“You’re getting clobbered by our tax rises folks, but a multi-millionaire with a Grade II-listed London home, whose wife’s ancestral pile, the 365-room Wentworth Woodhouse, is the UK’s largest private house, is getting a whopping pay rise”
Image: AFP/Getty Images)
If ever a day summed up how we are all being taken for a shower of patsies it was Tuesday.
In Liverpool, the new minister for Levelling-Up, Michael Gove, delivered a Martin Luther King-esque crusading message to a conference of northern leaders: “We can’t go on with the gulf between rich and poor, North and South, growing.
“It is not simply a matter of social justice, it is also a matter of economic efficiency,” said the latest Tory minister sent oop north to tell the restless natives to put more gravy on their chips because a change is going to come.
In fact, Gove (who I’m guessing only took the job because he thought The Northern Powerhouse was a nightclub) went further: “Unless government takes a lead then what we see is called the Matthew Effect: ‘To them that have, more shall be given’. And that is why we have to act.”
In other words, us Tories want to be modern-day Robin Hoods, redistributing money and power from rich, over-subsidised southerners to less well-off areas.
Tim Hammond / No10 Downing Street)
And if that sounded like patronising drivel, it was borne out by a Cabinet reshuffle happening at the same time, in which all the plum jobs went to well-off, middle-aged, southern-based, Johnson-loyalist males.
As Angela Rayner put it: “Who said dull men don’t fail upwards?”
A big winner was Johnson’s fellow Old Etonian Jacob Rees-Mogg, the prince of failing-upward males, who became Minister For Brexit Opportunities and copped a £35,825 pay rise.
What a message it sends to those beyond the M25 that a Lord Snooty clone who believes the North should be made to accept earthquake-inducing fracking against its will, and who dismissed the most senior Tory outside London, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, as “a lightweight figure”, is in charge of handing out so-called Brexit opportunities.
What a message to everyone without a shares portfolio facing a cost-of-living crisis.
You’re getting clobbered by our tax rises folks, but a multi-millionaire with a Grade II-listed London home, whose wife’s ancestral pile, the 365-room Wentworth Woodhouse, is the UK’s largest private house, is getting a whopping pay rise.
The unfathomable rise of this anachronistic mediocrity sums up why this government has no intention of closing the gap between the haves and have nots.
The man Tory grandee Alan Duncan called “a cheap nationalist” has ascended the greasy pole turbocharged by nepotism, elite schooling, cast-iron connections and a cut-glass accent.
This is someone with no conception of hardship and a complete lack of empathy for the poor, who told Unicef it should be “ashamed” for donating funds to feed hungry kids in Britain, and accused the Grenfell Tower victims of lacking “common sense”.
And Johnson didn’t sack him for that, just told him to hide under his nanny’s skirts for a month.
He led the campaign to let his mate Owen Paterson escape punishment for lobbying to make himself richer which repulsed the nation and mired his boss in a sleaze row.
Yet he’s rewarded with promotion to the full Cabinet.
The man we saw sprawled across the Commons like Nero awaiting wine from a slave is the most powerful symbol of why the Tories will always be the Anti-Levelling Up party.
Living proof that rather than act against the notion that “to them that have, more shall be given”, they fanatically endorse it.