The Tories have conveniently discovered their social conscience as the party leadership election hots up.
Theresa May is desperate to avoid being remembered for her failures over Brexit. So last week she pushed for Britain to set a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050—although that’s 25 years later than most campaigners want.
She has promised more support for people with mental distress and wants a £27 billion boost to education spending.
Tories hoping to succeed May are also making an effort to look good.
Most candidates joined a Channel 4 TV debate on Sunday. Frontrunner Boris Johnson didn’t show up.
But the rest passionately described all the things they’d love to do if only they were given the chance. If only, say, they had been in government for the past nine years.
So former education secretary and now environment secretary Michael Gove said children and the environment are his top priority.
Dominic Raab said he wanted to improve education, as did home secretary Sajid Javid. After years of denying that the Tories had cut education funding Javid admitted, “We have cut back too much.”
On Monday Javid said he would offer a new life to those “fleeing conflict and persecution”.
This is the man who previously rushed to Dover to declare that a few hundred refugees crossing the channel was “deeply concerning”.
He told refugees that if they come to Britain “we will do everything we can to make sure that you are not successful”.
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and Rory Stewart said adult social care is a key priority. And Hunt claimed that “all” Tories want to “spend more on public services”.
The Tories slashed more than one million public sector jobs between 2010 and 2016.
Cuts to local authority funding saw 46,600 posts in adult social services across England disappear in just five years.
Some 91 percent of schools have suffered cuts to funding per pupil. Child poverty has gone up and the Tories have admitted they will miss their goals for reducing it.
The Tories are ploughing ahead with measures that will worsen climate chaos.
Meanwhile their rich friends have got even richer.
The Tories periodically claim to care about inequality, the lives of ordinary people, their environment and the services they rely on. They know there is deep anger and unease in Britain—and a contempt for establishment politicians. But they will stop caring the moment the time comes to implement any policies.
There isn’t a better or worse winner in the Tory leadership race. Whoever wins, we lose.
The key question isn’t who will be the next Tory prime minister—it’s how do we organise to push the lot of them out.