Offering Fundamental Change

At this week’s Tory Party conference in Manchester, Prime Minister Mr Sunak announced that he would ‘fundamentally change the country’. I found this rather peculiar.

Firstly, the Conservative Party has been in power for over fourteen years. Offering ‘fundamental change’ seems to be offering to reverse what his own Conservative governments have been doing. Perhaps the cancelling of the HS2 link to Manchester is an example of this. It is certainly not showing confidence in his own party’s management of the country.

Secondly, most of us are quite content with the fundamentals of how the country is run. We have law and order, a reasonably strong economy, and many other benefits, such as universal healthcare. The many migrants who wish to move here seem to understand that, too. This does not mean that some things should not change, but not the fundamentals. One wonders what it is he wants to achieve.

Thirdly, conservatism is about maintaining the status quo. Offering fundamental change is not something a real conservative could ever do. A socialist might offer this, and a liberal, but not a conservative. That Mr Sunak now distances himself from the ideology he is meant to represent suggests he is not a conservative at all.

Fourthly, it sounds to me like the usual British electioneering lingo. Most politicians like to be seen to offer change, be it 'radical', or 'serious', or 'major'- or 'fundamental'. It really sounds like a sound bite, a cliché. We will doubtless have two party leaders offering fundamental change, and neither, I think, will achieve it, not do they really desire it.

Politicians are a wonderful argument for of a non-political head of state, and a divine King who rules with equanimity, justice and perfection. Now that sounds like fundamental change to me.