The even nastier party

by Daphne Liddle

PRIME Minister David Cameron has definitely not grasped the new “kinder” way of doing politics announced by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn last week because he used his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester last Wednesday to describe Corbyn and his views as “security- threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating”.

Cameron said: “But you only really need to know one thing: he thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a ‘tragedy’,” — a deliberate lie because what Corbyn had actually said was that it was a tragedy that Bin Laden had not been brought to trial first — a lot of important information would have been made public but clearly his killers did not want that to happen.

And Cameron went on further to vilify Corbyn, whose honest and straightforward politics and whose huge working class following clearly has the Tories rattled.

Earlier in the week we had Chancellor John Osborne tried to gloss over the report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies that his proposed increase in the minimum wage to £7.20-an-hour (he calls it the “living wage”) will go nowhere near compensating low paid workers for the cuts he plans to make in child tax credits.

These cuts are part of the £12 billion cuts in welfare spending that Osborne has ordained, which the IFS warns will hit people who have jobs hardest. So much for making work pay!

Instead of admitting a mistake in his sums he claimed to be doing a favour to these families by reducing their total annual income by over £1,300 a year.

“The low paid will suffer if I don’t cut their tax credits,” said Osborne. He claimed this round of cuts will “finish the job” of clearing the deficit, arguing that reducing the payments to people in low paid jobs would give them “economic security” by reducing the Government’s spending deficit. Even Boris Johnson opposed the cuts in child tax credits.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell commented: “Osborne’s speech divorced from reality of state of economy. No reference to record balance of payments deficit, rising consumer credit and Redcar.”

Young workers have even worse to look forward to as the minimum wage for those under 25 will be pegged at £6.70-an-hour while for those aged 18 to 20 it will be £5.30-an-hour and for those under 18 £3.87-an-hour.

According to Government Minister Matthew Hancock this is because workers under 25 are “not productive enough” to deserve the full minimum wage, revealing the Tories’ contempt for young workers.

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “Remarks like this show just how out of touch the Government is. Young people are every bit as productive as older workers, and can have just the same responsibilities as their more mature workmates.

“A young home care worker, for example, has to do exactly the same stressful job as the older colleagues on their team, and probably isn’t even getting the minimum wage as many aren’t paid for their travel between appointments.

“Younger workers under 25 with families face a double whammy. First they are denied a pay rise and then they get hit hard by the planned cuts to tax credits.

“Thanks to the meanness of this Government, under 25s with one child doing a 35 hour week on the national minimum wage won’t get the £910 a year pay increase next April, but they will still lose £1,754.20 from the tax credit changes.”

Throughout the conference the Tories were also being nasty to each other as senior figures made tentative leadership pitches — anticipating Cameron coming unstuck over the European Union referendum, if not over the effect of “pig-gate”, which delegates and press alike seemed reluctant to mention.

George Osborne, Boris Johnson and Theresa May seem to be the three leading leadership contenders but May’s speech on immigration was so vile it even riled a commentator from the Telegraph.

James Kirkup said: “It’s hard to know where to start with Theresa May’s awful, ugly, misleading, cynical and irresponsible speech to the Conservative Party conference today. If you haven’t seen reports of it, allow me to summarise: ‘Immigrants are stealing your job, making you poorer and ruining your country. Never mind the facts, just feel angry at foreigners. And make me Conservative leader’.”

And he goes on to point out that May’s claims fly in the face of the Tories’ own research into the effects of immigration.

The Tories also proposed setting up their own Tory trade union organisation, according to Robert Haflon, the Tory party deputy chair.

The Conservative Workers and Trade Unionists movement is intended to recruit working class Tories to infiltrate unions and support “moderate” policies and even stand in union leadership contests.