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He couldn't... could he?

If at this point you want the Conservatives to win the next General Election after the absolute circus of the last 5 years then your allegiance to that party must be unmovable. It appears your brain cannot be changed.

Unless you’ve been asleep since Boris Johnson became PM, any notion of stability and economic competence that’s usually associated with the word ‘Tory’ has been banished entirely bar the delusional.

A shower of power-hungry Conservatives have put their own fortune before the country’s. We live in a high-tax, low-growth economy. We’re paying an unprecedented mortgage premium on our homes so the Tories could experiment on a quick buck scheme for rich folk; borrowing on the country’s credit card and, in reality, funnelling hard cash to to high earners through tax cuts. All without due diligence, after refusing to publish the OBR forecast alongside that infamous budget.

Imagine an ordinary Joe utilised a Government contact to make some money out the public purse, cut corners on proper process and all his/her family and mates ended up loaded because of it. Ordinary Joe would end up with a full blown HMRC investigation and, most likely, time in the tin pail.

Borrowing has also exponentially risen since David Cameron took charge, despite trashing public services in the name of bringing the national debt down. We now know this was a lie.

They’ve also come after every noble British institution, every vulnerable Brit in need of help and wrecked any shred of standard and decency in public office. Their party’s reputation is in tatters.

One person’s loyalty is another’s blinkers, I guess.

One thing that absolutely must change is the level of decency and decorum held by those in public office. The way this Government has conducted itself over the past few years has been nothing short of a disgrace. Downright lies, Covid parties and pathetic humour whilst everyone else suffers.

The latest victim, of course, Brianna Ghey’s mother who sat and watched Rishi Sunak tease the identity of her not-long-dead daughter. Only for Sunak to double down and refuse to apologise.

One of the many, countless examples of sheer riddy that the public must endure whilst watching our leaders represent us.

You’d think this would make Keir Starmer a dead cert for the PM's chair… because one thing you will get with a Labour Government is a return to a bit of decency amongst those running the country. I think everyone is crying out for this after all the shame we’ve felt watching these f*cking clowns (as Nicola Sturgeon, when describing Boris Johnson, eloquently put it).

And yet the Tories, as of early February, alongside the Tories on roids (Reform UK), sit together at around 35% of the vote according to several polls.

Whilst the voting system might save Labour’s skin, having only 10% more of the public on the side than they pair doesn’t feel like an awful lot.

Especially with more and more young people becoming disaffected with politics. A good outside bet would be a low turnout amongst the electorate’s bairns. The ‘Resolution Foundation’ has warned millennials are less likely to vote because of a lack of inspiration in the available options.

There is also a significant downturn in approval ratings amongst Muslim voters for the Labour Party with their position on ongoings in the Middle East.

That’s without mentioning the ‘Gen Z’ mob, who have only ever known austerity and demonisation of immigrants, that will also be thinking ‘What’s the point?’

Sentiments, I’m sure, shared by hardcore environmentalists as Labour has ditched its plans to invest heavily in a revolutionary green economy.

And forget what you hear on the tele… my plumber was in the other day saying ‘I’ll never vote in a General Election because there’s naebody for people like me. I’m from Royston (in Edinburgh), mate. Nobody looks out for me.’

As ‘News Agents’ Podcast host Lewis Goodall puts it, Labour leader Keir Starmer may be “stuck in the sand” without a transformational agenda.

Starmer set his stall out to be a leader for everyone a couple years back now. His pitch is essentially ‘I’m a steady Eddie’ and I’m not about to do anything daft. So, if you’re starting a business or thinking about moving away from the UK because of the unpredictable, politically hostile environment we’ve found ourselves in… don’t move just yet.

He essentially wants to give folk a bit of peace after years of chaos. Fair enough.

This might sound like music to ears for some but many others are also crying out for change. This is the ‘change’ election. Starmer has even used those words himself. People want a reset, not continuity. The status quo is driving us all mental (and skint).

That’s why when Starmer talked about green investment, a new economy, and investment into starving public services… folk have been crying out for the General Election to come sooner rather than later.

…but the further this can is kicked down Downing Street, Starmer’s vision has started to unravel a wee bit. He’s u-turned several marquee policies. He’s starting to use the same rhetoric George Osbourne used all those years ago pledging austerity in the name of ‘fiscal responsibility.’

He’s lacked leadership with his stance in the Middle East. Many, especially in Scotland, don’t want their country giving the green light to the killing of mass civilians.

He looks like another leader who will unquestionably pander to and follow in with American foreign policy. One that devalues the lives of others to suit his own personal prospects to become powerful. History repeating itself, it seems… as he boasts his admiration for the last Labour leader who led the way in this capacity.

He’s pledged to tidy up democracy after the corruption charges faced by the likes of Michelle Mone… and we now know reforming the House of Lords has been axed.

Angela Rayner promised to decentralise power in the first term of Parliament by introducing Gordon Brown’s report… we now know that’s also been scrapped.

Economically speaking, there isn’t too much daylight between Starmer’s Labour and the Tories… green investment will barely outspend Scotland despite a far bigger pool of resources, they want to “unashamedly” deregulate financial services and spending priorities look to be remarkably similar.

Universal Credit will remain despite the promise to reform. As will bankers' bonuses. As will income taxes for the top 5%. As will the charitable status of private schools. As will private ownership of rail, mail, energy and water. As will free movement. As will levies on big tech companies.

Suddenly yer hinkin… is there a danger he might blow this?

I personally don’t think so given the voting system we operate in. Labour’s lead could shorten to 5 or 6 percentage points and still end up with 500 odd seats.

What this does show, however, is that the goalposts in the UK are unmoveable. The UK is tied at the hip with the blue wall down south. It has, and will continue to, dictate the run of play.

Why? Well, as the saying goes, you need to be “centrist” to win elections in the UK.

I cannae stand it personally but it appears to be a comfortable reality for so many. Social democracy can’t and will not ever again exist in UK politics because First Past the Post won’t allow it. It’s called ‘democracy,’ apparently, when politicians suppress how they actually feel and toe the party line.

Shame that, eh? With so many people wanting policies to that end. You’d think democracy would be able to reflect that in tangible changes in our society.

On top of democratic restraints, there also seems to be a lack of genuine vision for transformative, systematic change amongst those at the top in Westminster.

Not saying figures like Starmer never had vision… but perhaps the lure of power and authority thwarts their judgment when they can taste victory.

One curveball it might throw is most people in devolved nations becoming properly fed up. Scotland, for example, sitting around 50/50, and an ever-increasing appetite amongst young Scots, wouldn’t take a monumental swing to pull that plug.

Especially if Starmer’s legacy leaves the Scots thinking… no matter how bad it gets under the Conservatives, and it really can’t get any worse, voting Labour can’t give the level of change you would hope for.

That’s a real problem. A continuity term in Parliament won’t wash for hardworking Scots.

They’ll maybe point to the mess that’s been ‘left’ by the Conservatives, but the public won’t feel sorry for them. They do plenty of complaining in opposition benches. They’ve got plenty of dosh to work with. Dosh that’s hard earned by the public.

And there won't be any pity if he starts acting like his long-time admiree Margaret Thatcher.


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