Friday, 16 October 2015

Unpublished New Statesman letter on Tory conference

Is is not possible that it is not only the Tories who are in danger of becoming too "complacent" before the next election (Politics Column,9th October,2015)? George Eaton seems convinced about the result already, and even about Corbyn`s future as Labour leader. What a shame he didn`t apply some of his astute critical skills to the ridiculous claims made by the Tories at their conference; Sajid Javid, for example, was allowed to insist that "equality of opportunity was the defining metric" without a word about the government`s education policies failing millions of children, and forcing recruitment agencies to scour the world for new teachers.
Similarly, Osborne`s speech was described as "assured", but didn`t I read that he repeated his claim, made previously in a recent New Statesman interview, that his views on politics have changed since becoming MP for a northern constituency? Surely the fact that he represents an area of Cheshire, one of the richest constituencies in the country, was worthy of a mention? A survey by Barclays declared Tatton as "the highest-ranked area outside London and the south-east", with an average income, even then, of £62,350. He`ll be telling us next he`s a man of the people!

  It`s time to start giving Corbyn a fair hearing; that description of him as "hard left" is misleading when his policies are actually what most voters in the so-called "centre ground" support. Lets save the criticism for a chancellor who sells taxpayer-owned shares in RBS for £1.1bn less than their actual value, to hedge funds in the City.

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