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Good day. Interest rates are rising, the Bank of England has revised its inflation forecasts and NHS waiting lists are at a record high. This is the boring but important political story: despite the fact that Rishi Sunak is an undoubted asset to the Conservative Party, despite the fact that he has turned chaos into order, disorder into competition, and personal scandal into endearing chutzpah, the government it faces a number of overlaps. crisis

A few more thoughts on all of that below.

Inside Politics is edited today by Leah Quinn. Follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenkb and please send gossip, thoughts and comments to

The problem of the five promises

Rishi Sunak’s re-election strategy is obvious: point to his five promises, argue that he has fulfilled them, and then point to a new set of promises for after the election. He will argue that he can be trusted to keep his promises because he has already met “people’s priorities.” And he will seek to contrast that with Keir Starmer, who has had to duck and weave as he sought to turn the Labor Party around almost entirely since the Corbyn years.

Those five promises, in case you forgot them:

  1. Halve inflation this year

  2. Expand the economy, creating better paying jobs and opportunities across the country

  3. Reduce the national debt

  4. Cut NHS waiting lists

  5. stop the boats

This strategy is great, on paper. But in practice it is colliding with the insignificant inconvenience that none of the items is in good condition. More than 3,000 people have arrived in the UK on small boats since March 7. As for inflation, well Chris Giles has the details in that:

The central bank now expects inflation to fall from the current rate of 10.1 percent to 5.1 percent in the fourth quarter of the year, instead of its previous forecast of 3.9 percent. Any further deterioration in the inflation outlook would cause UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to renege on his promise to halve inflation by the end of the year.

Bank of England forecasts have consistently underestimated the persistence of inflation since the end of the lockdown era, and I think it’s a good bet that this will continue.

And the latest figures from the NHS are equally grim: Wait times in England have hit a record. Sarah Neville has the storywhile the Government Institute has the alarming graph.

Part of the problem is that once your healthcare system goes into crisis, things tend to get worse before they get better. There is a huge demand for medical services in the UK and a shortage of doctors, nurses and just about anything you want to name.

Taken together, Sunak is unlikely to be able to say that he has delivered on all five of his commitments. Regardless of what one thinks of Sunak’s skills, Starmer’s skills, bipartisan experience and talent, the most important thing in British politics is the series of overlapping crises in public services, the economic difficulties facing the UK and the pressure on households. None of these are likely to have abated significantly in time for the next election.

now try this

I’m going to see chineke! Orchestra at the Southbank Center tonightt. It’s largely new music and some Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. I’m looking forward to it. You can stream Coleridge-Taylor’s 4 Novels for String Orchestra from anywhere you get your music.

However you spend it, have a wonderful weekend.

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