Stupidity didn’t prevent Liz Truss from becoming Prime Minister, however briefly. As a Private Eye journalist put it: Conservative Party leadership elections are conducted on the principle of Worst Past The Post. If that’s not enough to prove Bonapart’s words, her successor has appointed a cabinet who seem determined to contradict Mill and prove that ALL Conservatives are stupid.
I have to qualify that to exclude Peter Oborne who still describes himself as a conservative despite being to the left of Starmer. He’s one of that rare breed of journalists who still retain some integrity, I wouldn’t call him a Tory.
The latest example of Tory stupidity is this Minimum Services Bill. They expect unions to guarantee a safe level of service when the main reason unions are on strike is that, following a decade of underfunding, they’re unable to make such a guarantee when they’re NOT on strike. Tory answer is to threaten to sack workers who refuse to scab, thus reducing staffing levels even further.
Where do they expect to find replacements for the people they fire? They’ll probably recruit nurses from developing countries where they’re badly needed but are paid even less than our nurses, instead of training enough nurses here where they’re already in debt by the time they qualify. Where they expect to find trained firefighters I’ve no idea 🤷🏽♂️ From the military? They can help in some emergencies but don’t have the training to do the job themselves. One firefighter I know had served in the Royal Marines but had to train from scratch like any other recruit .
Perhaps the greatest stupidity is making the false dichotomy between striking workers and “ordinary workers” who want to go to work but can’t get there by public transport because railway workers are on strike. Where do they think “union bosses” recruit their members from if not from “ordinary workers”?
I’m thankful I’m retired and no longer have to commute to work, it’s becoming impossible if you don’t drive especially if you’re elderly or disabled! Closing booking offices and removing guards prevents us from getting on and and off trains which were already unreliable. “Efficiency savings” are nothing of the sort! The hospitality industry isn’t because railway workers are on strike; people don’t normally use buses or trains to go to the pub, they go to one closer to home – if they can afford to! The industry is suffering partly because of the pandemic but mainly because people can’t afford to go out for a pint when they’re struggling to put food on the table.
I emigrated to Australia in 1972 with a job as a tram conductor, one week training and following Tuesday was Melbourne Cup Day and I was paid 3x for sitting around at the depot in case someone didn’t show up for their shift. There’s no such provision in the U.K. today. I recall one occasion when waiting at York station for a train going to Hull when the crew had to be brought from Hull by Taxi – but that’s a topic for another blog.
How more stupid can you get than expecting us to believe that wages increase inflation when the average CEO of a company has raked in as much in the first two weeks of 2023 than most of their employees earn in a year? I choose my words carefully; even leftist accounts say CEO’s “earn” a hundred times more than their employees when the opposite is true. They might say that Elon Musk is worth billions, in fact he’s worth no more than you or me – or those desperate refugees risking their lives trying to cross the Channel in search of asylum. Which brings me to my next example of Tory Stupidity.
Why on Earth should one imagine that you can defeat people trafficking gangs by becoming one of them, because that’s what the Tories are doing! They’re not stopping illegal immigration, they’re encouraging it by failing to provide safe and legal routes for refugees to seek asylum, which they can’t do until they’re standing on British soil.
I’ve written about that in Lifeboats and Refugees https://creatingsocialism.org/lifeboats-and-refugees/
Tories talk a lot about “growing the economy” but are so fixated on the debunked trickle down theory that they fail to see that the way to do that is by investment, not cuts. “Levelling up” is actually a race to the bottom for most of us. Higher wages mean people have more money to spend and keep the economy going, higher profits aren’t reinvested but are taken out of the economy and stashed away in tax havens.
I’m sure everyone reading this can think of other examples of Tory stupidity, but I’ll leave it there.