Home Estate Planning The Notebook: The Conservative Party has forgotten what it once stood for

The Notebook: The Conservative Party has forgotten what it once stood for

0 comment

Where the City’s movers and shakers have their say. Today, James Chapman, Director of Soho Communications, takes the Notebook pen.

The Conservative Party has forgotten what it once stood for

The Conservative Party used to trade on maintaining the status quo – the clue was in the name.
When I worked in the Treasury, during George Osborne’s time as Chancellor, the Government certainly introduced reforms that were controversial but broadly reflected conservative values.

Today’s party is quite different. A virus entered the Tory bloodstream at the time of the Brexit referendum, and what it has left behind is something profoundly unconservative.

The moderate voices of politicians like Kenneth Clarke, David Gauke and Rory Stewart are long gone, purged by Boris Johnson. Take the Rwanda scheme, which Rishi Sunak has made an article of faith. Not even the National Front advocated sending people back where they didn’t come from.

Nigel Farage is spoken of semi-seriously as a potential Tory leader. In recent days, a former Prime Minister has appeared alongside Steve Bannon spouting conspiracist nonsense including claims that Britain is being run by a secretive ‘deep state’. A former Home Secretary is one of many Tory MPs advocating to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, rails against migration and asserts that ‘Islamists are bullying Britain into submission’.

The party appears to be simultaneously at war with institutions ranging from the BBC to the National Trust. Rather than conserving the environment, net-zero targets are junked. The Prime Minister himself makes a startling (and demonstrably inaccurate) attack on the police for letting the country descend into ‘mob rule’.

It is no surprise that voters judge the Tories to be as right-wing as Ukip. The result of all this is that the centre ground is left for Labour to occupy. The Conservatives can’t hope to win again until they remember what they are supposed to stand for.

Struggling parents and guardians must not be forgotten in this Wednesday’s Spring Budget

This week’s Budget represents the last chance for significant economic policy reform ahead of the general election. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is under intense pressure to kickstart an economy that has entered recession and deal with the cost of living crisis that remains the number one political issue.

A priority should be making childcare more affordable for struggling parents and guardians. That would ease pressure in the labour market, unlock talent and support businesses. The UK’s childcare system is among the most expensive in the developed world and reform is urgently needed.

The joy of shopping locally

Over the last year, I’ve made a concerted effort to shop locally. I have all but ditched our nearest supermarket, which I used to visit at least once a week, and now frequent our local butcher, fishmonger, baker and greengrocer.

It takes a little more time, but the quality and variety of produce on offer is much better and there is a definite feel-good factor in supporting high street businesses which I would miss if they were gone.

Greece: From sick man of Europe to one of the fastest growing economies

A decade ago, Greece was the sick man of Europe. Its vast debts nearly broke the eurozone and the harsh austerity measures that were imposed caused years of hardship.

Today, everything has changed. Greece is one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies, putting the UK to shame. Foreign investment is pouring in and unemployment is at its lowest level for many years.

This success story is a testament to the strategy of a government that has slashed red tape on business, hiked the minimum wage and even paid back international bailout cash ahead of schedule. Zito Hellas!

Manzi’s is the spot for seafood with flare

My favourite London restaurant opening of last year was Manzi’s, a spectacularly camp seafood emporium in an alleyway just off Soho Square. It takes its name from the original Manzi’s – an Anglo-Italian seafood restaurant that was a London fixture from the 1950s through to 2006, when it closed.

In the new incarnation, Poseidon presides over my favourite table and mermaids perch at the corners of the bar. The best dish on the menu is the monkfish Wellington – a fishy take on the beef variety that has to be tasted to be believed.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?