Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been ridiculed on social media after sharing a video of himself, ahead of his budget announcement on Wednesday, which one person described as “enormous Head boy energy”.
He then shared the film, entitled ‘The 12 Months to Budget 2021’, with the caption “My priority was, is and always will be jobs”, but in the video centres himself - quite literally in the frame - as he recalls the day he was made Chancellor, saying “Oh gosh”.
At almost six minutes long, and set to generically emotive music, the film includes redundant slogans such as “we will get through this together”, with Sunak expressing how blown away he has been by the “spirit of resilience” during the pandemic - of course failing to mention that the UK now has the highest death rate, and deepest recession of any major country.
He praises the “great team at the Treasury who rose to the challenge admirably”, and “the team at HMRC, who did a genuinely heroic job”, before stating that “people should feel reassured that we are going to continue to be there to support them”.
Towards the end of the video, a close-up shot reveals the red budget box, before Sunak stands like an emperor, and - in a slow-pan shot - holds it outstretched in front of him.
Comedy writer James Felton noted: “The film makes me feel like you think the pandemic was mainly about you.”
He added: “Nice to see the pandemic make a brief cameo in The Rishi Sunak Show.”
English children’s author and poet, Michael Rosen said: “Yes, Rishi. One year ago, your government was still playing about with the idea of herd immunity without vaccination. The result is that tens of thousands of people have died and thousands more affected, some of us for life.”
Retweeting the post, one person said: “Never seen anything like this. It’s not about you Rishi. This slick video has the opposite effect. You were growing in popularity because you seemed to care .”
Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, tweeted: “It is surreal how smug Rishi Sunak is in this despite the fact that under his stewardship the U.K. has endured the worst economic crisis of any major economy. It’s like the Captain of the Titanic producing a five-minute showreel of his “best bits”.
One woman commented: “This man is a dangerous, vainglorious individual whose focus is entirely on becoming PM and little or no care for the economy or the people. His past, as a vulture capitalist banker, ruining companies for his own profit should be a warning as to what he’s doing to the UK.”
Someone else joked: “TO SEND RISHI THROUGH TO THE LIVE FINAL TEXT BUDGET2021”.
Another added: “Someone should tell him #showreelshareday was 3 days ago”
However, others understandably didn’t see the funny side.
Sohail Shah said: “No words for this. Talk about not reading the room. Not a penny to support the freelance creative community, yet the Chancellor manages to put out a mini-documentary about himself, perfectly lit, scored & edited. Nice to know that creatives count when they’re useful.”
Likewise, MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Jamie Stone, said : “The gall of @RishiSunak to fake admiration at the “spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship” when it is exactly the creatives and the entrepreneurs that he has excluded from these job retention schemes for close to 12 months now.”
One woman commented: “The narcissism of this video would be breathtaking at the best of times, but during the financial chaos that a pandemic has wrought on people’s lives, it’s quite simply unbelievable. Epitomises the whole cabinet under Boris — all narcissism and self-congratulations, and no empathy.”
Labour MP for Chesterfield, Toby Perkins, said: “I managed 56 seconds. The phrase if he was an ice cream he’d lick himself could have been written for Sunak. Whenever there’s a question in Parliament to answer he avoids it but spends his time on this sort of self-congratulatory hogwash. #ExcludedUK wont forget.”
Another simply pointed out: “Where is the pay rise for our NHS and our keyworkers??”
Dan O’Hagan observed that “North Korea is more subtle and truthful than this”, before referring to the Chancellor as “five foot six and a half inches of vanity, ego, lies and failure”.
Another person referred to the film as “self-indulgent codswallop made at my expense”.
Someone else said: “This guys lack of self-awareness is breathtaking.”
Whilst others were blunter, stating “thanks for nothing, you useless s**tehawk”.