Sunday 9 June 2024

The British general election is being fought on Omaha beach


The 40th anniversary of D Day was a very big affair because many veterans would not be there on the 50th anniversary. I remember it well, just after I came down from the university and before life began. 

In fact D-Day anniversaries were not big international events before 1984. 

They are a tradition invented by President François Mitterrand who invited six heads of state, including Queen Elizabeth II and Ronald Reagan who made a memorable speech. 

People said how nice it was to see the French, British and Americans without the Germans for once. 

Heads of government were not invited, so Mrs Thatcher did not attend. 

How Rishi Sunak wishes they had kept it to heads of state. He left after the 'British events' but before the end and will not recover from this error.

I just about at a stretch understand why he thought he could get away, without arousing unfavourable comment, before the 'French event' on the last evening, which Messrs Starmer and Lammy then muscled their way into, but I absolutely cannot understand why he did not see that his standing beside Messrs Macron, Biden, Scholtz and the inescapable Zelensky was not only the right and respectful thing to do but excellent electioneering. 

Dan Hodges tweeted: "Not possible to overstate scale of anger from Tory MPs. One says: “If this had happened outside the election, he’d be gone. The letters would be in”.''

Now the poor man is refusing to speak to journalists as he canvasses in Red Wall Northern seats that had been safe Labour until 2019 and which he knows full well his party has no hope of winning. 

From the Times yesterday:
Another ally [of Mr Sunak] pointed out that in his 2014 party conference speech as leader, Cameron talked about how the then 70th anniversary of D-Day had been “the best moment of my year”, and that when he was prepping for the speech he told aides: “There’s a risk I may start crying here, because it gets me so emotional.”

A Whitehall source said Cameron was “apoplectic” about Sunak’s decision but, when asked why he had not “picked Sunak up by his lapels”, he said: “There is only so much I can do.”
That's a damning thing to say.

The Times continued much more damningly:
There was also fury at Buckingham Palace, where courtiers pointed out that the King, who is being treated for cancer, was advised not to travel but was determined to do so, despite being in pain.
Isaac Levido told Sunak to apologise and he did, adding
I think it’s important though, given the enormity of the sacrifice made, that we don’t politicise this.
The shocking thing about the apology is that, despite having been to Winchester and Oxford, he does not know what 'enormity' means. 

Has Mr Sunak read many good books, for pleasure I mean? I know Jilly Cooper is his favourite.

He also doesn't understand in his heart the importance of D-Day, which for patriots means our island story and for the left means defeating racism.

Below is a dog whistle by Nigel Farage.


Others have said that someone whose parents came to the UK does not have the same visceral feeling of D-Day as someone whose grandparents lived through the war in the UK. 

On the other hand Mr Farage himself, in reply to a harridan on TV, said that 40% of the British dead in the Second World War were people "from what we now call the Commonwealth".  The Empire is the word he was anxious to avoid.

But globalist is the word for Sunak and Farage is as British as an Edwardian music hall turn or a fruit cake.

The D-Day mistake reminded us of this and much more importantly made us all see the Prime Minister is not good at politics and therefore not much use as Prime Minister. 

Starmer will be very, very much worse though. 

Some polls suggest the Tories will get less than the 156 seats they won led by A J Balfour in 1906. (Balfour's illustrious career was a string of disasters, including plotting treason in 1914 and making contradictory undertakings in his famous Declaration.)

Even fewer than 50 seats, one poll said. 

But a mistake that is much worse than failing to be at the D-Day celebration on the last evening is that Mr Sunak is bombing Yemen, where we have absolutely no business, 56 years after the UK declared that she had no interests east of Suez.


  1. Andrew Neal's jeremiad is here:

  2. I am not a big fan of The Times, but I love Camilla Long’s articles which are to the point and hilarious at the same time. On Rishi Sunak: ”is he even a politician?”

    1. Yes I read her piece and she is funny and right. Suddenly women journalists are funny, something formerly considered men's work .

