For the Cool Conservative it is a no-brainer to embrace Canary Wharf and dump Clacton. We have been told by a fashionable, metropolitan Conservative, ex MP, Matthew Parris, writing in The Times, that Canary Wharf should be the future for Conservatives, and Clacton can be abandoned to Ukip because it is going nowhere. This is obviously a callous betrayal of many good, honest people, for nothing better than arrogant fashion and to ‘be where the money is’.
Clacton, and many other places in our country, could teach Tory Toffs and Cool Conservatives a few lessons about real life, compared with cosseted comfort. Clacton is part of the backbone of the nation, people, who do, or if now retired, did the jobs that make this country tick. Unexciting jobs, all winds and weathers jobs, good times and bad times jobs. This isn’t glamorous or cool stuff, this is in with the dirt and grime stuff. This is to be celebrated and supported, not despised and ignored.
This country was built, not by an elite in a financial centre, but by the hard work of people doing many different jobs, often far from comfortable or pleasant jobs, in conditions that were far from perfect. Yet this seems to have been forgotten or misunderstood by the ruling establishment in their quest for ‘cool’ modernity. Forgotten also is that they need us, for their world and the country to function, as it always has. Prosperity and improved quality of life for everyone are built by the many doing what they do well, not by a highly paid few working in finance.
When cool politicians pose for their dreary photo-opportunities in factories, building sites or amongst us, the people, they look both uncomfortable and out of place. This is understandable because it lies outside their experience and now, thanks to Mr Parris, we know that their thoughts and natural constituencies are elsewhere, amongst an elite world that few from our more mundane existence will ever be allowed to enter.
So if a politician cannot relate to people, how can he or she actually serve them? How can he or she understand our dreams or aspirations, fears, problems and lives? And so, the Clactons get sent to the political scrapheap denied effort and investment; their small businesses sacrificed to big business and red tape; their unemployed left to dependency; their dreams left to wither; their public services left to struggle on; their patient loyalty left unacknowledged. It is a story we see far too often in our country as the political class play at being ‘cool’, modern, hip and part of a Euro-elite.
Well we do know someone who is different, who understands, reaches out to people and knows something about real life; Douglas Carswell who will give the people a voice they have not had for many years.
It could be a great partnership: an MP who really cares with the people of Clacton, and brings to mind GK Chesterton’s words, in the Secret People:
Smile at us, pay us, pass us, but do not quite forget,
For we are the people of England, who never have spoken yet