Britain’s home secretary is a notorious divider. Suella Braverman’s opinion piece in The Times targeting Britain’s police force has set off a storm. In that article datelined November 8th, she accused the police force of going soft on a pro-Palestinian protest scheduled for November 11th. Egged on by her Islamophobia, she charged the police with blatant bias. However, the real story was somewhere behind that piece.
Treating With Trepidation
The brash 43-year-old Braverman was really targeting prime minister Rishi Sunak. After all, she is next in line in the Conservative Party to succeed Mr Sunak. If the fire-breathing Braverman’s article was a poisoned missile aimed at Mr Sunak, the inference is that she is thirsting for his ouster. The storm she set off is already shaking Mr Sunak. The prime minister is in a terrible dilemma now: to sack Suella or not to sack Suella.
Certainly, Mr Sunak is upset. His office was never asked for publication clearance. Worse, Ms Braverman may be filling her quiver with more arrows now and she has an edge over Mr Sunak. Being a senior cabinet minister is one reason. Inevitably, Mr Sunak is treating her incendiary words in The Times with trepidation. Nobody is really in charge of his firebrand minister and her utterances. Mr Sunak knows it well.
Video Courtesy: The Times and The Sunday Times
Excels in Provocative Deliveries
Ironically, Ms Braverman is a stone-thrower from a glass house. As home secretary, she handles law enforcement. Yet, she was throwing stones at Mr Sunak and the police. Doesn’t she realise some of those stones may ricochet around her? Can’t she understand why some of the dirt she is slinging may stick on her too? If law and order was threatened, it was a reflection on her mettle as a minister. In fact, she came across as a biased woman sniper.
She is. It is common knowledge that Ms Braverman is a deeply divisive figure. If the Conservative Party is a polarising political force in Britain today, the credit largely goes to her. She was responsible for earning the support of the hard right to enable Mr Sunak to form his government at a troubled moment in Britain’s politics. She excels in provocative deliveries and driving a deep wedge between Britain’s communities.
Squirming at Prickly Posers
Hence the temptation for Ms Braverman to find biases where there were none. Unrestrained, she pilloried the police force for not banning a pro-Palestinian protest in London. Sadly, she forgot to look inwards. Why does she turn a blind eye to police going soft on her incendiary statements? Wasn’t the police force biased when it did not book her for calling peaceful Palestinian supporters as “hate marchers, Islamists and mobs”?
More questions pop up as Ms Braverman’s past utterances unfold. Why was she let off despite sowing seeds of hate in Britain? Why is she trying to radicalise Mr Sunak’s ministers and the British society? As Mr Sunak is sure to squirm in discomfort at these prickly posers, Ms Braverman worsens his mental state by sneaking Northern Ireland into the peaceful pro-Palestinian protest issue. In the process, she has shaken Mr Sunak.
The Haemorrhage Seems Severe
As Mr Sunak’s office is saying that Ms Braverman’s volcanic opinion piece in The Times was not approved by Mr Sunak, the claim is arousing suspicions over her ulterior motives. Conspiracy theorists are already saying that her article is a trial balloon that was floated at an appropriate time. The timing of the balloon’s floatation could not have been better as Mr Sunak’s administration is already bleeding internally.
The haemorrhage seems severe. Britain’s economy is stagnant. Deficit is running into double digits. Even if Britain is lucky to avert a recession, it is sure to suffer zero growth, at least until 2025. Worse, ironically again, Mr Sunak, the former chancellor of the exchequer, is in the throes of an uncertain political and financial future. Worse, his once-formidable Conservative Party is facing the grim prospect of being routed if polls are to be held today. https://poliphoon.com/rishi-sunak-is-stuck-in-his-rut/
Tireless and Terribly Toxic
Viewed against these factors, Ms Braverman’s attacking opinion piece is a trial balloon. Perhaps, she is testing the waters before venturing in. Moreover, her article in The Times has got her two birds in one go. Not only has she got Mr Sunak squirm in his seat, she has been able to reconfirm her divisive right-wing credentials. To be sure, she is aiming at Mr Sunak’s chair. This seems to be her strategy.
Mr Sunak is in an awkward position for yet another reason. Even if he wrenches the next election from fire-spewing Ms Braverman and her right-wing allies, he will not be able to manage a beaten Braverman. Defeated and down, she is sure to transform into a tireless critic, terribly toxic and too hot to handle. Ironically, her article appeared on the eve of Armistice Day. The day falls on November 12th, when Britain pays tribute to the martyred soldiers of World War I.
The significance of the day was not lost on Mr Sunak. Moreover, her inner intentions would have become clear to Mr Sunak when she got her opinion piece appear in The Times within hours from Mr Sunak’s statement, which asserted his government’s support for ‘the right to peaceful protest’. Despite Mr Sunak’s vow to remain true to his principles, Ms Braverman got her scathing article published.
What else could one expect from a wounded tigress who is now a budding balloonist? Ms Braverman lost her fight for the Conservative Party leadership last year. Viewed against this, she comes across as a political strategist, yet to mature fully however. She is an incorrigible headline-hunter, who is ready to leverage her right-wing credentials to cause divisions that could help her fetch those headlines. Perhaps, the prime ministerial chair too.
Bad Luck for Mr Sunak
The Braverman drama and its aftermath prove that Mr Sunak is in a lose-lose situation. Retaining her in his administration is akin to having a wounded tigress as a pet. But, worse, showing her the door is sure to enable her access to a victim card. She will be then a victim, a martyr and a leader, all rolled into one. If that happens, she can even script Mr Sunak’s political obituary. Is this why she is provoking Mr Sunak to sack her?
Bad luck for Mr Sunak, Ms Braverman is infamously hard right. She had called mass migration a “hurricane.” She had insinuated that the arrival of refugees in small boats was “invasion.” It was her gaffe to describe homelessness as “lifestyle choice.” As her reservoir of divisive diction seems always full, Mr Sunak will find sacking her difficult as she enjoys support of the entire right of her Conservative Party.
Trying to Reach the Pinnacle
Yet, Ms Braverman, responsible for Mr Sunak’s climb to prime ministerial chair, is aiming at martyrdom. She is not a politician to bow out gracefully. She would prefer to be sacked as that would mean hitting the pinnacle of her career soon. She attacked the police force with an eye on the top job. She has done this when her Party is proving to be a non-performing asset, stuck in its own rut. Recent opinion polls too endorse this. https://poliphoon.com/rishi-sunak-is-stuck-in-his-rut/
The Poliphoon’s Last Word
Finally, Londoners have the right to protest on any day against injustice, Armistice Day included. Yet, with malice, Ms Braverman is injecting politics into a peaceful pro-Palestine protest against injustice. Worse, she chose the day to spread her divisive agenda by calling the protest a “hate march,” without realising she was the one sowing the hate. Sure, Ms Braverman is a serious headache for Mr Sunak. Her motivated opinion piece in The Times proves she is a malignant tumour for human rights and global peace.
As we publish this post, Mr Sunak has sacked Ms Braverman. He has brought in former prime minister David Cameron as foreign secretary and James Cleverly as home secretary. However, much of this story is still relevant. We are analysing the developments closely and will post a follow-up story soon