Part of my new life-work balance is to find plenty of time to properly switch off and get away. The curse of email and social media can mean we hardly ever switch off. So we have a plan in October to disappear off grid for a couple of weeks. Currently in the Trossachs we have terrible Wi-Fi and no phone signal. Once you get used to it it’s quite relaxing!
But given that when we left Liz Truss was still PM and I was predicting she might not last until Christmas not quite believing the Tory parliamentary party would act so quickly and decisively. Wow. What a couple of weeks. Truss resigned, Boris scarily tried to make a come back and the loser of the Summer Tory Party leadership is now Prime Minister.
Let’s be honest this has been a running farce for far too long. Whilst as the Opposition we can enjoy the Tory Party tearing themselves apart it does no long term good for parliament and the opinion of parliamentarians. We need boring grown up governments not the melodramatic farce.
So where now. Sunak will calm the markets and like many I am relieved that the period of Johnson (and Trussonomics) can be put behind us, but we have to be careful that we don’t fall into the trap of thinking we have a ‘new’ government. It is vital we remind everyone constantly that this is the 5th Tory PM since 2010, and that he is very much a Thatcherite right wing Tory. His instincts will always be those of a privileged private educated banker worth £700m. He may be able to be a grown up when it comes to the Treasury and fiscal responsibility but this comes with a heavy dose of right wing ideology.
I firmly believe he failed the test of leadership on just his first day with his reshuffle. It’s obvious he had done a deal with Braverman for her backing. How scary it is that she has become the standard bearer for the ultra scary right wing groups that operate within the Tory party. No talent and little idea of managing a big department. It’s all a political game to her. But Sunak is in hoc to her and the ERG. This will be no cosy government looking after ‘the people’ but a hard line version of Osborne austerity mark 2.
We are in for a tough time. Labour needs to hold its nerve. The polling lead it currently has will reduce to more normal levels but the game plan should remain the same. Remind people of the Tories chaos, reassure them that Labour is a serious government in waiting and can handle the economy and major issues, and as the election gets nearer set out for people the future Britain they could expect and be rewarded with by voting Labour.
Finally, the selection of the Labour Party candidate for the Loughborough seat deadline is today. I have not applied and will set out in a bit more depth why not and what I think it will take to win Loughborough. I did have a wobble in the last two weeks and wondered if my life should take a different path from retiring to taking a front line role again. It was a tough call but I have decided to support whoever the Party chooses to oust the father useless Johnson supporting current Tory MP!!