In most weeks for the last five years or so, I have sat down to write my update with a fog of thoughts and crises, problems and events swirling around my head. I try to vary the subject matter from week to week; but almost always immediate events dictate what the subject matter will be. It’s amazing nonetheless how often my readers question “why are you talking about x,y,z. Isn’t a,b,c more important at a time like this?”
Well, my earnest hope is that from now for at least couple of years I’ll be hard pressed to think of anything to write. I hope that politics will be dull as ditch water, that the great ship of State will steady herself and glide smoothly through untroubled waters; that Rishi Sunak and his Administration will find fair and workmanlike solutions to the myriad problems the world and the UK face; and that we can look forward to a decent period of peace and prosperity, and calm reflectiveness. Let’s hope.
I was delighted that the ‘100 supporter’ threshold for the leadership of the Conservative Party which Sir Graham Brady thought up and carried out so effectively, meant an end to blood-letting, and to navel gazing within the Tory Party. There are enough problems in the world without making it all a whole lot worse by internal squabbles.
All reshuffles produce winners and losers – the winners are convinced that their elevation to greatness has come about because of their own innate worthiness; their policy brilliance and their ability to communicate it. The losers look bitterly at those promoted above them, who they inevitably feel are not worthy of the promotion. The only real winners are those - like me – who love our jobs and seek no reward save the approval of our electorate. There’s an old army expression GOPWO - Grossly Over Promoted Warrant Officer” - usually levelled at some of our most senior Generals. There are a few GOPWOs in the new Government, but overall it is a strong and competent group of people – from a wide diversity of backgrounds. Is it not ironic that it is we Conservatives who have had three women Prime Ministers and now one of a South Asian heritage. Despite their protestations to the contrary, all Labour Leaders have been “pale, male and stale.”
So after what by any standards has been a turbulent few months; I would like the world to steady; I would like Rishi and his Government quietly to address some of the great concerns of the day; I would like them to do what must be done for the greater benefit of all of the people, even if there may be some tough and unpopular decisions inherent in that.
Sunlit uplands to come, clear blue water to get there, and a steady hand on the tiller of the ship of State.