Greenock Telegraph 29th July 2022

Currently people are debating the choice between Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss as the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Unless you are a member of the Conservative and Unionist Party you won’t get a vote, but the outcome will affect your life. What that will mean to the majority of citizens of the United Kingdom is hard to determine and it will be years into the future and with hindsight that we can judge them. But we can have an educated guess because both candidates have been at pains to praise Margaret Thatcher. Mr Sunak proclaimed he was supporting “common sense Thatcherism”. An oxymoron if ever there was one. And Ms Truss not only parrots Thatcher policy she has even started to dress like her. Now, over 30 years after she was hounded out of office by her own party, we can judge Margaret Thatcher’s legacy. During the Thatcher years the proportion of pensioners living below the poverty line rose from 13% to 43%. Child poverty doubled. The tax rates of the rich fell from 83% to 40%. She heralded in an era of high inflation and mass unemployment, declaring there is no such thing as society and encouraging personal greed and financial excess. To put it in a nutshell, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. These are the policies and the principles that the Conservative and Unionist party has been pursuing ever since and as Thatcher herself explained they are not about to U-turn. This is the future we face in Scotland under the Conservative and Unionist party, a party that haven’t won a majority of seats in Scotland since 1955. At the start of Covid I said the poorest would suffer most and they did and from that post Covid low starting point we now face a financial storm that will drag many more people into poverty. When it comes to people coming to the conclusion that we can do a better job running our own country, I never know what that final straw will be. But I do think in the coming months many people will.