'Great divide in Britain has never been greater after 13 years of elitist rule'

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Rishi Sunak speaks during his first major domestic speech of the year at Plexal, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, on January 4 (Image: Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak speaks during his first major domestic speech of the year at Plexal, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, on January 4 (Image: Getty Images)

Forty years ago, Neil Kinnock warned that if Margaret Thatcher won the 1983 general election there would be dire consequences for those who were young, ordinary, old or ill.

After 13 years of her heirs running this country into the ground, those consequences are being realised on a scale few would have imagined in 1983.

The young whose parents aren’t wealthy are saddled with a poor ­education system and crippling debt; the old a choice between heating and eating; the ordinary endure wage cuts that see some beg from foodbanks and those who fall ill can’t see a GP, call an ambulance, or find a bed in a hospital.

The Tories have stolen many things from the British people in recent decades: our manufacturing base, nationalised utility companies, public service investment and freedom to work in Europe. And now they have stolen our dignity.

'Great divide in Britain has never been greater after 13 years of elitist rule' rridzziquridttinvFormer Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Daily Record)

Which is why there is a visceral anger at the succession of incompetent, right-wing stooges who have made themselves and their supporters richer but the nation they profess to love so much, inestimably poorer.

Teachers, civil servants and train drivers walk out in biggest strike in decadeTeachers, civil servants and train drivers walk out in biggest strike in decade

For 13 years they have crashed a wrecking ball into the fabric of Britain, and, instead of admitting it and showing how it can be rebuilt, they scratch their heads like cowboy builders and blame someone else.

This week, Rishi Sunak told us he was “under the bonnet” trying to fix the NHS, but when you have the choice of a state-of-the-art Range Rover, BMW or Lexus to drive you to your private GP, as he does, how do you know how to repair a battered old Ford Fiesta?

The man who admitted he has no working-class friends says he’s on a mission to fix state education. But when, like two-thirds of your Cabinet and three-quarters of the previous Tory Prime Ministers, you were privately educated, where do you begin?

'Great divide in Britain has never been greater after 13 years of elitist rule'Liz Truss was only PM for a short time (SIMON DAWSON/No10/UNPIXS)

By scrapping the charity status of private schools? No. Asking your wife to pay back all the tax she avoided through her non-dom status? No.

How about a vague plan to make all students study maths until they are 18 despite the Tories missing maths teacher recruitment targets every year for the past decade and two-thirds of schools suffering teacher shortages? Like Sunak’s Eat Out To Help Out scam, it is a banal, headline-grabbing gimmick with no credibility. Part of the same old “trust me I’m a decent kinda guy” spiel we have had to put up with from the other elitist shysters like Cameron, Osborne and Johnson.

Snake-oil salesmen who have given us 13 years of lip service while playing to free market puritans who detest our public services because they see them as a drain on the national wealth.

'Great divide in Britain has never been greater after 13 years of elitist rule'Former PM Boris Johnson (Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)

Thirteen years of being run by people who can afford the best health and education for their family and don’t give a toss what happens to those who can’t. Thirteen years enabling the average salary of a FTSE 100 company chief executive to soar to £3.41million, 100 times more than the national average of £33,000. Then blaming unions fighting to keep wages in line with inflation for causing inflation and wrecking the economy.

Thirteen years watching a country stagnate economically and intellectually, becoming insular, divided and broken.

Don’t dare let these Tories get away with blaming anyone but themselves for stealing this country’s dignity and making life miserable for the young, the ordinary, the old and the ill.

Brian Reade

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