When it comes to it, the speech came; as speeches go, it went. Brave speeches can inspire, and many appear in history books – but if their promises are proven false by reality, they have only notoriety.
After 13 years, there is a great deal about which Conservatives can boast achievement, but promising bold action on government failure rings hollow after so much missed opportunity. The nation has never felt a drop of that Hard Rain.
If the media, or the nation, were expecting a rip-roaring performance f the sort that Boris gives, they were looking at the wrong man: Rishi Sunak exudes smiling competence, but not excitement. Every man must play to his strengths. A last leader’s speech before an election is meant to be expansive and visionary – but the man was wrong for it, and the vision is long since faded. That is a cause of regret; deep regret. There was so much that could have been achieved in these past years since Boris’s spellbinding triumph in 2019, but all has faded.
Thirteen years and a fallacy: the narrative (into which I also fall) is that Conservatives have led the government for 13 years, and at this moment it looks as if there is little to show for it. That is not true though. Under David Cameron much was transformed. Government finances were moving to stability, even to eliminating the deficit, and taxes were inching down. The economy recovered to better condition than ever before and Britain was at effectively full employment, which was unheard of before. Then our attention was distracted by Brexit – but the dire warnings were proven false. Then came the lockdown, and the war. The finances went out of the window, the economy was driven into a politically created recession, as bad in its time as the predictions the Remainiacs frightened us with in their visions. And here we stand.
It has not been 13 wasted years, but four systematically wrecked years. Voters do not have long memories, and we judge by how empty our pockets are.
Now Rishi stands up and says that he will change the system that has held back change for thirty years. It is hard to take him seriously: why has it not been done long since? And what is this change? Dominic Cummings promised one, and turned everyone around him against him, until he was forced out swearing Lear-like vengeance.
This time though, the thirty years of a ‘political system that incentivises the easy decision, not the right one‘ and ‘rhetorical ambition which achieves little more than a short-term headline.‘, and he says he will say how to break it. Yet he did not: not even a hint.
There are things that can be done, no doubt. I have suggested several on this blog over the years. It is hard to have confidence in seeing that Hard Rain when the heaven over our head is like brass and the earth under us like iron.
There may be good intention in Westminster, but commands from on he dry up by the time they come to those who are tasked with putting them into effect. That may have to be the subject of an article soon. Then again, is there really good will in Westminster, when the Prime Minister himself declares from the podium what we all know, that a man is a man and a woman is a woman, but civil servants are sacked and cowed into silence for saying the same, and guidance still goes out form the highest level denying it?
It will take a great deal of action, committed with courage, with no looking back, and with exceptional achievement, to turn the voters, and in less than a year, that is improbable.
Rishi is a nice man, well meaning and with one of the best brains in the House, but without action, all this is nothing. “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
- Boris unleashed
- Measures: four Measures
- A system failing in the middle
- The Borisiad
- Iphigenia’s sisters
- We cannot win on social media
- Hard Green: Saving The Environment From The Environmentalists A Conservative Manifesto by Peter Huber
- By Jordan Peterson:
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- By Thomas Hobbes
- By Anthony Burgess:
- By others:
- Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Thomas Hobbes by Timothy Raylor
- Thomas Hobbes: Political Ideas in Historical Context by J P Sommerville