Barrie Cunning: What a load of old Boris


When it comes to political conference speeches, Boris Johnson’s was nothing more than an opening speech to the Brexit-loving hard right in the Conservative Party who in the words of the former candidate Conservative Party leader Rory Stewart “peddled false optimism. . ”

Without the policy, substance, detail and vision, there was no mention of support for the growing mental health crisis across the UK, no mention of how the government would improve public safety, especially for women. women in light of the Sarah Everard murder, a political shift in supporting the homebuilding industry in England and Wales and a symbolic monetary gesture to get new teachers to work in disadvantaged areas.

Trading effective policies for token gestures seems to be a key feature of Johnson’s leadership style. The Prime Minister explained how they would solve the growing social crisis in healthcare, but the reality is that what they are proposing will not even touch on the fringes of what is needed.

In what can only be described as a weak attempt to convey Conservative compassion (two words I thought I would never write in the same sentence), Johnson spoke about the NHS and the need to invest in it. He invoked the spirit of Margaret Thatcher by saying that she would have done the same as him and used that as a reason for the increase in national insurance.

It is nothing more than a smoke and mirrors approach, backed up by the prospect of a snap election, to appear to be on the side of ordinary working people.

This half-hearted attempt illustrates that at the heart of the Johnson administration there is no vision of a better Britain, the upgrade program is nothing more than a sound sample and has all the features of George Osborne’s “North Power Plant” that went nowhere. If I were a Tory MP from the north of England and Scotland I would be worried about keeping my seat in the next election as the universal credit increase is now over which will put thousands of families in misery and poverty.

This indifferent Tory PM focused more on addressing party loyalists with a Brexit-validating subtext, which has caused Johnson to continue to downplay concerns about rising inflation and its impact on the economy, suggesting that companies will foot the bill in the absence of government intervention.

This disconnected Prime Minister is so far removed from the reality of what is really going on in Britain right now. No turkeys at Christmas, logistical problems, empty supermarket shelves, problems with gas supplies and clearly no plan for the NHS which will come under immense pressure in a few weeks – all of these will come back to haunt Mr Johnson and be a key in the next elections, which will probably take place in 2023.

Devoid of policy and vision for the UK, in true Johnson style, the sound bites were in full force – Build Back Better, Build Back Batter and we even had Build Back Beaver with the Conservative Party loyalists on the go. to laugh, but the question to ask is this. do they laugh with him or make fun of him?

My money is on the latter because he is a leader who is tolerated but the minute he starts to go down in the polls he will be ditched in favor of Rishi Sunak who gets support behind the scenes and is seen as more competent.

It is clear that Johnson has taken the Tory Party into uncharted waters with a tax hike that’s fundamentally against Tory ideology with a Chancellor who is more aligned with traditional Tory values ​​and has advocated for fiscal tightening and policy measures. austerity under David Cameron which in turn was inherited by Theresa May.

With the cost of living likely to rise and many families across the UK likely to feel the impact, it is only a matter of time before people start looking for another government. This is where the Labor Party has the opportunity to show the British people that they can trust the finances of the country and protect families from poverty and businesses from disasters. The crucial factor in the next election comes down to confidence.

Barrie Cunning is Managing Director of Pentland Communications and a former candidate for the Scottish Labor Parliament

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.


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