We are all in this together…apparently
So it’s that time of year again, conference season has slapped us in the face. But if it’s not enough that we have to sit through the party’s faithful grinning and clapping obediently to the pauses in their respective leaders and senior members’ speeches, we also have to pick apart the substance from the rhetoric and often uncosted promises.
There have been some truly memorable moments already, and I’m not the type of person to beat on a chap while he is down so I’ll leave the forgetful Ed Miliband to the other bloggers and hacks who have been and will continue to take him apart.
Instead I have been suffering/paining my way through the Tory conference and I must say among the many cringey highlights, including Jeremy Hunt (no Freudian slips here) repeating the phrase “let’s here it” like an ailing ’70s rock star, Boris didn’t let the side down.
He lit up the otherwise dreary conference and as we have all come to enjoy him in an anecdotal sense, I thought I would see what he would come up with in this sensitive time for the Conservatives.
I appreciate and enjoy a well delivered speech full of witty anecdotes used in conjunction with great comedic timing and BoJo as ever delivered just that. Oh and the brick: a great touch. However, whilst they are very keen to show that “we are all in this together”, there were some worrying signs that no matter how avant garde their tree looks, the Tories are still wayyy out of touch.
BoJo took the opportunity to highlight that London isn’t a city out of touch with the rest of the country. That is doesn’t exist in it’s own vacuum and that “this strange place called London” is not somehow “different from the rest of the country”. Yes Mr. Johnson, London is no different to anywhere else in the UK. The city with the most billionaires than any other city on the planet, beating Moscow by 72 to 48 according to the Sunday Times.
The most worrying part of his speech though is the insistence of the fact that London is a great place to live. Let’s throw some stats at this claim like a good politician. 28% of Londoners live in poverty which is 7% higher than the rest of England according to the London Poverty Profile and 57% of the working age adults and children in poverty are in families that work, not to mention the 40% increase in people in low paid jobs in London over the last five years.
Pats on the back were given to the Met and Theresa May with no hint of irony. To be fair though the Met in the last 12 months have only been involved in the stealing of dead children’s identities for undercover officers, phone hacking, Plebgate, crime stats manipulation and discrimination against female and minority officers, just to name a few. Now far be it for us to start saying we live in an Orwellian police state, but the levels of corruption, collusion and concealment are more than worrying. But still, as long as bus crimes are down eh Boris? Clearly it’s been a good few years for them.
All in this together? Hmm.