This article appears as part of the Unspun: Scottish Politics newsletter.

There isn’t much that’s more grating than the refrain from a certain type of centrist, usually middle-class, opinion-haver that amounts to just wanting things to be able to ignore things.

The “if Hillary were President we’d be at brunch” or “at least David Cameron seemed like an adult” crowd who aren’t really bothered about lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan or brutal austerity leading directly to the deaths of poor people.

That said, oh for a time when we didn’t have to hear about the 1922 Committee. For those blessedly unfamiliar, that’s a group of 18 elected by backbench Conservative MPs who, until fairly recently, you wouldn’t hear much from.

Unfortunately this week we’ve had to hear from them again, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called before them to try and unify a Conservative Party hurtling shambolically toward electoral oblivion.

Indeed, the fact we hear so often from the 1922 Committee is itself an indictment on a Tory government which has long since lost any semblance of the patrician party which to a large section of the electorate just seemed like 'the kind of people' who should be running the country.

Keir Starmer and Labour have come under fire this week after Rachel Reeves pitched herself as a Margaret Thatcher of our time, promising to echo the Iron Lady in bringing radical reforms and write a “new chapter in Britain’s economic history”.

The Herald: Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves built comparisons between herself and previous Tory prime minister Margaret ThatcherShadow chancellor Rachel Reeves built comparisons between herself and previous Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher (Image: Newsquest)
This was, understandably, criticised by both the left of her party and the SNP, with David Lammy stepping in to defend his parliamentary colleague.

The shadow secretary of state said: “You can take issue with Mrs Thatcher’s prescription, but she had a big manifesto for change and set about a course that lasted for over two decades”.

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As one might expect that did nothing but fan the flames but in the case of Mr Lammy at least it’s hard to argue with what he actually said.

Richard Leonard MSP, the former Scottish Labour leader, said: “In the 1980s manufacturing was butchered, factory after factory closed, privatisation was let rip, unemployment rocketed, profits boomed, the wage share fell, the rich got richer, and inequality soared”. All of which is true, but doesn’t contradict what Mr Lammy said.

Whatever one may think of her policies, Mrs Thatcher’s intention was to crush the unions, privatise services and cut taxes: she had a vision and set about implementing it. To say that she was an effective politician doesn’t make one a Thatcherite – the Dark Lord Sauron achieved a lot of his goals too.

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The current Conservative government may have reshaped society for the worse, but they can’t even be said to have effectively executed any kind of vision. David Cameron set out to settle his party’s eternal psychodrama over the European Union for a generation, lost, and had to resign. Successor Theresa May tried to Get Brexit Done before getting done herself by the 1922 Committee. Boris Johnson did eventually force through an exit agreement which immediately made everyone unhappy and had to be renegotiated, and Liz Truss’ attempt to inflict her dogmatic free-market libertarianism on the country made the economy fall over and saw her lose a longevity contest to a lettuce.

Mr Sunak, who would probably lose a charisma battle to said iceberg head, can’t even force through the abhorrent Rwanda scheme and has had to fend off talk he could be replaced before the expected October election. His putative replacement would be Penny Mordaunt, seemingly on the basis she looked quite good holding a sword one time which to be fair could swing the election if there’s suddenly a dragon that needs slaying.

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In a few months Mr Starmer will win a crushing majority, but it’s hard to say it’s because of any genuine enthusiasm for his prescription for the country. If a general election is a public job interview then he’s a rather dull pen-pusher who will keep the biscuit supply going and the alternative candidate attended the interview with his hair on fire and his foot caught in a bucket. Screaming Lord Sutch would have a chance at beating this lot.

Still, we might get a break from hearing about the 1922 Committee for a while.