The political futures of both the Labour and Conservative party leaders could rest on the conclusion of a police investigation into whether Sir Keir Starmer ate a takeaway curry and drank beer with staff during lockdown last year. But critics have argued we waste too much time focussing on these matters while failing to produce proper answers to important questions facing the state.
Academic Matthew Goodwin suggested “Britain has turned in on itself”.
He wrote in a post on Twitter: “We debate curries and parties while lacking the big, bold, radical ideas that are needed to meet the most severe challenges since the 1970s.”
The former Brexit Minster said this analysis was “right”.
Lord Frost responded to the politics professor: “The challenges the country faces are formidable.
“They are hitting people in their 20s and 30s worst. That can’t be sustained.”
He added: “We can deal with our problems, but only if we are honest with people about the solutions.”
While Boris Johnson has spent recent months apologising for previously breaking lockdown rules and facing calls to resign, polling suggests voters were concerned by his handling of a broad range of important issues before this came the primary focus of the press.
Ipsos MORI polling conducted before the end of last year suggested a significant proportion of voters believe Mr Johnson’s Government has done a “bad job” of managing the economy, handling Brexit and handling taxation since being elected in 2019.
An incredible 73 percent of respondents said it had done a “bad job” of managing immigration, always a key vote winner (or, indeed, vote loser).
Bow Group Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney recently told Express.co.uk the public was primarily concerned not by whether the Prime Minister ate cake during a lockdown gathering, but by the notion that “over the last 12 years the Conservative Party have governed to the left of Blair, more immigrants each year, more tax, more spending and more woke fawning to groups like Stonewall than Blair would have dreamed of”.
He added that the party will “only have themselves to blame when the public call time on this utter fiasco”.
Many voters in Stoke also told Express.co.uk during a walk-about on May 6 they were more concerned by the standard of British politicians today, and of their policies, than by reports of lockdown rule breaking.
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One voter, Matt, a young musician, when asked about ‘Partygate’, admitted: “I haven’t got a clue what it is.”
He was, however, very clued on about the impact lockdown had on his career.
Matt said: “I’m a musician, so the handling of the Covid pandemic really impacted my livelihood. I think lockdown has a massive sway on how I find [the main political parties].”
Professor Goodwin suggested that in order to move away from this state of political stagnation, a new “modern day insurgent who can break the status quo” is needed.
One party which hopes to fill this position, and this week made an historic gain in the local elections, is the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
(Now Councillor) Wayne Dixon was victorious in the Middleton Park ward in Leeds on Thursday, pushing Labour into second place by almost 800 votes.
William Clouston, leader of the party which pins itself as economically left-leaning and culturally traditional, told Express.co.uk this was a “proof of concept” for the SDP, adding: “We just need to scale it up.”