At the start of the week, Prime Minister Sunak said “words are important”: what followed was a strange week of near Orwellian linguistics as various senior Conservatives tried to either distance themselves or double down on divisive language.

Herts Advertiser: Daisy Cooper

The Conservative MP, Lee Anderson, used racist language about the Labour Mayor of London.

After he lost the whip because his words were “wrong”, the PM and several of his ministerial colleagues tied themselves in knots trying to explain why they were wrong as they tried to avoid using the words "racist" and "Islamophobic".

The ex-Minister for London rolled out the conspiracy theory that London and Birmingham have "no go areas".

The ex-PM, Liz Truss evaded questions about her own conspiracy theory about the "deep state". And Sunak himself labelled protests a form of "mob rule".

At the end of the week, Sunak appeared on the steps of Downing Street to address the nation to warn us all about how polarised our society has become.

Some cried hypocrisy. This is after all a Conservative Party that has consistently used divisive language for years and years, branding opposition MPs as "traitors", migrants as "swarms", and protests as "hate marches".

Without any obvious policy proposals, most were left questioning what the speech was really about.

In amongst the reasonable sounding stuff about finding unity there was quite a lot of worrying ideas about what unity should look like: not protesting, not questioning Britain’s role in history, not talking about racism, and increased deportations.

At best, the PM’s message to the country was "do as I say and not as I do". At worst, it’s sadly possible that this ‘unity speech’ was really the foundations of the next culture war.

And yet, away from the spotlight, some MPs showed a real desire to tackle these issues. MPs of all parties - including some Conservatives – held a debate on "language in politics".

Many talked about the intimidation and threats faced by too many people - Jews, Muslims, women, people who are LGBT+ (and yes, MPs too). All of them wanted to see politicians using language that was respectful and responsible.

Sometimes the best in politics doesn’t hit the headlines but perhaps after the General Election, that better politics will get more airtime.