Stellar Suella

"There is all to play for, but while we have politicians of the clarity and determination of Suella Braverman, all is not lost."


Suella Braverman was the first in the PopConversations (geddit?) series delivered as a live webinar yesterday. PopCon will post a video of the event in the coming days. 

Now Swift likes a politician with convictions. No, not the sort that seem to be rapidly being accumulated by various backbench MPs in this Commons of criminality.

He means the sort that say what they think, clearly and definitively. Yes, they take more of the criticism than the mealy-mouthed and slippery (here’s looking at you, Keir) manage to dodge. But you know where they stand.

Enter Ms Braverman. Questioned by Popular Conservatism’s Director, Mark Littlewood, she was straight from the shoulder and convincing with it.

Leave the European Court of Human Rights? Yep.

Set a firm target for immigration (which by the way, is not zero, because there will always be skilled people we need)? Check.

Fire Mark Rowley (Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis – great title, by the way, well done the Victorians)? Absolutely.

Why get rid of Rowley? Because, SB stated in the context of Palestinian demonstrations: ‘the Met has chosen a side’. This is a startling phrase. We do not – should not - have an ideological police force. Rules are rules for us all. Rowley has fallen down on the job.

Nor is La Suella shy of giving reasons and suggesting replacements. The ECHR’s overreach is becoming increasingly absurd. We need to take back control – that phrase rings a bell - into the UK legal system via a Bill of Rights of our own. (And perhaps, while we are about it, define it tightly enough to avoid the kind of judicial freewheeling that seems to owe more to virtue-signalling than the rule of law).

One of SB’s most compelling ideas was about Brexit. Not just the patently obvious point that any number of people in power saw the referendum result and decided by fair means (Lady Hale - maybe) or foul (John Bercow) to frustrate it.

‘Brexit means freedom’, she said firmly. But it was also a major missed opportunity to demolish the other foundations of what Swift is pleased to call Tony’s Tower: the Human Rights Act, the Equality Act, and the mushroom growth of semi-state bodies whose mission – it appears – is to prevent people from doing what they want to do, with their own money, on things they enjoy.

SB’s view was that Brexit had been an opportunity to bring the whole Blairite Toytown Barad-Dur toppling to the dust. As Tolkien wrote about the fall of Sauron’s HQ:

‘Then all passed. Towers fell and mountains slid; walls crumbled and melted, crashing down.’ Unfortunately for us, all that happened that Tony went off to be fabulously rich while saddling us with the state edifice he created, and continue to have to pay for.

That was the opportunity that what SB called ‘the timidity of the right’ had missed. And that was her answer to the obvious question Littlewood posed: you’ve been in power a long time, why haven’t you achieved more?

Because we did not have the bravery to do so, said SB (for clarity that is not a pun, for my mighty predecessor, Dean Swift, would have eschewed such trumpery wit).

The conversation ended on a sombre note. In SB’s view, we face powers of autocracy, oppression and dictatorship. Swift’s readers can fill in the specific names applicable to this roll of dishonour.

Against that we have Western democratic values. Do we invest strongly enough in the fight? Which will win?

Which indeed. There is all to play for, but while we have politicians of the clarity and determination of Suella Braverman, all is not lost.


Photo Credit: Suella Braverman (CC-by-2.0.)