The Tories have managed the British economy since 2010 – more than 13 years. Unless you’re a seller of defective PPE or a slumlord, you’re probably not of the opinion that things have improved over that period. We’ve witnessed the death of high streets; multiple cost of living crises; the rise of precarious work; ever lower wages; overall increases to poverty, and a massive increase in the need for foodbanks – all of which demonstrate a country in serious economic decline.
Given that, you’d think the Tories would frame their abilities on something other than their (always dubious) economic credentials. Or – to be more accurate – you’d think that if you didn’t understand the Tories are all shameless weasels:
‘You can trust the conservatives to make sensible prudent decisions with the economy’
‘CAN WE, have you forgotten Liz truss a year ago’ 👏👏
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— kerry ✊💙Save Our NHS (@hewitson10) October 22, 2023
Perhaps the only surprising thing is that even the British media can’t ignore the Tories’ failures anymore – including the BBC, when a Tory minister appeared on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.
Trust in them?
In the interview, immigration minister Robert Jenrick said:
You can trust the Conservatives to make sensible, prudent decisions on the future of the economy
A surprised host Victoria Derbyshire interjected:
Can we? Have you forgotten about Liz Truss a year ago?
Well look at the difference that we’ve seen in the last 12 months under Rishi Sunak
Ah yes, everything is famously going very well now. Jenrick claimed this is all down to:
the fact that we have stabilised the economy; that it’s growing; that inflation is falling
Inflation is more stable than in 2022, certainly. However, it hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in 2022. So, ‘stable’ isn’t really saying much. It was 6.7% this past month, which would still have been a 23-year high. That is, it’s still very, very bad. When it comes to the economy, the Canary wrote the following in a recent piece:
If you watch, read, or listen to the news, you’ll know that ‘gross domestic product’ (GDP) is used as a measure of how well the country is doing. But does it measure how well the country is doing, or does it actually show how well the rich are doing?
To sum up, the Tories have done a bad job historically; they’re doing a bad job right now, and they’ll continue doing a bad job until they’re booted out of office. If you watched this interview, however, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Tories’ problems with the economy began and ended with Truss.
It could be that Derbyshire has a more rounded opinion on Tory economic prowess (or lack thereof). However, the example she used was the Truss PM speed run rather than the Tories’ overall record in office. It’s arguably the latter which is more important. Truss was never at odds with Tory ideology; she simply tried to do the same stuff but faster.
Other leaders have been smart enough to recognise that the UK is a Jenga tower, and the aim is to carefully pinch as many blocks as you can. Truss approached the same Jenga tower as if it were a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos, and of course this led to an economic collapse that even the UK’s freakish media couldn’t ignore.
Hope on the horizon?
The Tories have been terrible for Britain, but would Labour be any different under Keir Starmer? According to Starmer, the answer is no. Labour isn’t proposing to do anything differently; the plan is to do all the stuff we know doesn’t work, but to do it so efficiently that it works somehow. Good luck with that! Although, to be fair, Labour could literally have 13 years of failure before a British journalist notices something amiss.
Featured image via BBC – screengrab
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