Wednesday 26 October 2022

Suella Braverman - Rishi Sunak's lightening rod

 Like everyone else, my jaw dropped to the floor when I heard that Rishi Sunak had been appointed. How could he appoint someone who had just 'resigned' for breaching the ministerial code.

When I thought about it, I realised that he is a smart cookie. Every shrewd Prime Minister employs a lightening rod (google it if you don't know what it means). Blair had John Prescott, Heath had Enoch Powell, Wilson had Barbara Castle and Tony Benn. All people admired on the edgess of their own party and loathed by the opposition. As in the case of Powell and Benn, sometimes it can bite you on the backside, but having a team member who is absolutely hated by the other side, means that they take all of the focus. I've no idea what Sunak thinks of Braverman, but he clearly knows the value of having someone to take the bile. 

So what can we conclude. Sadly it isn't good. It's not Braverman's obnoxious views that really bother me, although I find them repugnant. What bothered me is that she resigned last week for a serious breach of the rules. Sunak is a Tory and I fully expect him to appoint people who's views I disagree with. I did, however, think that in appointing someone who doesn't beleive the rules apply to them, he has shown that he's not interested taking a new broom to concepts such as standards in public life and following the rules. 

He may find it useful having someone to deflect the lightening, but the person he's chosen is a lightening rod for all the wrong reasons. A Tory Prime Minister choosing hard line Tory is not a problem. A Tory Prime Minister choosing someone who has shown they think the rules don't apply to them is a huge error. The mere fact she has taken the job shows that she thinks she did nothing wrong. That is the problem

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