I don’t know if like me you’ve been watching the Tory (oo! I just typed ‘Troy’ there – Freudian slip or what?) party conference. I’ve made myself watch large swathes of it in order to see what’s really happening, and jeez, what a yawnfest! The tone and atmosphere could not be more different from the Labour conference last week (was it only last week? I’m just catching up with myself.) It’s not only that they are divided and bereft of new ideas (in fact they’re forbidden to put any forward) which means it’s just Brexit and the same old tired tropes about managing the economy, being a safe pair of hands etc etc. But I’m finding it’s as if they exist in a sort of bubble, being – as I think the Guardian put it – both defensive and in denial at the same time. They simply don’t seem to hear the cries that come from outside. You wouldn’t know there was any problem with Universal Credit or PIP’s (which have both been associated with premature deaths); you wouldn’t know that the Archbishop of Canterbury had spoken out against the climate of hostility against the poor; you wouldn’t know there were any homeless on the streets or any young people struggling to find housing or meaningful work which would enable them even to pay a basic rent… I could go on and on but when I heard this morning from the Mayoral Candidate for London (wow, they’ve actually found a black guy who votes Tory. Well, I guess if Kanye West can vote for Trump…) who actually proudly owned up that he was a son of the Windrush generation, I thought ‘that’s it. I’ve heard it all now. He doesn’t even seem to know what’s happening. He made no reference to it at all.’ So I think they’re in deep denial. Theresa May has even refused to give interviews during the conference earning her a reproof from all major news outlets as it is traditional (and practically obligatory) for the sitting PM to make her (or him-) self available for interview. Yet there they stand, speaker after speaker chuntering complacently on as if nothing was happening. The only signs of fire are in the fringe meetings such as the one yesterday where Boris made his plea for Boris to be the most important person in the universe; and the times when people mention Corbyn. Dire Warnings have been issued about the Dangers of Letting Him Near No 10; but nobody says why. He just can’t be trusted apparently. This must be due to his habit of going round the country listening to people, something the Tories seem ever more incapable of doing.
They deserve to be out of office – and the sooner the better.