One Nation Toryism thing of the past
“CONSERVATIVES to appeal to political centre ground,” was headlined in many papers over the weekend. When I read that, I blinked in disbelief.
One Nation Toryism is dead and buried, make no mistake about that. Margaret Thatcher killed it and Teresa May is dancing on its grave. The comfortable notion that a highly profitable business sector will ensure that wealth filters down through all strata of society has been destroyed by modern-day corporate greed. We now live in a near-kleptocracy.
After 40 years in thrall to an almost unregulated market economy, inequality in the UK has increased to a staggering extent. Real poverty is increasing sharply, record numbers of people are in work but still can’t make ends meet, and the nation’s physical and mental health has suffered accordingly.
All to encourage “growth”, but the only real financial growth has been salaries and bonuses for the top “five-percenters” – and of course money laundering in the City and tax avoidance.
Austerity has just made matters worse: it has damaged and taken lives, and it has hampered businesses. And let’s be clear, when the Tories announce austerity is over, it’s a big fib. It’s hard-wired into all their policy-making. Further cuts to the NHS will ensure its steady march to complete privatisation remains on track, similarly education, social services and the police can all expect further slimming. And all to no avail. The deeper the austerity, the greater society’s needs – it’s self-defeating.
So why are the Tories trying for a more centrist appeal? The answer is simply panic. They have seen that Labour’s progressive, social democrat-type policies have gained great popular appeal, and that numerous business and economic analysts are coming to the conclusion that Labour has answers to many of the problems that have dogged the economy – and society – for decades. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the Tories are not sincere.
The right wing parties and media have realised they’re on shaky ground rubbishing Labour on policy, hence all the spurious attempts at character assassination and the make-believe extremism narrative. The real extremists in UK politics today are to the right. The political “ideas” of May, Johnson and ReesMogg would’ve been unthinkable to the One-Nation Tories of yesteryear. The Conservatives pretending to occupy the centre ground is simply breathtaking hypocrisy. Paul Halas