable prospect.