Rishi Sunakit is start the video is smooth and extremely professional. (It’s not the kind of thing that’s been put together in a hurry, either, since Sunak stepped down on Tuesday night.) The former chancellor has spent a lot of time in the United States, where the music industry Political advice is far more advanced than in the UK, and the video has all the hallmarks of a top notch production based on the best advice money can give.
The technical quality is very good. It begins with Sunak telling a story, and it’s a story of his immigrant family background, hard work, success, and family. “Family is everything to me, and my family has given me opportunities they could only dream of,” he says, in a phrase that frames his privileged upbringing (he went to Winchester, one of the private schools the most elite in the country) in the context of upward mobility. From there, it’s love of country and values that Sunak says are “non-negotiable” for him – “patriotism, fairness and hard work”. It ends with Sunak saying “we’ve had enough of division”, and talking about how he wants to bring people together because “it’s the only way to succeed”. You could run an ad like this for almost any centrist candidate in a western democracy and it would probably work. These are messages with broad appeal.
There are no politics in the video, and few specifics. But, unsurprisingly, Sunak focuses on his record as chancellor, saying he ‘led the toughest department in government during the toughest times we faced the nightmare of Covid’. Difficult to dispute, and it will be at the heart of the campaign.
More intriguingly, Sunak also hints at the approach he will take to spending arguments in the contest.
The decisions we make today will decide whether the next generation of Britons will also have the chance for a better future.
Are we facing this moment with honesty, seriousness and determination? Or do we tell ourselves comforting fairy tales that might make us feel better now, but will make our children worse off tomorrow? Someone has to seize this moment and make the right decisions.
Although “comforting enough tale” might be taken by some as a good description of Brexit (which Sunak supported), here he is talking about public debt, his belief that too much borrowing is irresponsible, that tax cuts have to be paid for, and that some of his fellow Conservatives are wrong to believe that tax cuts will pay for themselves (a point he made explicitly in his talk But).
A curious feature of the video is that it is aimed at the general public. But the general public will not get a vote on who will become the next Conservative leader. It is a decision of Conservative MPs and about 100,000 party members.
That’s all for me for today. My colleague Nadeem Badchah now takes over.