Crack cocaine that was populist Tory rhetoric has left our cold turkey nation needing rehab

How are you feeling about the change of Government? My initial sense was one of feeling cleansed of something awful. A boil lanced. Liars lampooned.

As the result came in I felt like I do as winter abates and the green shoots of spring come around - especially once I’ve done the inevitable annual tip run, ridding the garden of all the detritus left by inclement weather. If I’m honest, I felt relief.

Hopeful? Yes of course. Certain of an improvement? How could anyone be? However, Sir Keir Starmer made a point of rebuilding bridges with the nations, regions and international partners. He wasted no time summoning the Metro Mayors to Downing Street, got on his bike to the four nations of the United Kingdom and has already spoken to President Biden and has hot-footed it to Washington ahead of a Nato summit.

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A renewed vigour and enthusiasm from the Prime Minister, and those around him.

Boris Johnson's brand of toxic populist politics has left the nation ravaged, says The Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson. He adds: we need a period of rehabilitation and reset if we are to thrive in future years. (PA)Boris Johnson's brand of toxic populist politics has left the nation ravaged, says The Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson. He adds: we need a period of rehabilitation and reset if we are to thrive in future years. (PA)
Boris Johnson's brand of toxic populist politics has left the nation ravaged, says The Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson. He adds: we need a period of rehabilitation and reset if we are to thrive in future years. (PA)

Chancellor of the Exchequer - the first woman to hold that great office of state - Rachel Reeves, a strategist and leader who is described by the brightest minds in finance as a capable, confident and determined, has quickly launched a £7bn national wealth fund, fertiliser poured on an economy she is determined to grow, and fast. Transport Secretary Louise Haigh has already set out a five-point plan for her brief, placing at the spearhead of those plans her frustration at the state of the nation’s railways.

Culture Secretary Lisa Nandy has vowed on day one to help banish the toxicity of culture wars from Government, and as someone who has served communities at a local news level for almost a quarter of a century, I offer any insight, wisdom, vision and ambition for this industry I love to Lisa and her team should they think I can be of any assistance at all.

So, yes. I’m relieved to be rid of the most self-serving, nasty Government in modern UK history. I am hopeful that a change of stewardship for the nation can yield results. But I am not so hopeful that what I see is obscured by scales. The damage done is structural, it is debilitating and it is going to take courage to repair.

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A courage that I believe can come from the power of togetherness. From the graciousness of willing collective contribution - politicians cannot change four nations alone - and from dialogue, detail and diligence. The crack cocaine of populist Tory rhetoric, that had those in its grip punching the air, braying hatefully into the abyss has left the country cold turkey. If we are going to thrive in the years to come, for now a period of reset and rehabilitation is necessary. One that emulates the guiding philosophical light that is James Timpson, now handed the invidious task of doing for prisons per se what he and Timpson’s have done for ex-offenders for decades. Imagine that, a minister who not only cares about their brief, but knows it inside out, too. So, yes: perhaps this does bode well, heralding a return to grown up, respectful, meaningful, well thought through politics.

They’ll be giving Yorkshire independence, next!

James

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