DO YOU want to hear something hilarious? It seems the Tories think it might make good electoral sense to be a little bit more conservative if they want to get conservative voters to vote Conservative. Damian Green, leader of the ‘influential’ One Nation group of Conservative MPs, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that the party must ‘rediscover the virtues that appeal to natural Conservatives in strong Conservative areas’, including ‘reducing the tax burden on those struggling with the cost of living’.
I think it’s fair to say that the boat has sailed when it comes to the Tory party rediscovering ‘the virtues that appeal to natural Conservatives in strong Conservative areas’. That boat sailed a long, long time ago. That boat has firmly sailed into the offshore wind farm, sinking to its watery grave.
In fact Boris Johnson and his hip band of Tories are the ones that gave us the ‘Green revolution with his ten-point green plan creating 250,000 jobs’.
In the ten-point plan was a promise to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, ten years ahead of the previous schedule. Hooray! We all know how much Tory voters in the heartlands hate their cars – can’t wait to get rid of them. And now that it is so expensive to drive them, conveniently Johnson didn’t even need this pledge as hardly anyone will be able to afford to drive a non-electric car by 2030, in any case. Very convenient that.
Another gem within Johnson’s Green Revolution was the ‘promise to quadruple the amount of offshore wind power capacity within a decade’. Again, there is nothing a Tory voter likes more than an off-shore bird decapitation machine. Love them, they do. Love them.
This was all done with the promise that the ten-point plan would create up to 250,000 jobs, with much of the focus aimed at the North of England, Midlands, Scotland and Wales. Oh dear. So anywhere but the South and South East. The very region where voters dumped the Tories in the local elections. This is going to be a difficult ship to turn around.
Then there are the tax rises – the tax burden is now the heaviest since, well, since for ever. This was done in part to pay for Johnson’s mad lockdown which we now know definitely was unnecessary even by the standards of the World Health Organisation.
As Robert Dingwall wrote in Saturday’s Telegraph: ‘Looking at Europe, where official data are usually robust, Sweden had half the excess death rate of the UK, Germany or Spain – and a quarter of that of many Eastern European nations.’ Now we are all suffering as the bill for lockdown has fallen due.
All of this is on top of the obvious fact that the Tories are not in the last bit socially conservative, the horse bolting on that one even before the ship set sail, to mix my metaphors.
So best of luck to Damian Green and his band of merry Conservative men. He wouldn’t know a conservative policy if it hit him in the face.