When Newt Gingrich ran for president in 2012, he ran an attack on his main opponent, Mitt Romney, detailing his job-killing role at venture capital firm Bain Capital. The "advertorial" adopted a Wild West theme in a bid to remind voters of the perils of unbridled capitalism and to tie this to Romney, who had insisted that corporations are people too. As a fervent right winger that was gunning for working class votes, Gingrich was clearly the wrong messenger. Yet "When Mitt Romney came to town" severely dented his opponent's chances in the general election, which Obama won comfortably.
A similar advert could be run about the British Conservative Party, riding into 10 Downing Street as a majority party after May's election, happy to cut support for working people and the industries that sustain them.
Take today's announcement on steel job losses and its refusal to grant state aid. For the people who live in the affected communities, it is a nightmare before Christmas. Die-hard free marketeers ignore the illegal flooding of Europe with cheap, unused steel from China, and the long term prospect that steel prices might rise again in five years. For to consider these things, just for a moment, would require a departure from their ideological straight jacket. It would mean helping the north of the country and hard pressed, working class towns. Instead, the government is sticking to its guns now the election is over. Scunthorpe didn't vote Tory anyway. Had this been Harrow, or any other marginal constituency, would the do-nothing party have given a bit more than the mere fig-leaf sympathy currently on offer? I think so.
John Bercow's rebuke to the Business Secretary, the dry Thatcherite Sajid Javid, caught out the government on something larger than adherence to parliamentary procedure. Javid's "incompetence" and "discourtesy" on refusing to make a full statement to the House of Commons reveals just how parochial, self serving and divisive this government truly is.