The spectacle of yet another Tory leadership campaign—this time to replace Boris Johnson—is in full swing. So, I thought it would be fun to rank the hopefuls’ campaign catchphrases. The results may shock you.
In last place, Atta-Ur-Rehman Chishti, the MP for Gillingham and Rainham. Chishti—known to precisely nobody outside Gillingham and Rainham, and probably there too—had a short-lived campaign which was likely due not because he didn’t have a catchphrase, but because no one noticed he was running.
Adding two letters to Nadhim Zahawi hashtag would give this right-lurching government a “NaZi 4 PM.” Despite this moment of accidental honesty, his “NZ4PM” tagline is as forgettable as this soon to be shortest-serving Chancellor of the Exchequer. (See Penny Mordaunt below.)
Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch—who’s currently the Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities—shows how badly she wants to be Prime Minister with her catchphrase “Kemi for Prime Minister.” Sadly for Kemi, no one else wanted her to be Prime Minister and her catchphrase couldn’t save her campaign.
No doubt to demonstrate their commitment to saving taxpayers money, Foreign Secretary—and someone who couldn’t find her way out of her own launch event—Liz Truss and Attorney General
Cruella Braverman launched their campaigns with variations on the exact same theme. Braverman’s “Suella 4 Leader” just couldn’t beat Truss’ alliteration in “Liz For Leader” and pun in “Trusted to deliver,” so I made this a tie.
Tom Tugendhat—MP for Tonbridge and Malling for seven years—has consistently voted for mass surveillance of people’s communications, reductions in welfare benefits, and against higher taxes on banks, Tugendhat’s catchphrase suggests the country needs “A Clean Start.” I couldn’t agree more, starting with the MP for Tonbridge and Malling.
Jeremy Hunt—a politician who’s not won anything except his own seat—believed he was the man who could unite his party and help them win with his “Unite To Win” catchphrase. Hunt wins points because his catchphrase was less about himself and more about the Conservative Party. But it nonetheless said nothing about what his premiership might do for the country.
Personality politics define this leadership campaign. Former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid’s catchphrase “Team Saj” wanted us all to sign up to his team. But no one did, not even his colleagues in Parliament.
Current front-runner Rishi Sunak’s campaign wants everyone to be “Ready For Rishi.” Despite what you might think, “Rishi” isn’t a takeaway meal you can order from Deliveroo. Sunak wants to “restore trust, rebuild the economy and reunite the country.” Imagine how he’ll feel when someone reminds him he was another former Chancellor of the Exchequer for over two years.
In first place, Minister of State for Trade Policy, Penny
Mordor. Despite her high-schooler designed logo, she earned maximum points for her “PM4PM” catchphrase. Although she wasn’t responsible for the gag herself, her supporters highjacking of Nadhim Zahawi’s domain to her own campaign website won bonus points which made Mordaunt the clear catchphrase winner. Maybe she’ll be convince the Tory faithful and be their new Prime Minister. At least for now.