There are occasions when governments — even those that appear long in the tooth — still have the capability and fight to win from behind. A cursory glance at 20th-century British political history suggests that, much of the time, and practically whatever the prevailing conditions, the Tories find a way to stay in power.
But there are also moments when there is nothing any incumbent leader or party can do, when there is a sea change in politics. Jim Callaghan could sense it. In 1979, the then prime minister reflected that, at a certain point, “it then does not matter what you say or what you do. There is a shift in what the public wants and what it approves of.”
We may have once again reached that position. According to an exclusive Ipsos survey for the Standard, nearly nine in 10 adults believe Britain needs a fresh team of leaders. Sir Keir Starmer has one in mind. Of course, he is yet to seal the deal with voters. Indeed, his approval rating as Labour leader is practically identical to that of Ed Miliband. But elections are ultimately about choices.
The vagaries of first-past-the-post, as well as the events of the next year, will determine the final result. In the meantime, the political problem Rishi Sunak has right now is that few, including those on his own benches, expect him to remain prime minister for much longer.
Met’s woes run deep
A Metropolitan Police officer facing the sack for allegedly Tasering — twice — a 10-year-old girl. Around 150 officers facing the removal of their vetting over misogyny and other misconduct involving violence against women. In other words, just another day for London’s police service.
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley can point to the number of officers dismissed for gross misconduct, 100 over the past year and up 66 per cent on the historical rate, and call it progress. But the sheer numbers raise ever more questions, and render any suggestion that the Met’s issues relate only to “rogue” officers completely absurd.
Burberry is once again flying the flag for Britain in the fashion capital of the world. Yesterday, stars such as Rachel Weisz, Kylie Minogue and Bukayo Saka descended on a giant green tent in Highbury Fields, creative director Daniel Lee’s neighbourhood, for a show bursting with dramatic shapes and replete with the brand’s easy precision.
Walking a dog in one of north London’s bougier parks can often resemble something of a catwalk. Burberry simply packaged it up for Fashion Week.