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Until it actually happened, few experts would have predicted that the Uxbridge by-election would become the pivot point for a range of new directions for the government narrative.

Of course, apart from some optimistic souls in government, virtually no political observers expected the Conservatives to hold on to Uxbridge. That they did so was a pretty impressive triumph for a single-issue attack campaign on a flagship Labour policy.

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) is a key plank of Sadiq Khan’s environmental strategy. Charging motorists according to the age and polluting potential of their vehicles is, not surprisingly, particularly unpopular with car-commuting voters in outer London boroughs that are not well favoured with public transport provision.

But, government strategists sense ULEZ is emblematic of Labour vulnerability on a raft of ‘progressive’ policies. Subjects range from the environment through transgender rights to exiting the European Convention on Human Rights. These different issues share the characteristic of being deeply disliked by specific groups of voters who are – variously – climate change sceptics, furious about what they see as excessive political correctness, or fed up with the impact some of those policies have on the soaring cost of living (or all three).

They are also, perhaps ironically, exactly the sort of policies David Cameron believed it was vital to espouse to convince 2010 voters the Tories were fit for office. The wheel has certainly turned.

So it seems the government’s new approach may include putting net zero commitments on the back burner, granting new North Sea oil and gas drilling licenses and a ‘motorist charter’ that might give a stay of execution to petrol-powered cars.

All these moves – and other policy kite-flying of recent weeks – has put UK business in a bit of a spot. That’s because many of the prospective new government lines run against the grain of the very policies adopted over the past five years by so many companies and organisations as part of their wider ESG agenda.

And then there’s Nigel Farage. Whatever one thinks of his political views, the man is unquestionably one of the most adept political communicators of this or any other century. His one-man demolition of NatWest, its CEO and its banking policies should give every business leader pause for thought.

It’s now open season on corporate correctness. Farage has held up to ridicule their lack of any connection to the preoccupations of the general public. That’s the very general public who are the customers and shoppers of those same businesses.

So should we all spend August re-examining our carefully crafted corporate commitments? Is this a watershed moment when the tide of corporate high ideals begins to ebb? In a word: no.

To borrow a phrase from Corporal Jones (not a notable student of political correctness), ‘Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring’. It’s probably the summer before a general election campaign: all the political parties are trying on campaign themes and tropes for size.

Businesses should not jettison well-thought-through policies or deeply researched, if exacting, commitments made for the long term. It is, though, worth taking a look at the language in which those promises are expressed. What might have made sense in the climate of two, three or four years ago may very well now sound pompous, sententious or downright silly.

All organisations have a tendency to take themselves too seriously. Instead they should probably just be serious about the commitments they have made and explain clearly why they were made, and why they will make a difference. That’s not political correctness: that’s good business. Practise that and you won’t go far wrong.