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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Poor Little Rishi and Cameron, the man of honour

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IT’S ONE of Nature’s cruel jokes that the Prime Minister’s diminutive physique should be so powerful a metaphor for his pygmy administration, but in his reshuffle he is at least providing the country with a seasonal display of comedic fireworks.

In a brave attempt to revitalise the Conservative party and its electoral appeal, David Cameron has been prevailed upon to put his Angry Birds game to one side and to take up the position of Foreign Secretary. Again.

It has been a while since this role was filled from the House of Peers, most recently by Lord Carrington some forty years ago in the period running up to the Falklands War. Carrington resigned on principle, taking upon himself responsibility for the lack of intelligence within his department which made Argentina’s invasion of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands such a surprise. Reflecting a different calibre of man, Cameron, if asked where the South Sandwich Islands are, would likely point to the occasional tables at the far end of his drawing room.

David Cameron, lest we forget, was the courageous leader who conducted a demeaning series of negotiations with other European heads of government and EU officials, who campaigned for Remain and who undertook to implement the aftermath of the Brexit referendum irrespective of how the country voted.

As it turned out, it would have taken a braver man than Cameron to make good on this undertaking. He slunk away, unloved and unmissed, only to re-emerge in 2021 to delight his public with the Greensill lobbying debacle which revealed the potential of simultaneously satisfying a strong desire for enrichment with a chillaxed approach to probity.

The cynics among us, and let’s be honest there are few excuses now for remaining innocent and credulous, expect little in the way of good behaviour from our political class but we are nonetheless affronted by the bold assumption that we neither notice nor care about such things.

It is disappointing to see James Cleverly heading for the Home Office since Theresa May should have been a shoo-in to head the department in which she was an ornament for so long. Why George as Lord Osborne has not been handed the keys to Number 11 to replace the perennially unpopular Treasury cipher Jeremy Hunt is another mystery.

Perhaps the most entertaining feature of the reshuffle so far is the certainty that the coming months will reveal that while the Grim Reaper will ultimately gather us all in, political death has no such limitations. It will be a spectacle to be savoured by a scorned electorate as the zombies return to their tombs.

Boris, revealed now as a lazy and shambolic follower of the line of least resistance, remains ‘Boris’ and something of a card in the eyes of many, not to be admired but as a force of nature adhering to his own chaotic system. ‘Rishi’, the word on its own rather than the man, is overlaid with pitying and patronising connotations. ‘Rishi’ stands as shorthand for ‘poor little Rishi’.

Does Rishi ever wonder whether he was ill-advised to put the skids under Boris Johnson or that he should have hunkered down and let Liz Truss get on with things in order to fight another day? We must hope that he increasingly does so as the curtain slowly falls on his pitiful administration.

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Laurence Hodge
Laurence Hodge
Laurence Hodge is a regular contributor to The Conservative Woman

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