The government can often unintentionally parody television, but not often do ministers actually try to impersonate the stars from our screens.
This has however been the case with the current foreign secretary James Cleverly, who has been flying around the Caribbean thinking he’s part of the ‘Roy’ family from HBO’s hit series ‘Succession’.
Cleverly has drawn attention for his choice of a private jet on the trip, the same ‘Embraer Lineage 1000E’ model used by the world-dominating family in the series, after an enquiry to plane company Air Hamburg found that the vehicle’s overall cost across the ten-day trip was a staggering £348,000.
This excessive expense is yet another example of a stark disconnect between the people currently running the country and everyone else, as millions of people continue to struggle day-to-day with rising costs. Meanwhile Cleverly gets to island hop whilst pretending he’s Tory idol Rupert Murdoch (one of the apparent inspirations for Succession).
Whilst he is fulfilling his cabinet duties, it is demoralising to see that taxpayers will feel the wrath of the Tories’ incessant need to pad their jobs with a level of unnecessarily arrogant pomp that the likes of Elon Musk or Murdoch himself would be proud of. There is simply no need to hire a jet known as being “the ultimate statement of wealth” for a ten-day trip whilst being aware of the financial struggles that the UK currently faces.
Cleverly’s flaunt can be swiftly filed into the occasions when Tories have used private jets in ridiculous ways folder, as in the last two years foreign secretaries have racked up a whopping £4.6 million on private and government jets, with Liz Truss and Dominic Raab both flying as free as birds as well as the current costly Cleverly.
As well as the blatant ignorance shown towards the British public, many of whom won’t be able to afford any kind of flight abroad this year, this shiny act of shameful selfishness also highlights the lack of environmental responsibility from Cleverly. In a world where we are constantly told to keep our personal carbon footprints to a minimum, it seems backwards that government ministers are so trigger-happy with their flying habits.
Succession is described as a satirical comedy, and comes from the same creator, Jesse Armstrong, as UK favourite ‘Peep Show. At this point, I’m starting to think that Mark Corrigan would be a more responsible, relatable, and respectable choice in Government than most of these ministers.