Here’s one of my problems with both Richie Sunak and Liz unTrsustwothy. I didn’t need to watch the head to head debate last night because was neatly summed up at Penny Merde’s campaign launch, as she sought to win the support of Conservative M.P.”s.
Essentially, she compared her plans for plans for tax, the economy and the state in general with Paul McCartneys recent headlining set at Glastonbury, where he played loads of newer songs, but what we wanted were the old favourites we new and loved and could sing along to. Those were what the crowd wanted, she said, and if her leadership bid was successful, that’s what she’d give them. Simply by giving her their vote, their support, she’d return the favour by turning back the clock by giving them the old Conservative greatest hits; reduce taxes and reduce state spending, support the economy by reducing red tape and helping business, tackling inflation…the same old same old.
Yes, there was some lip-service paid to the now, but it was a bit like getting a huge pile of poo, chucking it into a cake mould, before covering it in sprinkles, frosting, hundreds and thousands and vermacelli, and telling people it wasn’t the same load of old crap. But the thing is, much as the Conservative M.P’s she sought to enthuse wished it, we are not in the 1980’s. The highly divisive economic policies that Thatcher pursued, could it be fairly argued, led us to exactly where we are now.
Indeed, most of the social ills that beset our country now have their origins in her ideological illogicality. A bold claim, you might think, to which I say read my next blog where I try to back that up.
We don’t need a return to what didn’t work for all in our nightmare past. The challenges we face now aren’t going to be solved by a right-wing wet dream. They need fresh innovative thinking to come up with bold and ambitious ideas to solve them. Were Richie Sunak or Liz unTrustworthy in an alternative universe for the last fortnight? One where the climate wasn’t a bit warmer than usual? One where the income disparity between the richest and poorest has never been wider? One where politicians are unwilling to tell the electorate the truth about the challenges of an ageing society. Indeed one in which there was no such thing as society?