It is clear levelling up is dead.
HS2 dominated the news this week but arguably a more important story happened this week, one that arguably might cost the Tories a majority at the next election and answer that question, how could Labour win a majority at the next election?
For those of us who recall the 2017 general election Mrs May was on course to win 470 seats, a majority of 290 until she announced her social care plans, then she turned from being the political equivalent of Lionel Messi to being the Jason Lee of politics thusly I’m very intrigued by the announcement of Boris Johnson’s government this week on social care reform.
Rob Ford further notes that
Leaving aside the fact this is awful policy, as Dilnot observes, its fascinating politics. The big winners from this new policy are traditional Tories in traditional Tory seats (people with expensive homes and other wealth in the wealthy bits of S England).
The big losers are new Tory voters in newly Tory seats – older, often home owning voters with modest levels of wealth in poorer bits of England. This policy absolutely throws them under the bus. Massively screwing your new voters to protect your old voters is an interesting move.
Note also that planning reform – a policy shift which would have done the opposite – harming the interests of trad Tory voters to serve the interests of others – has already been killed off. And HS2 got gutted too. Meet the new Tories, same as the old Tories?
At the very least, it does seem that the Cons are going to test to destruction the idea that economic interests don’t drive the vote choices of their new voters. Wonder how their new red wall MPs feel about that idea?
The newspapers from the left to the right have started to pick up on the awfulness of this policy that kicks poorer people and protects wealthier people. No wonder it is reported that Tory MPs are planning to rebel on such a shameful policy proposal.
If Labour can weave the various narratives about Boris Johnson lying and betraying voters culminating turning Boris Johnson into Boris Johnson: House Snatcher then Sir Keir Starmer may well become Prime Minister. As a fan of Margaret Thatcher the current Prime Minister knows her tenure came to an end when householders felt unfairly penalised, his policies might lead to the same fate for him.
Upsetting homeowners feels like a lot like invading Russia during winter, or walking into a crocodile pit whilst smothered in barbecue sauce & flailing your legs near their mouths, all of them are damn stupid ideas.
Of Boris Johnson’s recent travails a former Tory minister said “What’s the mood? I’ll tell you: there’s been a big increase in the number of people who think Boris is a c**t”, if Sir Keir Starmer can manage to convince the country of that sentiment then his route to becoming Prime Minister becomes easier, unless the Tories ditch the unprofessional Worzel Gummidge lookalike before the next election.