Guess Who’s Back?

Kaitlin Dryburgh

Well, well, well, it seems that last week’s newsletter article seems to have done the trick. Suella Braverman is out of job, I hadn’t predicted it would have been this fast but it seems that Suella’s Times article criticising the Police was the final nail in the coffin.

In just over a year she’s been hired and fired as Secretary of State twice, which has got to be some kind of record. In many respects she should have never been hired the second time due to breaking the ministerial code and in reality never should have been a minister anyway, lacking the skill set or respect to do the job with any ounce of professionalism. However, in last week’s newsletter I did predict that she may very well stick around to really do some damage to the Conservative party, and it seems that very much on the agenda. She has not gone quietly, her letter to the PM is extremely scathing and looks to ridicule both his leadership and integrity. She positions herself very boldly as the reason he gained the support necessary to become PM and the only one sticking up for those who voted Conservative. Modesty is not her strong suit. The ink is barely dry, but I think we can expect Braverman to be plotting her next move to undermine Mr Sunak. She will by no means be a quiet backbencher.

The last three years of the UK government has been akin to watching a TV drama that’s on its last season and the plotlines are too farfetched to be believable.

Just like a drama series that should have been cancelled last season, it seems we’re now resurrecting characters who we believed to be written out. David Cameron has returned. Nothing says moving forward and rejuvenation more than bringing back an old PM.

In a move many of us didn’t see coming the new Foreign Secretary is only Mr Trotters himself, David Cameron. Perhaps a brave move for Sunak, it certainly did the job of over-shadowing the firing of Braverman which left little room for her or any of her supporters to voice their outrage.

The only silver-lining that can be seen in this move is it didn’t result in a complete move towards the right, and towards more of a populist stance. Cameron is still not an ideal candidate by any means, yet he at least brings a bit more professionalism to the job and doesn’t seem to be hellbent on spreading misinformation and hateful speech. However, that’s in comparison to Suella Braverman so the competition wasn’t that tough anyway and many people would seem professional in their job when compared to her.

The Cameron return has dominated the news these last few days but just in case anyone missed it the UK government is now on to its sixteenth housing minister since 2010. Which might be okay if everything was hunky dory with our housing in the UK, but the reality is quite the opposite. It is utterly unacceptable that a government department is averaging 1.2 ministers per year, how is anyone supposed to get a grip on a situation in that time?

David Cameron returning to the Cabinet really throws up some questions that need answered. The first question, and the most important one is, how a non-elected member of the House of Lords will be held accountable in the House of Commons when they can’t set foot in there? This he claims will happen in the House of Lords, but it is clear that with the lesser intensity of scrutiny and debate that takes place in the Lords, it seems he could be in for an easy ride. Speaker of the House Lindsay Hoyle isn’t convinced, and has quickly made it clear that he expects much more transparent plans as to how those in the Commons will be able to critique his work. Which considering we have two very prominent wars on the go is a rather important point. There is the opportunity of select committees to provide opportunity for scrutiny and for MPs to ask questions.

It seems rather Victorian to have a sitting member of the Cabinet coming from the Lords, it appears out of touch from the modern world. Yet this isn’t actually that unheard of, there have been plenty of example of individuals from the House of Lords becoming a minister as close as Boris Johnsons’ government, but this is the first time in a while there has been such a senior figure in the Cabinet sitting the House of Lords. Perhaps this will spur on a new debate on if this practice should be allowed or this may push Keir Stammer to review the regulations.

Another question the Conservative party really should be asking themselves is ‘why they had to look to an un-elected member of their party to fill a role?’ There was definitely a feeling that they were scrapping the barrel of talent when Liz Truss was PM but now it really seems they’re scratching their heads. Out of the 350 MPs none were deemed suitable enough for the position of Foreign Secretary. It is clear that the Conservatives have run their course, and it seems more than likely that they’ll be the opposition come the next election. From that point on they will need to address the lack of serious and competent options within their party

There will be a section of those who voted for the likes of Boris Johnson will view the return of Cameron as a betrayal of the party. There were many of those voters who moved from the Conservative party to the UKIP party, they actively disliked David Cameron’s Eton College posh school boy aura. Boris Johnson’s completely false but pushed narrative that he was for the people began to pull those individuals back into the party. Straight out of the populist play book, the likes of Johnson managed to persuade people that he wasn’t one of those elite posh boys. So this move could alienate many of the voters they won in 2019.

In the meantime welcome back Mr Cameron, you haven’t really been missed. As the mastermind behind austerity, the damage you caused has at times been unmeasurable. But here are some numbers anyway: some have argued that over 300,000 people have died directly and indirectly because of your polices. Many public services wouldn’t be in such dire need if it hadn’t been for the underfunding that they saw all those years ago. It may have been your past approach but it still very much lives on in our present.

And how could we forget the Brexit mess you gave us. Your job will be inexplicitly different now in a post-Brexit world, one that you helped to create.

This concludes the current instalment of the saga. Until the next crazy story breaks.

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