Assailed is an overused word to describe a public figure facing the wrath of an indignant public, but it is one of the many words that can be used to accurately describe the position in which the Metropolitan Police Commissioner finds himself. .
Dame Cressida Dick does not seem to realize that she has become institutionalized. She’s worked at the Met for so long that she can’t see the wood from the trees. She runs an organization that is more or less immune to sweeping change and reform, and she lacks the emotional intelligence to lead head-on and implement what is needed.
I have been told that the main reason Lady Cressida was reappointed to this post by Priti Patel and Sadiq Khan was because there was no one else there. What an indictment.
There is no doubt that she is appreciated by her colleagues. Being loved is a boon for any leader, but sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. Surprisingly, his staff and advisers don’t call him “commissioner”. She is widely nicknamed “Cress”. Does anyone really imagine that his predecessors in the post would have allowed this? In his book Gavin Barwell, Theresa May, former chief of staff, recalls that he had known her as “Theresa” for 20 years, but as soon as he was appointed to this post in 2017, she became “Premier Minister “.
And quite right too. Leaders cannot be friends.
The orthodoxy of the Treasury must be called into question
Over the decades and centuries, the Conservatives have always found a problem in causing a schism. It was first the corn laws, then the tariff reform. Then came appeasement, “Butskellism”, “Powellism”, “Thatcherism” and of course, lately, Europe. As I write this at the Manchester conference, I detect another split, this time between conservatives in small, low-tax states and those who believe that in the post-Brexit and Covid world, the role of the state will be crucial in allowing the economy to recover and grow, and the key to winning elections is to use the power of the state to improve public services.
In a side meeting I chaired on Sunday, Jacob Rees-Mogg argued that the Conservative Party is still the party of low taxes, a small state and free enterprise. The record tells us something different. We have the highest tax burden since the 1960s, the state seems to encroach more and more on all aspects of our lives, and we have Treasury ministers who seem to think that the IR35 and Loan Charge will encourage entrepreneurship rather than what they actually do. , which is to suffocate it.
The IR35, an attempt to squeeze more money from the self-employed, was a disastrous blacksmith’s hammer that not only broke the nut, it shattered it as tens of thousands of people shredded it. been forced to give up their jobs for decades – including thousands of truck drivers. What we need are treasury ministers who will stand up against the mandarins of their own department and the HMRC and say bluntly “with this, we won’t do it.”
Too often in the past, they have become indigenous. Too often the Treasury is made up of ministers with little experience in business and free enterprise. Hopefully the Chancellor will take another look at IR35 and borrowing fees and ask if these are really measures a true Tory can support.
Boys in blue suits – the new men in gray suits
This is my 36th Conservative Party conference. Over the years, they have changed in several ways. Gone are the nights when we woke up sweating in the beds of Blackpool B & Bs and found we slept on incontinence sheets. Gone are the days when conference participants could make speeches from the hall and face government ministers. Gone, it also seems, the blue flushing brigade.
In Manchester this week, it is noted that the most visible demographic group is the 16 to 35 year olds who are in the majority. There is, however, one problem: Ninety percent of them do not appear to have a cervix.
The strange art of interviewing Boris
Boris Johnson is the most difficult politician to interview I have ever met. I think Andrew Marr would probably agree. He rarely looks you in the eye, so it’s harder to interrupt when he riffs on the red buses, after being asked about China.
Her interview with Marr on Sunday started off well with thoughtful responses about women’s safety, but then it turned into a swaggering session about heavy truck drivers and unnecessary pig slaughter. At the time, I thought it had been a bit of a disaster for the Prime Minister, and I was accused on social media of having the temerity to say so.
Typical Boris, however, as he arrived smelling the roses. Almost inadvertently, what emerged from the interview was a new political dividing line. “Vote Tory if you want a raise. Vote Labor if you want more mass immigration to lower wages. “
It might be rude, but I suspect the polls will be incredibly good, and it’s very difficult for Labor to answer. Accomplished job.
Iain Dale Presents The Evening Show on LBC Radio