Sunak’s platitudes won’t save Britain
The Tories have lost the will to govern
‘The cost of living, too high! Waiting times in the NHS, too long! Illegal migration, far too much!’ This could have been Keir Starmer thundering from the Opposition benches. Except it wasn’t. This was Rishi Sunak’s assessment of the government he leads, delivered in his New Year launch speech. Failing on the economy, failing on health, failing on borders. It was scathing stuff. But it’s not as though the Prime Minister can pretend he and his party are delivering.
‘New Year should be a time of optimism and excitement,’ he said. ‘Yet I know many of you look ahead to 2023 with apprehension.’ Sunak cheerily called for a rejection of pessimism and fatalism, and refused to limit aspirations. Narrated like an adult reading a storybook to a child before bed, the speech’s sunny tone felt misjudged. And delivered with such cloying earnestness and saccharine enthusiasm, it had the subtlety and grace of a clown in a morgue.
Optimism is a powerful, unifying force, and Sunak is right to identify it as an important political goal. But there was something missing in his message — a reason to feel optimistic. Platitudes don’t pay for heating bills or get you seen by a GP faster — people need concrete, tangible reasons to believe that things are getting better, or at the very least, will do soon. The future of Sunak’s party depends on it.
When people are scared, they want realism — they to be levelled with. “I don’t expect you to like my message, but I hope you will understand and agree with my justifications for it,” he could have…
To read this full article on Sunak’s empty offer of motherhood and apple pie, please visit UnHerd using the link here: https://unherd.com/2023/01/rishi-sunaks-platitudes-wont-save-britain/