Opinion: First a clown... then a circus

Boris Johnson is leaving. I recall David Cameron promising his leadership as a contrast to “chaos with Ed Miliband”. This is the third Prime Minister to hold office in six years: what does this say about the state of the Conservative Party, writes city council Labour Group leader Shaz Nawaz.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 15th July 2022, 10:19 am
Boris Johnson  is standing down as PM. (Getty Images)
Boris Johnson is standing down as PM. (Getty Images)

First, they inflict instability and division, then they hire a clown, now the clown is followed by a circus.

I know that some Conservatives are dismayed by this spectacle.

The party of Winston Churchill and Harold Macmillan has become a lurid carnival, their leadership candidates by and large are trying to outbid each other on tax cuts which are simply not affordable.

When Nadim Zahawi attempted to suggest his tax cuts could be paid for by 20% cuts across every government department, many, I’m sure, were horrified by the thought of 20% fewer policemen and nurses.

His clarifications compounded the issue.

Many of the candidates are saying we need a new approach. As many of them were at the centre of government, you have to wonder why they didn’t argue for this sooner.

Meanwhile, we are battered by a cost-of-living crisis, the continuing drag of Covid, poor industrial relations and even worse productivity figures.

What do the leadership candidates intend to do? What is their prospectus?

Apparently, it’s to cut taxes with no means to pay for it, and to continue to send refugees to Rwanda even though this is an expensive nonsense which other countries have tried and found unworkable.

It’s difficult for me to see how the Tories get over their dismal record: at the end of 12 years of their reign we are poorer, hungrier (witness food bank usage) and more divided.

They utilised the language of blaming the “other”, the foreigner, the asylum seeker, the so-called “woke” to build legitimacy.

But when it came to actual results they did not deliver.

We are not better off than we were. In many ways, things are worse.

The United Kingdom has more pulled apart than it has together since 2010.

Does anyone really think that this batch of Tory leadership candidates can fix the damage?

What holds true on a national level usually holds true on a local level.

We have had a three-ring circus in Peterborough for far too long.

You have been offered to step right up and indulge in the distractions of big projects like Fletton Quays.

Don’t look behind the curtain and peer at the ledgers which are marked in little besides red ink. Yet they continue to inflict themselves on us.

People voted Conservative for several reasons. I think at least some thought the Tories might be prudent in office. Of all the deficits that this government is running, the most glaring is its lack of this quality.

Where is prudence, restraint, care? What about logic, reason, and consideration?

All these have been drowned out by the carnival notes arising from the Tory tent.

Yes, the clown is going; his act grew tired, and people were fed up with him abusing the audience. The next act is unlikely to be better.

It’s time to end the show entirely. It’s time to not add yet another year to the 12 of chaos and failure.

It’s time for a change of government.