Rather than accepting everything the prime minister says at face value, my cynicism urges caution (The return of the state, 19th May, 2017). Your Leader mentioned how May`s "interventionist instincts long pre-date" this election, and reminded us how she "vowed to take on vested interests in the private sector" back in March 2013. Indeed, on entering Number 10 she again pledged to fight "burning injustices", not to be driven by "the interests of the privileged few", nor to "entrench the advantages of the fortunate few", but to help the "just about managing". Had May`s government ordered an enquiry into the horrific events at Orgreave during the miners` strike, had her party written a manifesto detailing increased taxes on the rich, had she personally not promised to designate 80% of our children as failures with her grammar school policy, and had her chancellor`s autumn statement and budget actually included financial support for struggling families, there would be reasons to trust her. 600,000 children from working families about to lose their free school lunches tell a rather different story.
Nothing has been done by May`s government to reduce tax avoidance, and there are few causes for optimism, with her husband working for a company in the City whose portfolio includes £20bn of shares in Amazon and Starbucks. As for doing more to "protect existing workers` rights" than any other Tory government, she clearly is thinking of taking us back to the `70s; like May, Disraeli in the 1870s saw the political potential of wooing the "angel in the marble", and passed the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act to allow workers to picket. Seeing their real wages decline, voters then rejected Disraeli`s "one-nation" Toryism; we can only hope history does sometimes repeat itself!