14 of the worst things the Tories did this week

14 of the worst things the Tories did this week
'I do not trust her': Actor Brian Cox expresses his discontent with …

Another week has gone by and you know what that means.

That's right. More Tories doing more terrible things.

This week, the band of plonkers went to conference - the first (and hopefully last one) with Liz Truss at the helm of the party. But rather than generate good press about new shiny policies, they descended into chaos and crap.

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There were dodgy statements and even dodgier pledges and as ever, it can be hard to whittle it down.

But here are a few of the worst things the Tories got up to in the last week.

1. Suggested people struggling with bills should get higher-paid jobs

The week got off to an empathetic start when the Tory chair made some very silly comments indeed about the cost of living crisis.

“People know when they get their bills, they can either cut their consumption or get higher salaries or higher wages, and go out there and get that new job,” Jake Berry told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, without remorse, during an interview about the government's plans for the economy.

He added: “That’s the approach the government is taking in trying to create growth.”

After a backlash, he backtracked on Times Radio for his "clumsy" remarks. He said: “I do think my language was a bit clumsy in that regard and I regret it.”


2. Handled a major u-turn in the weirdest way possible

As Berry was blundering, the Tories confirmed they wouldn't go ahead with their plans to scrap the 45p rate of tax, thanks to sustained criticism. Kwarteng said the government had "listened" to people's concerns and had realised the policy was a "distraction" from their plans to grow the economy.

While we are pleased it isn't going ahead, u-turning on a huge plan just a few weeks into power doesn't exactly scream 'competent government' and the Tories were then characteristically disingenuous about the policy, with Tory MP Lee Anderson claiming it wasn't a u-turn. No, instead it was "a change in direction".

And when Kwarteng explained this "change in direction" he used a statement that was eerily similar to the one used in fictional drama, Succession.


3. Tidied the deckchairs on the Titanic

Don't worry though, because the policies the government is keeping are absolutely golden...

For instance, we are finally getting new British data protection laws!

"We will be replacing GDPR with our own business- and consumer-friendly British data protection system," culture secretary Michelle Donelan announced this week.

"I can promise ... that it will be simpler, it will be clearer, for businesses to navigate. No longer will our businesses be shackled by lots of unnecessary red tape," she added.

The EU’s data law, which was introduced in 2018, "ties them [businesses] in knots with clunky bureaucracy", she also said. "It is time we seize this post-Brexit opportunity fully and unleash the full growth potential of British business."

How very exciting indeed.

4. Squabbled over benefits

And if that isn't enough to make you vote Tory, you may be excited to learn that Truss refused to confirm her plan for benefits and whether they will increase in line with inflation, unlike previous prime ministers.

In doing so she caused a rift in the party with people like Penny Mordaunt and Michael Gove among those criticising her.

The party failing to agree with one another really makes you feel confident about their vision for the country, doesn't it?

5. Sent delegates to sleep

At least when they argue they stay conscious though, which is more than what we can say about Tories who watched Therese Coffey's speech. Clips and pictures of audience members sitting with their eyes closed circulated on social media during the clearly riveting speech, in which Coffey said the party “will always be on your side, when you need care the most”.

6. Got excited about the Rwanda scheme

Someone we wish had decided to take a nap rather than go to the Tory conference is home secretary Suella Braverman who made some rather odd comments in a recording of Chopper’s Politics with The Telegraph’s associate editor Christopher Hope.

She said: “I would love to be having a front page of The Telegraph with a plane taking off to Rwanda. That’s my dream – it’s an obsession.”

7. Forgot how to spell

Their policies don't spell good news for Britain and they also just can't...spell.

A stand at the Conservative Party Conference dedicated to ‘Conservative Friends of NHS’ had an embarrassing error and also looked thoroughly messy, leading people to wonder if it was all an elaborate metaphor for how the Tories deal with the NHS.

8. Made a misleading school claim

Back to the conference speeches now and Truss made a claim that just wasn't it. “I stand here as the first prime minister of our country to have gone to a comprehensive school,” the PM said, pausing for applause.

But there's just a few problems. Theresa May attended Holton Park Girls' Grammar School, which was a state school that became new Wheatley Park Comprehensive School while she was a pupil.

Meanwhile, John Major, David Lloyd George, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, and Margaret Thatcher all went to non-fee paying schools.

Oh dear.

9. Made an underwhelming NHS pledge

What about her policy commitments though? Well, she made the promise that people can expect a GP appointment within two weeks, but under the last Labour government that governed until 2010, that target figure was within 48 hours.

10. Copied Keir Starmer

Well, that's not great but at least she wants the economy to grow?

"I have three priorities for our economy: Growth, growth, growth," she said.

Nice but is her rhetoric original? In a campaign video from July, Labour leader Keir Starmer could be heard saying: "There is no task more central to my ambitions for Britain than making the country and its people better off.

"To do all that we need three things: Growth, growth, growth."


11. Slagged off North London

When she didn't copy from Starmer, she copied from Boris Johnson by slagging off North London as part of her weird "anti-growth coalition".

"We will not allow the anti-growth coalition to hold us back," she said, going on to list the group as "Labour, Lib Dems & SNP, militant unions, vested interests dressed up as think tanks, the talking heads, the Brexit deniers and Extinction Rebellion".

She claimed people "taxi from North London townhouses to the BBC studio to dismiss anyone challenging the status quo."

We're insulted.

12. Forgot who the PM was

And clearly her rhetoric isn't even memorable because one of her MPs appeared to forget she was even in charge. We're talking about Lee Anderson again.

While defending the PM he went back in time by talking about Theresa May when he meant Truss. He said: “We had Brexit, we had Boris, we had Corbyn three years ago and now we’ve got Theresa May it’s a different ball game altogether.”

Big yikes.

13. Delivered a cringey slogan

Jake Berry also had a bad week. And his second reason for being on the list is more embarrassing than offensive. He told LBC's Nick Ferrari that "when the going gets tough, the Truss gets going" after her fiasco-filled conference.

People found it utterly embarrassing, and who can blame them?

14. Backtracked on energy promise

Finally, it was a week when we received warnings that (in a worst case scenario) we could see winter blackouts.

The National Grid has said it is an "unlikely" scenario but added that supply interruptions were a possibility if the energy crisis gets worse.

So it is not reassuring to recall that when campaigning to be the leader of the Conservative Party in August, Truss pledged that there would be no energy rationing this winter and during the final hustings against Rishi Sunak, she was pretty adamant everything would be fine, when speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari.

Can we please just have a general election?

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