Tuesday 23 January 2024

The Unvarnished Truth

Simon Clarke is, as the BBC would have it, "a senior Tory MP" only if you count having been Secretary of State for Levelling Up under Liz Truss. That is his own choice of ground, so take a look at his constituency of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, tell me how levelled up it is, and take him with that degree of seriousness.

Clarke is now one of a lot of Conservative politicians in the North East, where one in four people is living below the poverty line. Those Conservatives, including Clarke, are particularly concentrated in Tees Valley, where one in three children is living below the breadline. Nationally, six million people would need to double their pay merely to reach that line. Yes, pay. Most of the working-age poor are in work.

Yet what are we offered instead? Wes Streeting, who parrots every Loony Right thinktank attack on the National Health Service in the last 50 years, thereby making himself the greatest threat to the NHS since its foundation, and, by demonstrating who was dripping poison into the ears of the Labour frontbench, proving that the full Tufton Street agenda of the Truss Weeks would be restored under Keir Starmer even if the mighty Clarke had failed to dislodge Rishi Sunak.

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.


  1. Clarke is going to lose his seat, Streeting badly needs to lose his.

    1. Leanne Mohamad needs to concentrate as much on the NHS as on Gaza.