And so after the drama of another British election, the world which was eclipsed for 36 hours is back
into full focus.I switch from the
scenes of yet another earthquake hitting Nepal to more asylum seekers and/or economic
migrants, especially women and children arriving on Europe’s
Mediterranean coast. Theresa
May, articulating the sentiments of
those who voted for the British version of America’s Tea Party, says ‘send them
back to Africa’. The new Justice Secretary is about to dismantle the Human
Rights Act and he will be unopposed, except perhaps in the unelected and
Without the Liberal
Democrat veto, such that it was, it is open season for the Tories who secured some
degree of clear blue water to put their manifesto into action. As Cameron was
assembling his Cabinet, a cross section of the public together with MPs
representing all political hues were gathered on the Green across the road from
the House of Commons. They were being interview by Sky News. One young Black
woman said, having voted Conservative, she had followed her head and not her
heart, now she was feeling anxious. Good. I'm glad she feels like that, with good cause. She should be very afraid.
In a bid to give weight
to the Tories being ‘the real party of working people’ and to fend off the
charge of having a Cabinet made up of Old Etonian elites Cameron wants us to know
that he also believes in ‘blue collar conservatism’. I guess that’s true; it is
why one Labour MP had to apologise when she sneered at UKIP’s ‘white van man’ supporters,
who are also the Tory/Labour ‘aspiring middle’. To make the point, much
coverage has been given to Cabinet posts going to the offspring of a milkman, a
garage owner and a bus driver who also happens to be Asian.
now Cameron is basking in his success. His reference to One Nation conservatism, the doctrine championed by The Tory Reform Groupis a
veiled gesture of reconciliation both to Nicola
Sturgeonand the SNP, deliberately trashed during the
election campaign in the name of political expediency, and also to the 60% of the electorate who did not vote for him.
Tories use superlatives
to describe their mood including ‘euphoric’ ‘ecstatic’, even ‘orgiastic’. And
the description of Cameron: ‘walks on water’.As the camera spans the room at the first meeting of the new Cabinet,
you catch a look of adoration on Jeremy
Hunt's face...or does he look like that all the time?
I do have to acknowledge
one thing about Cameron’s new Government, women make up a third of his Cabinet.
That’s historic. But my granddaughter, who should have the opportunity to go
into politics if she chooses to do so, is being charged £350 more than she can
afford per month for decent housing because her chosen university does not have
enough student accommodation on campus. We are encouraging her to persevere;
that all will be well and she does not have to give up on her dream and take on
a zero hour contract. Such is life for most people in Cameron’s Britain,
especially ‘working people'.
A few ex-MPs shared how
it felt to suddenly find themselves unemployed with little prospects of
securing another job in a hurry. The world had moved on since the time they
first entered the Westminster bubble. One person, an MP for 20+ years, and a
Tory bless him, wondered how he would pay his mortgage and support his family. Of
course the twitter sphere let him have it. Hello. Welcome to the real world.