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Sunak’s foreign policy reluctance shows how party-obsessed he is

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good morning. Rishi Sunak gave his first major speech on foreign policy, but there aren’t many details. Here are some thoughts on why.

Inside Politics is edited by Georgina Quach.Follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenkb Send your gossip, thoughts and feedback to . insidepolitics@ft.com.

keep it together

something was missing Rishi Sunak’s Big Speech on Foreign Policy Last night: verbs!

There have been far too many sentences about what is not, or should not be, the goal of British foreign policy. There were several comments on what to aim for and what to oppose, including implicit criticism of former Prime Minister David Cameron’s pro-China policy.

But for obvious reasons, there was nothing intrinsically new about what British foreign policy should do: every time Sunak tried to do something, it would stop.

In a sense, the Conservative majority Exactly Wrong Scale: If attempts to denounce the opposition are so great that they appear hopeless and weak, organized tendencies and groups within the party choose the right issue in the House of Commons and/or Kiel Sturmer strikes it. Small enough to be defeated. Opportunistic feeling.

On any issue, most Conservative MPs believe it is in their best interest to stand by and support Sunak. But with a large minority disagreeing on basically every substantive issue and another group thinking they were defeated anyway, what’s a bit of a petty rebellion between friends?

The biggest thing that could turn things around for Sunak is an outward signal that his political stance is better than it looks. So if the performance of the Conservatives in this Thursday’s City of Chester by-election is similar to the performance of the ruling party on the road to being re-elected (i.e. a big defeat but not an apocalyptic defeat). , the party begins to convince itself that the next election could be won and that MPs need to start rallying around their leader.

I’ve explained before how I think the Conservatives could win an unlikely victory. Focusing on old fears voters have about labor and taxes, wishing the economy is improving, and wishing the message: “Keep your course, better days await.” Enough for the next term in power.

Sunak’s plan for now is to stay relatively quiet through the end of the year. The general impression/undeniable reality of chaos and turmoil within government allowed Sturmer to present himself and the workers very effectively as a return to stability and order. After a month or so without an outburst collecting , its dominance slows. At least that’s the theory.

But the risk of silence is to allow Sunak to be defined by his internal and external enemies. It has undermined him and the Conservative Party’s greatest assets, his own approval ratings and his standing in the country, and now tops Starmer in polls asking who would be the best prime minister.

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today’s top news

  • lower the level up bill | | British business secretary Grant Shaps said the government Lift the ban on onshore wind farms It is trying to stem a growing uprising among Conservative MPs, including former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

  • free speech online | | The government is scrapping Controversial Authority to Force Internet Companies Removes “legal but harmful” content and converts this provision into new rules to make companies more transparent about their internal policies regarding content moderation, free speech protection, and strict laws on removing illegal content replace.

  • Civil servants seek more training | | More than half of UK civil servants Department lacks technical toolsaccording to government-backed research, the resources and skills needed to transform public services.

  • Payment of pension scandal | | The cost of a pension scandal involving thousands of steelworkers expected to be tens of millions of pounds Lower than originally forecast as economic conditions are moving in favor of companies paying compensation.

  • Ethics Advisor Vacancies | | Multiple Candidates Refused the role of Rishi Sunak’s ethics advisorThe Guardian’s Jessica Elgott promised to appoint someone when the prime minister entered No. 10. The position has been vacant for five months.

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https://www.ft.com/content/1851ea34-4355-4e53-b19b-e26f93e2fb58 Sunak’s foreign policy reluctance shows how party-obsessed he is

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