Wishy-Washy Rishi and Vlad The Invader.
Is Sunak A Paper Tiger?
The annual G20 summit will be in full swing shortly. G20 came about as a result of the 2008 financial crash. It was developed as a way for the most powerful nations to cooperate on the international financial stage. Of course, it is not just the world economy up for discussion. Other issues of the day facing the world are also discussed at these meetings.
Britain's latest and newest Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be winging his way over to the summit. He will gather with other world leaders like President Biden, Emmanuel Macron, and China's Xi Jinping. For President Biden who stuttered his way through a Cop 27 speech, this may be hard going for a man of his age. Whatever you think of Joe Biden personally there is no need to mock a man in his late 70s. We all get old and no one can say for a certainty how we will be. So just because Mr.Biden falls up or down plane staircases, forgets his words, or stutters shouldn't be a cause for mockery. In today's media though people in the spotlight making gaffes is fair game.
Returning to Rishi Sunak he has vowed to "call out" Russia's invasion and trashing of Ukraine. Killing thousands, making many homeless, and causing many to flee. The only good news is that at last after much cost Ukraine has recaptured Kherson. Russian forces numbering some 30,000 have withdrawn. They are apparently fortifying themselves on the opposite bank of the river Dnieper perhaps anticipating further Ukrainian action.
Vlodimir Zelensky has praised the progress of his armed forces in Kherson. Seeing as Kherson was annexed and made part of the Russian Federation (through dubious elections) Russia will now claim it is under Ukrainian occupation. Of course, the war is far from over but at least now with Western help, there is some glimmer of hope for Ukraine. Nevertheless, Putin remains a dangerous and unpredictable foe. In this war rule nothing in or out including the use of nukes.
Mr. Sunak is expected to confront Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Mr. Putin may not show his face and instead, it is thought he will send Mr. Lavrov instead.
Mr. Lavrov has a reputation for walking out of international forums if he doesn't like what is being said. Mr. Sunak said the G20 meeting will not be "business as usual". Also saying, "unlike Russia, we in the West will make meaningful progress".
Mr. Sunak is a very polished act indeed when in public unlike his former boss Boris. Mr. Sunak is the richest MP in parliament, he makes King Charles look like a pauper, and when you are a multi-billionaire money is no object. Ashkata Murthy or Mrs. Sunak to you and I has shares in her father's tech company. Her father is the billionaire owner of Indian tech giant 'INFOSYS".
Obviously, Sunak's advisers will want him to be seen as a world statesman at the G20. Unlike the 'COP 27' summit in Egypt where Sunak flew in and flew out again. Mr. Sunak's choice of not attending and then attending was a botched event.
Obviously, Mr. Sunak is a very intelligent man and the former hedge fund manager knows his way around finance. Sunak before taking political office worked for J P Morgan. Sunak was also the Chancellor under Johnson before resigning. Many in the Conservative party and in the membership cannot forgive Sunak for stabbing Boris metaphorically in the back. Sunak lost out to Liz Truss and she became Prime Minister. However, due to a damaging budget drawn up by her and her then chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, her occupation of 10 Downing Street was brief.
What followed was a farcical leadership campaign where Rishi was the only game in town. Penny Mordaunt (now serving in Sunak's government) stepped aside. Boris thought about running but didn't but that does rule him out in the future.
So, Sunak became the leader of the Conservative party and British Prime Minister. A man who has no understanding of how the majority of ordinary people in the UK live. A man who once said he had friends from all classes of people except the working class.
Sunak's speeches are a work in progress no doubt. His robotic speech after he was crowned Prime Minister (because people voted for Boris and got Rishi) was a P.R. disaster. His short-lived speech at COP 27 was irrelevant and unimportant. His clashes with Sir Keir Starmer have been okay but sometimes the poor lad seems out of his depth. Sir Keir's line of attack seems to be to present Sunak as indeed weak and wishy-washy. A Mr. Bean-like character who hides behind his MPs. A man who Sir Keir describes as a man who never won anything referencing his loss to Liz Truss. A man too afraid to call a general election and who hasn't got a backbone. A man reinstating Suella Braverman after she resigned under Truss doing "a grubby deal" in the process. A man who did not recognise or so he said (like Boris) that Gavin Williamson was a bully. Sir Keir is right to use this strategy as a rod to beat Sunak with.
All Sunak can hit back with is Sir Keir didn't support this Tory policy or supported Jeremy Corbyn. This line of attack from Sunak will do little damage to Sir Keir. That's not to say, however, that as time goes by Sunak will not become a confident speaker. Whether at meetings like the G20 or when confronting Sir Keir at Prime Minister's Questions.
Since Sunak's rise to power, the Tories seem to have improved slightly in the polls. It seems also many trust Sunak with the economy even though he is not chancellor anymore. However, Labour leads the Conservatives in many polls and if a general election were called tomorrow it is likely the Tories would be kicked out of office.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt Sunak's neighbour at 11 Downing Street will be announcing the Autumn Statement soon. Hunt has said there will be "eye-watering" cuts. In his and Sunak's mind, it is all about saving money and filling a financial black hole. However, to the rest of us lesser mortals, it is about cutting services we depend on.