During her conference speech on Wednesday, Liz Truss referred to growing up in Paisley and Leeds during the 80s and 90s, and the effects of social and economic deprivation on communities. She said: “I know what it is like to live somewhere that isn’t feeling the benefits of economic growth … I’ve seen the boarded-up shops. I’ve seen people left with no hope turning to drugs.”
Of course, it wasn’t just in Paisley and Leeds that this occurred. It was prevalent across much of Scotland. I saw it, too, when teaching at a school in what had once been a thriving mining community.
Unfortunately, Ms Truss seems to have forgotten which party, and which prime minister, was in power during that time – and the free-market economic policies that were the cause of the blight on lives and communities. I haven’t forgotten. Neither has Scotland.
John A Campbell
• It seems that Liz Truss has moved on from merely promising, in every second sentence, to deliver “growth”. In her conference speech she berated the “anti-growth coalition”, a perverse group that seemed to include anyone and everyone, inside and outside her party, who didn’t agree with her gimcrack brand of Conservatism.
The coining smacks of political paranoia. At the risk of appearing equally paranoid, I have to ask how long it will be before our prime minister berates another figment of her febrile imagination: the anti-motherhood and anti-apple pie coalition that’s hellbent on destroying her dream of a land in which no mother is denied the opportunity to grow apple pies.
• In her speech, Liz Truss claimed to be the first prime minister to have attended a comprehensive school. Those of us with slightly longer memories will recall that Gordon Brown attended Kirkcaldy high school. This is a comprehensive school in all but name. Local authority schools in Scotland are not called “comprehensive schools” simply because comprehensive education is so ubiquitous.
• I was left wondering whether Liz Truss had bothered to check the lyrics of the M People song Moving on Up, which accompanied her arrival on stage at the Conservative party conference. The first verse is as follows: “You’ve done me wrong, your time is up / You took a sip from the devil’s cup / You broke my heart, there’s no way back / Move right out of here, baby, go on pack your bags”.
• So Liz Truss likes the cranes in Birmingham. “This is what a city with a Tory mayor looks like,” she said in her speech. Somebody please tell her that Birmingham city council has 65 Labour members and 22 Tories. Andy Street is the Tory mayor of the West Midlands.
Balsall Common, West Midlands
• Among a catechism of cliches in her speech, Liz Truss said we need to “grow the pie”. Disappointing that she didn’t tell us whether this would be a pork or cheese pie.
Little Raveley, Cambridgeshire
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