London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Sunday, Feb 05, 2023

Laura Kuenssberg: 'No coups, no plots - nobody cares'

Laura Kuenssberg: 'No coups, no plots - nobody cares'

"There are no coups, there are no plots," a cabinet minister confides about conversations with colleagues. After a year of almost unparalleled political skulduggery, that is a pretty decent gift to go under Rishi Sunak's Christmas tree.

But at the risk of being Scrooge, is the season of apparent peace and goodwill really a triumph, or a sign of something else? This member of the government suggests there is no dodgy manouvreing going on, not because Number 10 has conquered all, but after years of arguing amongst themselves and wasted opportunity, "nobody cares any more" - ouch! The mood inside the Tory Party is "defeatist". Another cabinet minister admits the party is "in the last chance saloon".

During 2022 two powerful myths have been shown to be just that. First, Boris Johnson's legendary ability to survive serious scrapes and scandals was exhausted. Whatever your own view of what some saw as the Tories' joker king, his exit has transformed the landscape. It has deprived the party of not only their best campaigner, but a leader who could dominate the headlines at the drop of a hat. On a good day - which became vanishingly rare - this was a massive asset.


Boris Johnson and wife Carrie head to meet Queen Elizabeth II to formally resign as prime minister

Second, the assumption that it would be impossible for Keir Starmer to turn Labour around in a single term looks flimsy now. The leader does publicly, and regularly, warn against complacency in his ranks. But Labour's front bench is starting to look like a group of people who believe they'll be the ones at the cabinet table, and whizzing around in ministerial cars, in 18 months or so. Both of those shifts are profound and have affected the Conservatives' sense of themselves - the man who was their winner has gone, and their rivals look more like an outfit that could do it.

What could also make some Conservatives maudlin over the Christmas sherry is a building sense of wasted opportunity, what one party veteran even calls starkly, "years of political failure". One minister says: "The Boris years were a massive missed opportunity and an aberration."

Another senior Conservative goes back further in time, to the Theresa May administration in the chaotic aftermath of the Brexit vote - whether social care, housing, planning, energy, "all of the challenges that needed to be addressed [weren't], instead we got into no majority, then neuralgia and parliamentary stalemate". The Conservative party's own disagreements created its own headache.

It would be ludicrous to forget the role of the pandemic in later years, and then, of course, Russian tanks across the Ukrainian border. Rishi Sunak's government, like Liz Truss's administration, and Boris Johnson before, have had to confront a set of epic problems that have confounded governments across the west.

But just because the job is hard, that doesn't mean it is inevitable that a political party screams at itself about who should do it. Having three prime ministers in a single year is no party's political dream. And many of the problems that Rishi Sunak has had to grapple with were on the to-do list for his predecessors long before the pandemic, or the conflict in Ukraine.

It is an extraordinary political achievement for any party to have stayed in office for so long. But there is a question being asked more loudly in the Conservative Party about what was it is all really for. Theresa May's hopes of making big changes to the country were killed off by her losing her majority, then the Conservatives losing their minds in their wild Brexit disagreements.
Theresa May resigned after a backlash from her own MPs against her Brexit plan


Boris Johnson's promises were scuppered by the realities of the pandemic, but his exit was forced by a succession of his own messes. Liz Truss temporarily excited her backers with bold goals, but the screeching pace of her plans left them in flames. One saddened former minister says: 'We've wasted the mandate… covid is partly responsible, but when you get an 80 majority what can you show for it? There are a lot of people now who can't see a way through."

Yet, several government ministers tell me they are happier than they have been for years. That seeming Christmas calm is allowing them to do their jobs, without the daily drama. Rishi Sunak's pleasing some of his colleagues, including some of those who didn't back him, for his attention to detail, and overall approach. They tell me that he actually reads the documents he is given - I wonder who they could be comparing him with? He's been busy inviting backbenchers to meetings around the cabinet table, hosting World Cup matches with beer flowing for colleagues, trying to avoid the bitterness inside the party of recent years.

There are dividends. Some politicians, like many of the public, were thoroughly fed up of the endless soap opera in SW1. One minister tells me, "We had to remove the chaos," and is profoundly relieved that they can "get on with governing now".

Several cite the prime minister's plans to stem the arrivals of small boats on the south coast as evidence of him getting to grips with issues. A senior minister tells me the "Labour vote is soft" believing, the election is "absolutely all to play for". But for the public, the end of political shenanigans matters far less than the very real problems going on in so many areas.

A calmer atmosphere in Westminster doesn't pay the bills, a more peaceful political environment doesn't get you to A&E, Conservatives being nicer to each other after years of tearing each other apart doesn't put food on the table. There is plenty of Tory relief that the litany of political crises of recent years has stilled, but real-life crises are here and all too obvious. And the political pressures is still real, with the Conservatives woefully behind in regular polls. One former minister says: "Stabilising in the 20s is no use to man nor beast."

It's our last show of 2022 on Sunday, when we'll try to make sense of what has happened. It's anyone's guess as to how things will develop in the next few months. We know that Rishi Sunak wants to spell out more of what he stands for early in the new year. Expect a highly anticipated, much vaunted "big speech" soon.

There are rumblings on the right that he needs to demonstrate more "proper Conservative" values after what has been described as one former minister as "soggy blancmange" so far. It is also likely that Liz Truss will appear to try to account for what went wrong but claim her credo still has merit.

It is the end, for now, of many years of political frenzy. A pause after years of successive prime ministers being consumed by events, and internal problems. But Rishi Sunak may be plagued by problems not of his own making, and the calm he has created may not be enough to keep the Conservatives in power.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
Close
0:00
0:00
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
You're Beautiful - James Blunt (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Tennessee Bill Would Imprison People for 3 Years If They 'Lie' About Rape to Get an Abortion.
You Are So Beautiful
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Shell reports highest profits in 115 years
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
Sattahip Motor Show 20
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
A kiss to build a dream on
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth, Furious
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
What is ChatGPT?
Mean Blues
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
La Chansonnette
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Pattaya Addicts
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Dream a little dream of me
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano - Hetty & the Jazzato Band
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
Rondo Alla Turca
China's first population drop in six decades
Kiss of fire
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Amadeus violin cover instrumental)
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
La vie en rose
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Despacito (Piano Cover) - Peter Bence
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Edith Piaf - NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Only you (And you alone)
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Strangers In The Night
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
Summer time
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Aux Champs Elysees
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
She
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Radiohead - Creep
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Pentatonix Havana
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
OH NANANA vs ABUSADAMENTE
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I'LL BE MISSING YOU
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Sway
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
GIPSY KINGS VOLARE Penelope Cruz
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Bella Ciao - INSTRUMENTAL
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BELLA CIAO 2020 - KARAOKE ITALIANO
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
2CELLOS - Despacito [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
00 - SADNESS PART 1
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river
×