Monday, 13 February 2023


It can’t be easy being a Prime Minister. You’ve a lot to read; a lot of speeches to make; a lot of people to please; a very thick skin and the ability to swim cheerfully in choppy water whilst earning per working hour rather less than a train driver. 

No fanfare for Rishi Sunak as his sombre speech will calm colleagues and  voters | Politics News | Sky News

One of the key skills is learning whom to fire and whom to hire. This is made more complex because half of the people in your team don’t like your ideas, so much of your life is spent balancing tribal factions and being nice to people you loathe.

Which brings me to Lee, a name declining in popularity but there are still as many as 50,000 Lees in the UK – about the same as the population of Bloxwich or Sittingbourne. Well, a Lee has just been promoted to the role of Deputy Party Chairman of the Conservative Party. This is an important and influential role especially in the run up to an election in 2024. His full name is Lee Anderson. He’s 56. His father was a miner as was he for 10 years. 

Lee Anderson Children: Does Lee Anderson Have Children?

He was a member of the Labour Party from which he defected in 2018 saying they’d been taken over by the hard left. He himself has a colourful record in vigilante policing receiving a community protection warning by the council for using boulders to block members of the Traveller community from setting up camp at a site in the Ashfield area.

He had made some interesting contributions to various debates on the financial planning of nurses forced to use food banks which he derided citing his own experience of coping with extreme poverty. “I’ll take no lectures from anybody about being hard up and struggling for survival.”  

More intriguing are his views on restoring capital punishment;

“Nobody has ever committed a crime after being executed. You know that don’t you? 100% success rate.”

Top 10 facts about execution |

I used to work with someone who having said something like that would triumphantly cry “Am I right or am I right?” But before we lightly dismiss Lee with liberal scorn let’s pause. Lee is a Red Wall Tory and claims, I’m sure correctly, that his views are widely applauded in Ashfield. He suspects he’ll be greeted with approval as he tours the Conservative Associations across country over the next months. I suspect he may be right. What about when he gets on Question Time? Well that should be fun.

It isn’t Lee that troubles me. I disagree with what he says but recognise a lot of people in Britain would feel the same about life as he does, about travellers, noisy neighbours, immigrants, murderers and people who ask for state aid. What concerns me much more is that our Prime Minister believes Lee is a wise appointment to a senior, opinion forming position. His boss, as Chairman, is the moderate centrist Greg Hands who is I’m sure (I couldn’t resist this) a safe pair of hands. 

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However believe me that it’s Lee who’ll be making the headlines. His history suggests he has a ferocious certainty that he’s saying the right things, things that people want to hear.

 So, it can’t be easy being Prime Minister and those who claim to understand these things say he should carefully balance the views of everyone on every wing of the party. But that isn’t possible when the loudest voices are often those like Lee’s. The new Tory Party led by Rishi Sunak are misjudging the popularity Lee is said to have as being an asset when in fact it’s an unexploded bomb.

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