There is no doubt that Boris has unique and effective qualities. You would always want him on your team when these are put to good use. He demonstrated this as London Mayor, the referendum on membership of the EU, the 2019 General Election and for much of his time as PM, including his leadership of the G7 and to the people of Ukraine. However, a political system that favours teamwork and team discipline such as ours is not a comfortable place for big personalities and I’m surprised the former PM stuck with Parliament quite so long. Tony Blair and David Cameron couldn’t hack it. I think what differs is that Boris feels he still has much to offer British politics and conservatism. Boris Johnson would repeatedly brush off criticism and questions of his leadership by saying the people just wanted us to get on with the job. Unfortunately, for Boris, this is exactly how the majority of Conservative MPs, and the Cabinet will respond when the media and others seek to draw us into debate about the former PM. And we are right to focus on the job in hand because this is what we are charged with.
The Royal Cornwall Show was one of the best yet as far as I’m concerned. The organisation was excellent, there was plenty to do, and people turned out in vast numbers. Personally, when meeting with the organisations involved in all things food and rural affairs, I sensed a greater unity and determination to work towards a stronger, more sustainable, and vibrant countryside. Royal Cornwall Show also celebrates what makes the Duchy and our communities so special. You could find the WI, church groups, mental health charities and community groups alongside SWW, Cornwall Council, banks, and supermarkets.
What was lacking was a strong presence by BBC Radio Cornwall because BBC staff are locked in deep dispute with managers over the planned cuts to live regional broadcasting. If plans go ahead, we will lose a lot of local content currently provided by BBC Radio Cornwall as it merges with Devon and one of our most treasured institutions will be compromised. I’m concerned about this as I know how much people appreciate BBC Radio Cornwall, especially those on their own or not able to get out to keep up with what goes on locally. I attended an event in Parliament last week to hear a little more regarding what is proposed, and it is not easy listening! And it is difficult to understand what the BBC is seeking to achieve. If anything, it wants to compete with commercial radio especially online, but we pay a licence fee to provide a different service that can deliver a more bespoke service rather than chase the advertising revenue. Radio Cornwall enjoys a greater share of the listening audience than most other BBC regional radio so why fix it if it isn't broken? I’ve defended the licence fee model because of regional radio and the World Service. The BBC risks cutting off the hands that feed them?