THE POLITICAL SCENE HAS CHANGED
The Political Earthquake on December 12th has reshaped the Westminster landscape for at least a decade.
Yet so many political commentators are struggling to understand the new rules of the game. Why did Labour suffer a historic defeat? Why did the smaller parties fail to capitalise on the Remain vote to achieve the hung Parliament that so many in the media predicted – and desired? Why was Boris Johnson so popular?
And what can we expect from Boris? What is he like to work with? What are the new MPs like? How will they shape the priorities for the first Conservative Government elected with a secure majority since 1987?
The stale crop of go to ‘experts’ are mired in the past. To understand what happens next we need to look forward beyond 2020, not backwards to Cameron and Blair.
That is why I am now offering Boris Briefings, based on my experience of our PM and my work with many new MPs.
NEW PRIME MINISTER
Attempts to compare Boris to Trump are doomed to fail because they are lazy and shallow.
I worked with Boris Johnson at City Hall for eight years both as Chairman of The Assembly and Deputy Mayor of London – and he’s no Donald Trump. Personally, he prefers to gather support whereas Trump seems to glory in confrontation.
Politically, Boris is socially liberal but economically Conservative. As Mayor of London he made a point of freezing and even cutting council tax but he also recognised the need to raise transport fares to pay for much needed investment. He took a tough approach to knife crime, presiding over a fall in violence that seems a distant memory just five years later – yet he also introduced measures to encourage changes in behaviour including City Hall’s first ever sugar tax.
Boris has a very tightly controlled personal brand and a Rockstar campaigning style. It was not unusual for him to take over an hour to campaign down a suburban high street because of the number of people – often young people – who wanted to be photographed with him.
He is often portrayed as dishonest by political opponents – yet one of the things that constituents told me about him repeatedly was ‘He keeps his promises’.
With Brexit done, what will his personal style and policy preferences mean for the UK? And why has he brought so many of his staffers from City Hall and Vote Leave along with him? How does he inspire so much loyalty amongst colleagues?
I can share my own experiences and insights to help answer these questions.
The collapse of Labour’s Red Wall has handed Boris a majority that his predecessors could only have dreamed of. But it has also changed the face of the Parliamentary Conservative Party.
The patrician Remainers and Corporatists who thought there was something wrong with letting people make their own decisions are largely gone. In their place are new, grass roots politicians, often hailing from the very communities that elected them.
Meanwhile tribal voting patterns have given way to a new voter consumerism. People who lent their vote expect to see something in return. How will the government repay their trust? How can the political focus be moved away from London to drive regeneration in left behind towns and cities? How can the public sector – still very much in thrall to the Blair years – be reformed to do things For people rather than doing things To them?
My candidate clients had their best election so far, with many people I coached winning seats right across the country – from Runnymede to Ynys Mon. How they think and behave will shape government priorities going into the 2020s.
2020 also sees the elections for a new Mayor of London and London Assembly. Whilst Sadiq looks to have a commanding lead, his achievements haven’t been resounding and there are some interesting candidates seeking to dethrone him.
This year the London Assembly will be more important than ever, with powers to change not just the Mayor’s budget but also his key strategies – including the Transport Plan and the all encompassing London Plan, setting the pattern for the growth and development of our capital city and its services.
What are the main policy implications? Which assembly seats are in play? How will the Mayor’s relationship with the Government compare to those enjoyed by his predecessors – Boris and Ken?
With 16 years on the London Assembly, I can bring real insight on the way London Government works, the challenges it faces and the relationships it needs to build both in the UK and internationally.
AUTHORITY, EXPERIENCE & ENTERTAINMENT
I am offering briefings – one to one, to small groups, or even after dinner speeches for audiences looking for a thoughtful and bang up to date contribution.
I’m better informed and more entertaining than a lot of the historical big name speakers, and much better value so please contact me to find out more.