One of the most depressing aspects of the prime minister’s volte-face on net zero is the way it has also trashed what once seemed to be his most politically appealing features.
Rishi Sunak, and it is meant kindly, came to power after the ever-increasing chaos of the Johnson-Truss era as what might be described as the “Honest Nerd”. It’s hardly what he might choose for his election poster, but he did give off an aura of being rational, conscientious, evidence-driven and generally moderate in his approach.
Obviously, anyone was going to look good when set against his immediate predecessors, but still Mr Sunak seemed to have something to be said for him. With Jeremy Hunt as chancellor, he stabilised the public finances and the wider economy. He maintained the policy of aiding Ukraine and offering solid defiance to Vladimir Putin. In the year or so since he became prime minister, he first stopped insulting our nearest neighbours in the European Union and went on to achieve new agreements on cross-channel migration, on Northern Ireland and the Horizon research programme.
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