We are now but a week away from the result of the Tory leadership campaign which coincides with the end of the summer holiday this nation has been taking. Not all of us have stopped, but it feels as if the machinery of Government has been parked in a lay-by awaiting the arrival of a new Prime Minister.
Meanwhile Conservative MPs appear to be waking up “for the first time” to the concerns of constituents who have no idea how they are going to cope with a problem that is entirely out of their control but totally their responsibility.
Conservative MPs have voiced growing concern over the impact of energy price rises on households and business, following the regulator Ofgem’s announcement on Friday that the energy price cap would increase by 80 per cent in October, taking bills up to £3,549 for the average user.
“I’m hearing from constituents who are reaching out for the first time worried about how they will get through this winter,” one senior Tory MP told the Financial Times. “Some of the existing help packages don’t even touch the sides.”
“Out of touch” – “tone deaf”, call them what you like , it is hard not to agree with this assessment of the current Government.
I think this is the clearest indicator yet that most Tories understand neither the nature nor the magnitude of this cost of living crisis.
— Frances ‘Cassandra’ Coppola (@Frances_Coppola) August 29, 2022
To ask , as the pro-tem Prime Minister is doing, for Britain to be resilient is to assume there is a financial buffer with which that resilience can come from. For many people there is no financial buffer. There are benefits, there may be a little savings, there is money in a pension pot (or three) but there is no plan in place for the financial disaster of bills “no honest man can pay”.
Boris Johnson tells us there will be a package put in place to save “constituents” but Liz Truss is not a detail person (any more than Johnson is). We have no trusted helmsman.
I support Gina Miller in this.
As Leader of @VoteTrueAndFair, I’ve written to the main Parties to cancel Conference Recess.
Parliament shut for 4 weeks after the long summer Recess is immoral.
— Gina Miller (@thatginamiller) August 28, 2022
Her letter to the party leaders can be accessed from this link.
I spoke to one former Treasury mandarin last week who had worked for both Truss and Sunak. Her estimate was that Sunak has an eye for sums while Truss has an eye for her image and if she is right , then we are in big trouble.
Add to that , we are likely to have yet another Cabinet clear-out, another raft of ministers and junior ministers new to their jobs and one wonders if this country is being run for or by the Conservative party,
Frankly it is not good enough that we are facing the next few months without any leadership at all. This leadership election was not brought about by necessity – nobody died. It was brought about by an Inter-Nicene row within a political party about who was best placed to lead it into the next election.
The last six months have shown us that the current Conservative party puts itself beyond its country and that stinks – almost as much as our beaches.