    2. In January 2012, Long interviewed the actor Michael Fassbender. Her opening question referred to the large size of the actor's penis ("That's kind of you to say", he replied). A section of Long's article was read to Fassbender in a subsequent interview for GQ magazine, including Long's statement that she was "quite certain that [Fassbender] would willingly show me his penis, given slightly different circumstances and a bucket of champagne," prompting Fassbender to respond that "I don't think I would touch her with a barge pole!"

      In 2013 she won the Hatchet Job of the Year award for a piece on Rachel Cusk's divorce memoir Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation published in March 2012;[9][10] Long had previously been nominated the year before.[11] In July 2013 Long succeeded Cosmo Landesman as film critic for The Sunday Times.

      In March 2015 Long received criticism for referring to Thanet as "a small nodule of erupted spleen at the eastern edge of England." In April 2015 Long appeared on the BBC's Have I Got News for You and was asked to justify such defamatory comments about South Thanet, the constituency where Nigel Farage, then UKIP leader, was standing for election. UKIP registered a complaint with Kent Police but no further action was taken.

    3. Camilla Long is funny and right: 'Hmmm. It’s funny, isn’t it, when suddenly the penny drops. When you cut through the patronising, focus-grouped, disingenuous management-speak and see people for who they are. Sure, we’ve heard the accusation: Sunak isn’t much of a Conservative. I’ve often wondered if this was racism: a way of saying, he’s not one of us. But after what happened last week, I began to wonder: is he even a politician?'

      'The total collapse of the Conservatives this election is the biggest political story of our generation. At first it seems funny — they’re awful, they lied, they deserved it; watch their beetroot-coloured jowls wobble, as Stephen Fry might say. But it should be a matter of national horror. I don’t share Farage’s relish over the idea of “political revolt”, in which all the parties fragment into tiny, screeching coalition bricks. But the fact that we have a prime minister who could not pick out a Conservative policy if it killed him, or perform a simple Conservative act with the world watching, is catastrophic. It means not only he is toast, but the party is toast — and perhaps our entire political system.

      'What hope does the next generation have, when Sunak, Cameron et al have lost control not only of what the voters think, but what they think? None of them behave like politicians — just bankers. Look down the execrable list of chancers put on Tory shortlists last week. Cameron’s socialite sister-in-law — really? Carrie Johnson’s best friend — for services to what? As for Richard Holden, the actual Conservative Party chairman, I have no words. Facing the abolition of his seat in Durham, he got himself on the shortlist for an ultra-safe seat 300 miles away. And how many others were on the shortlist for Basildon? Zero.

      'Who are these grasping, hideous acolytes? They put the whiny, “engorged breasts” woman deselected by Labour in Chingford in the shade. If you look at the CV of Will Tanner, Sunak’s deputy chief of staff, who’s been handed the safe seat of Bury St Edmunds, you will see a legacy of mediocrity, greed and corruption. Having failed to crater the country while working for Theresa May, he came back to finish the job as part of Sunak’s team, architecting — as he no doubt would say — the plan for national service. How can the party — our democracy — survive with these people still anywhere near power? Someone, please, clear them out and start again.'

  3. Sunak's actions were of course a disgrace, reflecting a lack of duty or wise judgement.

    A true patriot would have stayed. A wise politician would have stayed. Sunak is sadly neither.

    1. Agreed. After people a stupid as Liz and Theresa and as inept as Boris he seemed good enough until we all suddenly saw that he too is completely useless.


  4. Daily Telegraph Saturday 7 June.
    "The King himself attended Thursday morning’s events but was deputised by Prince William for the afternoon international commemorations, having flown back around the same time as Mr Sunak, though on different planes.

    "However, the King is still recovering after his cancer diagnosis and it was unwise to assume that his absence meant the event was less important for Mr Sunak.

    "Keen to get back to his campaign – which has failed to turn around dire poll ratings in the past three weeks – Mr Sunak may simply have believed he was wasting a day by standing on a foreign beach."