Would Silicon Valley welcome Rishi Sunak?

Sunak has just fought what will surely go down in history as the worst election campaign of modern political history

Sunak
(Getty)
Share
Text
Text Size
Small
Medium
Large
Line Spacing
Small
Normal
Large

Rishi Sunak’s bags are probably packed. The plane tickets are booked. And no doubt he has found somewhere for the family to stay while they look for a permanent home. It is widely assumed that, having lost the election, Sunak will soon disappear to Silicon Valley as quickly as possible to restart his career. But hold on. Sure, it is easy to understand why Sunak would want to get as far away as possible from the car crash he has presided over. Yet after running one of the most spectacularly inept election campaigns in history,…

Rishi Sunak’s bags are probably packed. The plane tickets are booked. And no doubt he has found somewhere for the family to stay while they look for a permanent home. It is widely assumed that, having lost the election, Sunak will soon disappear to Silicon Valley as quickly as possible to restart his career. But hold on. Sure, it is easy to understand why Sunak would want to get as far away as possible from the car crash he has presided over. Yet after running one of the most spectacularly inept election campaigns in history, will the tech giants still want him? 

Sunak has just fought what will surely go down in history as the worst election campaign of modern political history

With a background in finance, and with his slightly nerdy “numbers guy” demeanor, Sunak might well seem a better fit for Silicon Valley than he ever was for Westminster. He is good at finance, details and technology. One of the tech giants or venture capitalist firms might seem a natural destination. But it will be hard for these firms to turn a blind eye to what has unfolded over the last six weeks.

Sunak has just fought what will surely go down in history as the worst election campaign of modern political history. The timing was poor. The initial product launch, with the prime minister standing in the rain, provoked widespread mockery. He had so little control over his team they sent him to the Titanic for a photo op and let him leave D-Day commemorations early. And there was so little internal discipline that staffers were caught out allegedly betting on the date of the election. Perhaps worst of all, he allowed a start up to take half his market in only four weeks. To put it bluntly, that is not a record that recommends itself. It is hard to imagine successful firms such as Google or Amazon would seek such “management.”

True, Nick Clegg’s success at Meta, the company that owns Facebook and WhatsApp, suggests that “former British prime minister or deputy prime minister” on your CV carries a certain weight. But while he remains deeply unpopular in Britain, Clegg — although hardly strong on original ideas — had a far, far better record than Sunak. He led a minor party into government, lasted for five years, and was always a smooth and polished campaigner. By contrast, Sunak has led the most formidable political machine in the Western world to its worst ever result. Sunak is a smart guy. But he is also damaged goods. And it is very hard to see the case for any major company or tech fund wanting to bring him on board now. 

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.