Monday, April 22, 2024
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You’re not ready, Rishi


I SEE the BBC and the Daily Mail are calling Rishi Sunak’s leadership bid video ‘slick’.  

What planet are they on? It’s slick all right – Deepwater Horizon-style slick. All claggy and oily. 

I suppose the papers and telly have got to hedge their bets about our wannabe Prime Minister at this early stage, just in case he does make it to Downing Street.  

But come on, how could anyone have anything positive to say about this three-minute cliché-fest, unleashed on an unsuspecting world on Friday via Twitter?

So what don’t I like? Well, for starters, his campaign slogan Ready for Rishi. Not exactly All the Way With LBJ, is it? It reminds me of one of those leaflets on buff-coloured paper you used to get from the Inland Revenue entitled Ready for the Changes to the Tax Codes? Boring.  

Next thing, Rishi. Why don’t you wear a tie in your video? You’re promoting yourself as the next leader of this country and yet you can’t be a***d wearing a tie? Who do you think you are, a BBC reporter? I for one feel disrespected.  

Rishi, your PR bods may have told you going open-necked makes you look cool – down with the kids and up with the now. But you just look posed and awkward. 

Then you open your speech with: ‘Let me tell you a story . . .’

No, Rishi. Sorry. Stop right there. I don’t want to hear a bloody story and I doubt if anyone else does these days. We’ve had enough stories from politicians. 

However, you insist on telling us about your apparently humble family origins. Rishi, every politician, even those born with a canteen of silver spoons in their mouth, plays this dog-eared card, telling us how they spent their childhood shoeless and begging in rags. 

That sort of stuff became a joke with the Four Yorkshiremen sketch 55 years ago – before you were born. I mean, you may represent a Yorkshire seat, but don’t tell us you lived in a shoebox in the middle of the road, or in a septic tank on the side of slagheap.  

In fact, your background was quite comfortable – your parents were professionals, you went to public school, Oxford University, Stanford University in the US, and married the daughter of a billionaire. 

Then we get to the obligatory stab in the back against your dear, but still not quite departed, leader. You say: ‘Do we confront this moment with honesty, seriousness, and determination, or do we tell ourselves comforting fairy tales that might make us feel better in the moment, but will leave our children worse off tomorrow?’

That’s code for saying that Johnson was dishonest, frivolous and irresolute. Er, well, if he was so bad, why the hell did you keep working with him? 

As for children being left worse off, that’s an open goal for cynics who’ll say: ‘Yes, multi-millionaire Rishi – but not your children.’ 

Again, you challenge credulity when you tell us: ‘My values are non-negotiable. Patriotism, fairness, hard work.’ 

Patriotism? From someone who held a Green Card, allowing him to live in the US?  

Fairness? Did you think it fair that your well-heeled wife had non-dom status, saving a fortune in tax? 

Hard work? Well, you’ve got that right, Rishi – if this video is anything to go by, you’re going to be making hard work of this leadership bid. I’d urgently change your PR team.  

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Henry Getley
Henry Getley
Henry Getley is a freelance journalist.

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