Manchester – The slogan of the Conservative Party Annual Conference which has just concluded in Manchester reads: “Long-term decisions for a brighter future”. The key word is certainly “long”. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s message is clear: I have a far-reaching vision for this country, which will take time to bring about the change that is needed. And it takes courage. Because for the last 13 years (14 in the election year) the United Kingdom has always had Conservative governments and in three of these the Prime Minister had a leading role. In almost an hour of speech to close the Conference, the first “non-white prime minister of this country” tried to convince the audience and spectators that an epochal change is only possible with him. Did he succeed? There are big doubts. Firstly because the major announcements seem more to provide short-term solutions than wide-ranging ones.
High speed train between Birmingham and Manchester cancelled
This is the case, for example, of the cancellation of the high-speed line that was supposed to connect Birmingham with the north of the country, after costs rose disproportionately. A measure, the mayors furiously point out, is fundamental in trying to reduce, if not equalize, the gap between the north and south of the country that Boris Johnson promised to reduce in the Conservative Party manifesto in 2019. An even more sensational announcement, that of Sunak, if you consider that it was made in Manchester. The Labor mayor, Andy Burham, quickly gathered some colleagues from the area around him and called a press conference.
The move away from the green policies desired by Johnson
Even before the Party’s annual conference, the fact that Sunak had decided to postpone some green measures on the road to net zero had raised more than a few eyebrows. Of course, the prime minister is less ideological than other colleagues (such as Interior Minister Suella Braverman, who in her speech spoke of an “immigration hurricane that is coming”) and more pragmatic and argues his decisions on the basis of economic data first of all. But it will be enough for voters to still give a voice to the party in power in the years in which, for example, the national health system reached record waiting lists (over 7 million in the queue: 1 in 8 citizens).
Now it’s Labor’s turn in Liverpool
Next week there will be the Labor Party conference and we will see what solutions will be proposed by the leader Keir Starmer, who does not shine in terms of charisma. And neither, it must be said for clarity of ideas: up to now it is clearer what it is against than what it is for. The Conservative Party has an easy game on this: at the Manchester conference, among the merchandising there were beach slippers (flip flops in English) with Starmer’s face on sale. Flip flop is also the slang term used to describe someone who changes their mind easily.