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Opinion

Ready4Rishi? Plundering the depths in search of integrity

10 Jul 2022 5 minute read
Screengrab from a video by Rishi Sunak

Ben Wildsmith

Are you Ready4Rishi? Well, he suspected you might be as far back as December, which is when he registered the phrase for his campaign website.

To be strictly accurate, he originally registered readyforrishi.com, before refining it with that crucial, brand-establishing ‘4’ ‒ the white-socks-with-sliders of on-point, disruptor messaging.

Rishi, you see, had his finger on the pulse.

As the first photos of Downing Street parties emerged, he could see the need for a national leader who appealed to the electorate’s sense of decency; a family man whose wife was happy to start paying tax in the UK with just the gentlest of nudges from the media; a patriot who hasn’t been the permanent resident of a foreign country since, gosh, all the way back in October.

And he’s probably right. The word of the moment is ‘integrity’. We simply have to have it, apparently.

Aspirant Tory leaders are gushing about it like Gen Z converts to Kate Bush, whilst Sir Chicken Korma points frantically at his 1985 vinyl integrity, complete with certificate of authenticity from the Chief Constable of Durham.

Ayn Rand-infected Mekon lookalike, Sajid Javid, set the ball rolling in his resignation speech.

The erstwhile Secretary of State for Health, who recently apologised for accusing the British people of cowering from Covid, announced to the Commons that he, ‘will never risk losing integrity.’

His audience of self-interested grifters latched on immediately to the possibilities of this phrase, as related to their own suddenly inconvenient proximity to government.

The late Iain Banks once observed, ‘I’m not saying there are no decent people in the Tory party but they’re like sweetcorn in a turd; technically they kept their integrity, but they’re still embedded in shit.’

Moral turpitude

Of course, the utility of a word like ‘integrity’ is that it is unquantifiable.

So, if you are departing a criminal enterprise, you can do so with it intact by claiming that you were only involved in the first place owing to your sense of duty and loyalty.

In fact, so over-developed are these traits in your character that, you’ll admit, they might have blinded you to the moral turpitude to which you have now been alerted.

You are, like Prince Andrew before you, ‘too honourable’ to recognise appalling goings-on, even at first hand.

Yet, moving forward, isn’t that exactly what the country now needs? Which is why you are announcing your intention to run in the forthcoming leadership election…

In the meantime, however, we can distract ourselves from war with Russia and incoming gas bills that make it cost-effective to set fire to your house, by watching a disgraced prime minister run a government of people who just really, really want to be ministers.

Andrea Jenkyns set the tone for this inspiring period of British history by giving the public the finger outside Downing Street on Thursday and being appointed Under Secretary of State for Education on Friday.

The selfless devotion to duty of Sir Robert Buckland ensures that the Welsh Office will be run by a man who believes Wales’ stand-alone economic potential to be on the level of Albania or Moldova’

He won’t rule out a bid to become prime minister, but for the moment is too busy ‘thinking about values’.

His evaluation of us seems pretty clear, but given that he represents an English seat, we shan’t be allowed the opportunity to return the favour at the ballot box.

Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak

Whim and favour

There were points this week when Johnson looked like he might go full-Trump and dismiss representative democracy altogether.

He seemed to suggest that the Tory majority was attributable solely to him, with MPs relegated to courtiers who served at his whim and favour.

During his ‘let’s not be hasty, I’ll probably go but why don’t you take a few months to think it over’ non-resignation speech on Thursday, the veil slipped on his conception of British democracy.

Contemplating a future without himself at the helm, the PM conceded that ‘our brilliant and Darwinian system’ will produce another leader.

And this, fellow plebs, is at the heart of our woes.

Our leaders don’t even imagine that they are vessels for the values of the poor saps who vote for them.

No, they believe that innate strength determines their elevated positions in society, and elections are merely the playing field upon which they demonstrate their prowess.

Johnson’s eventual downfall was triggered by the alleged sexual misconduct of the man who coordinated ‘Operation Save Big Dog around the time Rishi began designing his website.

As the field assembles to contest the succession, we should be very careful not allow relief at the passing of one large mammal to neuter scrutiny of the next.

Integrity is a fine sounding word; so was sovereignty.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
4 months ago

As my dear, departed grandmother might say “Yeah I’m ready for Rishi, I’m ready for Rishi to f*** off”…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
4 months ago

They are all tripping over each other to pledge ever bigger tax cuts but not one has the integrity to finish the sentence.
“There will be huge tax cuts for business and the wealth creators ….. paid for by spending cuts which will kill hundreds of thousands of the poor and disabled.”

Tax rises or spending cuts or a combination of both are needed to avoid an “unsustainable” public debt burden, the UK’s fiscal watchdog has warned.

OBR 07/07/2022.

Last edited 4 months ago by Kerry Davies
David
David
4 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Nor any mention of closing tax loopholes & penalising those that use of tax havens.

hdavies15
hdavies15
4 months ago
Reply to  David

Far too radical yet that’s the calibre of leadership the country needs. Also purge the greenwash and other corporate handouts regimes, global corporates sponging grants and other “incentives” should be invited to buzz off elsewhere.

Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago

As we near a dozen names being put forward to lead the DUK, as they all present a holier than thou presona, not one of them had the decency to come clean during partygate, or hold their hand up to how Johnson was running things, with the help if his cabinet and party, and offer an apology and distance themselves from the circus. Whoever is the winner of this horror show, I will guarantee that Cymru will be a loser. What a sad state we are in.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

It’s said that former Chancellor Rishy Sunak last December registered his campaign website to become Prime Minster. So he’s been preparing for months plotting & scheming for this moment whilst grinning like a Cheshire cat, supporting & condoning the policies of the worst government & Prime Minister in British political history. In his sickly sweet video preaches like a holier than thou Tony Blair on how he was the son of economic migrants from Kenya, the very same who would be deported to Rawanda today under the hateful policy of facist Priti Patel daughter of economic migrates herself, and how… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Y Cymro
Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
4 months ago

I am not a Labour supporter, although I voted for them in 2019 in an attempt to keep the tories out.

However, I have to say that when Aneurin Bevan said they were lower than vermin, he was absolutely accurate.

But the underlying problem in UK is simply this – we do not have a parliament which reflects the electorate. We do not have a democracy.

We need proportional representation, like most decent modern democracies.

Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago

Sadly not a chance of PR in the DUK, just look at the response that we had in the press to our Senedd wanting to introduce a new voting system.

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