OPINION

Voters agree Tories are out of ideas to deal with cost-of-living crisis

Posted On 16 May 2022 at 12:30 am

From buffets for mayors at food banks to cutting 90,000 civil service jobs to save on revenue, the Tories are out of touch and out of ideas on how to solve the cost-of-living crisis. And voters agree.

Rottingdean Coastal, long a safe Tory seat, recently returned its first ever Labour councillor.

And last week Peacehaven West elected a Labour councillor to Lewes District Council, despite Lewes MP Maria Caulfield pleading door to door, with gangs of Conservative activists, to vote Tory, in a traditionally safe Tory seat.

Voters know which party will cut their bills, improve their wellbeing and deliver the country from a spiral of low wages, high debt, cold winters and empty fridges.

Spacewords Brighton

Since the coalition government introduced austerity in 2010, local councils have been starved of the funds they need to keep public services running smoothly.

State spending on children, on police and housing fell dramatically over the past decade. And we only have the Tories to blame.

With libraries closing and youth clubs shutting in record numbers, the England I returned to in 2019 was not the one I’d left in 2009. And then the pandemic hit.

Improving our quality of life is not rocket science. We need higher wages, more affordable housing and a government willing to put money where it counts.

Not just into pockets of its already wealthy donors and the companies and corporations they run. Not into contracts and procurement for companies who pay little to no domestic tax, spend nothing on investment and everything on share buy-backs and shareholder payouts.

Labour has always been the party that understands what people need to make the good life. Voters recognised that in 1945, 1950, 1964, 1966, 1974, 1997, 2001 and 2005. They’re recognising it again.

The Tory government returned in 2017 had to spend £1.5 billion to secure the support of Northern Ireland’s DUP, even while declaring there isn’t a magic money tree.

The people are calling their bluff. We can’t afford any more Conservative incompetence. And the public knows it.

Tristram Burden is the secretary of the Queen’s Park branch of the Labour Party.

  1. Susie Reply

    Is there any vetting at this “party”? Can we’ve qualified experts making analysis please? Not huge ask or is it. Get my antie Doris to write some nonsense next.

  2. Jon Reply

    If you want to appear very profound and convince people to take you seriously, but have nothing of value to say (see the above as an example).

  3. Bear Road resident Reply

    Tristram if the Labour Party in Brighton are so worried about the cost of living crisis perhaps they could get the council to start paying over the £!50 council tax rebates that its been sitting on for months.

    • Chris Reply

      Not in the interest of Green/Labour to make the Tories look better ?

  4. Chris Reply

    Rottingdean coastal would have been independent had it not been for two independents standing at the same time. Labour scraped in by 88 votes.
    And this was despite Labour campaigning very hard on the doorsteps and invoking Lloyd Russell Moyle to email everyone.
    Hardly a resounding Labour victory

    • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

      Tristram must think we’re totally brain dead, Chris. Both by-elections mentioned were caused by the resignation of the same councillor, who sat on both councils for some reason. I think it’s fair to say that many people in Rottingdean Coastal (and probably Peacehaven West too) felt very let down by that person’s performance as a councillor, regardless of what party he purported to be in, and, in Rottingdean Coastal at least, many were not persuaded that the hastily-organised candidate from the Conservative Party was the right person to get anything done. The Lab victory in Peacehaven West was hardly a resounding triumph either – 641 votes to 477 and I think the Greens and Lib Dems got 32 each or something like that.

      Unlike Tristram, it seems, we know that councillors, whatever their hue, cannot fix national or even global problems, such as the soaring cost of living, energy bills, mortgage interest rates and all that stuff, but what many of us voters are interested in and angry about are issues that are within the control of the council, which Tristram doesn’t really mention at all. When (and if) he does, we can’t wait to hear his practical and innovative ideas for sorting out bin collections, weeds, litter and all the other boring things (to him) that blight our daily lives.

      • Chris Reply

        I agree. The blatant spin and omission of the relevant facts is staggering in all walks of politics. But unless good people pull politicians (and wannabe ones too) up on it it becomes the record.
        As Orwell said “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” As we can no longer rely on journalists we all have to our own digging and fact-finding

  5. Paul Temple Reply

    The Tories are totally out of touch with the cost of living crisis at a national level – that is plain for all to see and they don’t appear to have a joined up plan to fix it. Happy to vote Labour nationally. Would I vote Labour locally – not a chance, far to close to the Greens and instead of trying to appeal to a broad spectrum they seem obsessed with chasing the same voters as the Greens. TBH from all that I have seen the Labour leadership locally is rudderless and stumbles from one situation to the next without a cohesive plan, (a bit like the Tories nationally).

    • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

      Agreed, Paul, but we’re not into a General Election just yet, but we do have local elections in a year’s time. What we are talking about currently, at real grass roots level, is the willingness or ability of any of the current controlling councillors to fix anything at all locally, rather than just banging on ad infinitum with a political mantra. Have any of them fixed anything that affects us on a daily grass-roots basis? No, they have not. All we get is a scripted thing about Tory cuts but they never even mention the Government grants they’ve had for various things, which they have duly proceeded to cock up. Additionally, it seems that neither Labour and Greens locally can stand up and do anything on their own. We have joint party leaders, joint committee chairpersons, and so on.

      They do have to go.

  6. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    A further thought. Tristram bemoans the proposed cut of 90,000 civil service jobs (which doesn’t even include local government employees and other types of public employees who may not be classed as civil servants per se). I’ve just looked up some rough numbers, which suggest that the total population of the UK is around 68 million and the number of civil servants is close to half a million. I’m not great at arithmetic, but this says to me that, very roughly, there is one civil servant for every 136 people in the UK, which is absurd. Recent numbers from the ONS also suggest that there are more than 3.5 million public sector employees belonging to central government and around 5 million in total nationwide (including NHS) and the numbers are rising. Whatever these people do, we are now talking about, approx, one public sector person for every 35 people in the population, even though services to the population are getting worse and worse and many of these public sector persons are not, or do not wish to be, in the office. I also read somewhere recently, that, because of lack of investment and streamlining in public sector IT (which is often more to do with the calibre of management rather than the government, although some government or other should have got a grip on this long ago), systems are often not fit for purpose, have fallen over and/or are vulnerable to security threats, and there is a mountain of paperwork which could efficiently be eliminated with much better IT. Some outfit somewhere was still using a system and software dating from 1988.

    I suppose we could ask where Tristram was in between the England he left in 2009 and the one he returned to in 2019, but I daresay nobody’s interested.

  7. Louise H Reply

    The Labour Party and Green Party would still have us in lockdown which has caused the cost of living crisis. I don’t see them wasting less of our money on the NHS etc. The issue is they are just not a credible opposition which is really sad as we need one.

  8. Mark Reply

    Don’t find the Tories very sympathetic, but Sunak is at least trying to keep the nation’s finances steady , despite Johnson being almost as incontinent with his spending plans as the last Labour Government. If Sunak loses his grip and inflation shoots up, then those on the lowest incomes really will suffer. In austerity, Osborne reined in the economy too hard and fast, and he took too long to understand the value of investing properly in infrastructure, with too much thrown at gimmicky nonsense. Having worked in the public sector for too may years, the level of waste is appalling, but no one seems to have the capacity to sort it out. And in both the public and private sector, productivity is still too low to prevent the good life Tristram talks about from slipping from our grasp.

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