Monday 27 May 2024

Lord of Chaos


One of the features of the 2017 election campaign was the way in which Theresa May’s big announcement on social care turned to dust on exposure to daylight and scrutiny. And one of the features of politics more generally is that politicians rarely learn from the mistakes of others, preferring to believe in their own unique ability. That inability to learn about the dangers of announcing policies which haven’t been thought through has given us Sunak’s National Service policy. The policy, which was categorically ruled out by one of Sunak’s ministers only three days before being announced as government policy, has been torn apart for its back-of-the-envelope costings and criticised by former military commanders as unworkable.

Sunak and his advisers seem not to have considered the possibility that ministers being interviews might be asked questions on the policy as opposed to being allowed to spout meaningless slogans, with the result that they have been sent out unbriefed and ended up busking with incoherent and inconsistent answers. Putting those answers together, we now know that the scheme would be compulsory, but with no means of enforcement for those who choose to ignore it. Any ‘punishment’ for those declining to participate is expected to be meted out by employers not giving jobs to young people who can’t demonstrate their participation, and fast-tracking those who have, whether they can do the job or not. Curiously, it was only a matter of a week ago that another of Sunak’s ‘loyal’ troops told businesses to consider people solely on merit and forget all other factors. Neither position seems to be easy to reconcile with the Tories’ traditional position that businesses themselves know what’s best for them and should be allowed to make their own decisions free of political interference.

Still, the good news is that, uniquely amongst all politicians, Sunak has a plan to which he is working. Just as well. Imagine how much chaos he could create – in his own party, never mind for the rest of us – if he didn’t have a plan.

1 comment:

Spirit of BME said...

Well, the Looney Tunes season has been declared open, with Little Risky Sunak great plan for National Service . Clearly this came from a focus group session where magic is dreamt up in minutes with no chance that it will work.
Not to be outdone the Labour Leader – The Knight of the British Empire produced a novel plan to put a head tax on learning. Now, I was privileged to have some private education – Ysgol Sul and Band of Hope on Wednesday night, so this along with Jewish and Muslims, all might have to pay up – good luck with that.
I can confidently predict that the Leader of the Liberal anti- Democratic Party, another Knight of the British Empire will produce a policy that will get him into deep water.