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Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Lost in fantasy land

If anything sums up the fantasy land that the current Tory government is occupying, it is the decision by Rishi Sunak to try and appease the right wing of his party by appointing Esther McVey as a Cabinet Office minister with the task of leading the government’s anti-woke agenda, acting as a “common sense tsar”.

The Guardian reports that McVey, who is currently a presenter on GB News, has been elevated to the cabinet in an attempt to appease the right wing of the Tory Party, who are mourning the sacking of Suella Braverman.

Braverman had long frustrated No 10 with her off-the-cuff comments, but she was removed on Monday for her article published in last Thursday’s Times, in which she claimed there was a “perception that senior police officers play favourites when it comes to protesters” and were tougher on rightwing extremists than pro-Palestinian “mobs”.

McVey said last week that she believed Braverman was “feeling very vulnerable” and attempted to shore up more support on the right of the party so Sunak could not sack her.

She told GB News at the time: “I think that the immigration problem hasn’t been solved. So what she needs to do is, as she’d see it, is shore up a base, a base on the right hand side of the party, one that Rishi can’t naturally reach out to.

“What she’s saying is ‘you can’t get rid of me’. There is a reshuffle coming forward and she’s saying ‘I’m going to be quite out there’ … I have to stay in.”

With Braverman out, and the likes of David Cameron, Laura Trott and Victoria Atkins in, many of the party’s rightwingers have seen the reshuffle as an attempt to move the party into the centre ground.

Andrea Jenkyns said “enough is enough … it’s time for Rishi Sunak to go”, and submitted a letter of no confidence to the 1922 Committee.

She said that forcing Boris Johnson out was “unforgivable enough”, before criticising the removal of Braverman – the “only person in the cabinet with the balls to speak the truth of the appalling state of our streets and a two-tier policing system that leaves Jewish community in fear for their lives and safety [sic]”.

Does this mean that the confrontational and right-wing stance of GB News will now be the order of the day in the cabinet office? The idea that somebody should be handed a senior government post with the intent of suppressing certain views and actions is hardly democratic.

Sunak's brave new world may turn out to be Trumpian after all.
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