Election aftermaths see think-tanks issue long lists of Government policies that they claim were originally theirs. We are in no position to act likewise.
But as the year draws to a close, we highlight three ConHome columnists, all of whom contributed to this month’s Conservative landslide victory.
One is very new; another a bit less so; the third has been with this site for a very long time.
The new columnist is Rachel Wolf. She was a very big contributor indeed to Johnson’s win, since she co-masterminded the Conservative manifesto with Munira Mirza, the head of Number Ten’s Policy Unit.
The document will now be remembered as a model of a winning manifesto, alongside another short one that was also permissive in character – that of 1979. Wolf explained recently on this site that its focus was on neither the rich nor the poor.
Instead, it largely targeted what used to be known, back in the days of Theresa May and Nick Timothy, as the “just about managings”. These have been the subject of James Frayne‘s column on this site since it began roughly five years ago.
We sub-titled it Far From Notting Hill (for those were the days of David Cameron’s premiership) to communicate some of the flavour at once. Frayne, Wolf’s husband, has been a committed and consistent advocate of a Tory electoral march north.
Everything he does is grounded in research – so see for example his take on which tax cuts these voters do and don’t support. There will be more of this and much else from him in the New Year.
Finally, we cite an old-timer. Robert Halfon has been writing for this site since the days of Tim Montgomerie’s editorship. He has been a Minister and party Deputy Chairman. But Halfon is above all a brilliant backbench campaigner.
Many of his Harlow constituents fall into the just-about-managing category, and he is skilled at finding policies that appeal to them. Consider for example his long campaign against hospital car parking charges, triumphantly subsumed into the Tory manifesto.
Some years go well, others less so. ConHome can be well satisfied with 2019. It has seen a sudden political turnaround, a landslide election victory – and the restoration of Brexit as a workable political project.
Our eve-of-ballot leadership election survey had Boris Johnson’s total to within a point. And we backed him early for the post itself: “if the Tories want the leader best placed to see off Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage, Johnson is the man,” we wrote.
Not all our hunches and tips come off. But 2019 hasn’t been at all a bad year in that respect. We write so knowing only too well and pride comes before a fall.