inequality‘We’re playing for England (England) 
We’re playing the song’ 

Over the life of this column we have covered many subjects, but the following has to be my favourite. 
I would describe this weeks National Conservatism gathering as the mad hatters tea party but is has far more sinister undertones. The Nuremberg rallies might be more apt. 

One moment of light relief was the Tory MP, Miriam Cates, who said western countries faced an existential threat from falling reproduction. 

So, my message to you all is get shagging to the tune of New Order’s ‘World In Motion’. 

Another suggestion is a stud farm featuring Boris Johnson and Rees-Mogg, both of who seem very fertile. Anyone wishing to apply please write to Conservative Party. Conservative Campaign Headquarters 4 Matthew Parker Street London SW1H 9HQ.  

‘my message to you all is get shagging to the tune of New Order’s ‘World In Motion”

On a more serious note, Cates claimed the UK’s low birthrate is caused in part by ‘cultural Marxism’ stripping young people of any hope. In addition, she blamed a lack of family-friendly tax policy in the UK played a significant role, as well as a shortage of housing, and too many young people attending university, the devaluing of motherhood, and what she described as the mass indoctrination of young minds. 

The use of ‘cultural Marxism’ is controversial because it is a term referring to a conspiracy theory often associated with the far right and antisemitism. 

When Suella Braverman, the home secretary, used the phrase in a 2019 speech, she was criticised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews. 

Cates’s argument for a higher birthrate echoes those made by European populist leaders such as Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, although they are explicit about contrasting this with what they see as a parallel threat from immigration. 

Hidden amongst utter drivel, Cates said: ‘When culture, schools and universities openly teach that our country is racist, our heroes are villains, humanity is killing the Earth, you are what you desire, diversity is theology, boundaries are tyranny and self-restraint is oppression, is it any wonder that mental health conditions, self-harm and suicide, and epidemic levels of anxiety and confusion characterise the emerging generation?’ 

Braverman also addressed the conference with her usual mix of bile, racism, and pure nastiness, railing against ‘experts and elites‘ and what she called the divisive politics of identity. Immigration was top of her agenda, and the need to train domestic workers for jobs such as fruit picking. 

‘Braverman also addressed the conference with her usual mix of bile, racism, and pure nastiness’

She steered clear of direct policies, delivering a highly personal blueprint for a political philosophy to take on the ‘radical left‘, including the Labour party. 

Braverman attacked culture warriors saying that conservatism ‘has no truck with political correctness‘. Adding that ‘The ethnicity of grooming gang perpetrators is the sort of fact that has become unfashionable in some quarters‘.  

Braverman went onto criticise those on the left who ‘are ashamed of our history and embarrassed by the sentiments and desires expressed by the British public‘. 

She continued: ‘The left’s is a politics of pessimism, guilt, national division, resentment and utopianism. The left on the other hand sees the purpose of politics as to eradicate the existence of inequality, even if that comes at the expense of individual liberty and human flourishing.’ 

Fortunately, her speech wasn’t well received by some senior Tory MPs who privately condemned her making an overture to become the party’s leader should the Conservatives lose the next election. One said: ‘Rishi needs to make it clear to her that she is either a team player or a backbencher.’ 

Downing Street played down suggestions of a rift between Sunak and his home secretary, confirming it had approved the text of her speech and that Braverman was speaking on behalf of the government. 

Also speaking at the conference was Michael Gove who, by contrast to Braverman was positively sane as he recognised voters fears over the economy, saying: ‘When it comes to the boring and vulgar task of winning general elections, and the even more boring and even more dispiriting task of government, the most important thing to do is to concentrate on the right economic policies, the right policies for public service delivery and so on.’ 

If there was one speaker who encapsulated all that was wrong about this conference it was Kevin Roberts, the president of the Heritage Foundation, a US thinktank who blamed ‘globalists‘ for the world’s political problems, repeatedly using a term associated with the far right and antisemitic conspiracy theories. 

‘I was going to put in some quotes but it’s such bile it isn’t worth wasting ‘ink’ on’

Roberts also likened Brexit to the views of Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis and Viktor Orbán, and said leftwingers wanted to end all democracy to impose their opinions on the world. 

I was going to put in some quotes but it’s such bile it isn’t worth wasting ‘ink’ on. If anyone is interested see: 

We now return to Miriam Cates and her concerns about falling birthrates. She is right to worry, the demographic imbalance this creates put an terrible burden on those working to provide for the rest of the population. Where she is wrong is her explanation as to why. It has nothing to do with ‘cultural Marxism‘, the blame lies with her own party and their miserable economic policies which have benefitted only the few, to this we can add Brexit which heaped on more misery. 

This isn’t a case of ‘No sex please, we’re British‘, it’s people realising the cost of having children is out of reach for many of them. For years the Tory’s told people they were irresponsible for having children they couldn’t afford, now they are irresponsible by not doing so.   

The past 13-yrs of Tory governments has been a series of disasters and, despite Sunak’s 5-promises they aren’t improving. 

NHS waiting list in England for hospital treatment now stand at 7.3 million, a figure that may be on the low-side as fewer people are coming forward for treatment than pre-Covid. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says it could grow to 9 million if they all return. That’s despite 3% vanishing from the lists each month through no longer needing treatment, going private or dying while they wait. 

‘people realising the cost of having children is out of reach for many of them’

Is there any possibility of this improving in the near future? ‘Vanishingly small,’ says Anita Charlesworth, the director of research and economic analysis at the Health Foundation. Nigel Edwards, head of the Nuffield Trust; ‘Close to zero. I have no doubt they will miss their targets, with more than 10% of the population waiting for treatment.’ 

Moving to inflation, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research warns that Sunak is likely to miss his target to halve it this year. 

Immigration is rising to double pre-Brexit numbers, despite the nasty plans of the Home Secretary.   

Sunak also promised that ‘We will grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity‘. I suppose that 0.1% counts as growth, albeit the lowest of all G7 nations. As for pay rises, well, excepting the upper echelons pay rises still lag inflation.  

As for the ‘national debt falling’, if so, at what cost to services? 

‘home ownership among the under-35s has virtually halved since the 1980’

As if that wasn’t enough, for those of child-bearing age owning their our home many is distant dream; research shows that home ownership among the under-35s has virtually halved since the 1980. 

The reason is simple, a supply and demand imbalance. Compared to the average European country, we have a backlog of 4.3 million homes. This housing deficit would take at least half a century to fill even if the Government’s current target to build 300,000 homes a year is reached.,homes%20a%20year%20is%20reached. 

Because they cannot afford to buy people are forced to rent. There is C.4.4 million households renting privately in England, 340,000 in Scotland and C.200,000 in Wales. 

Rents in the UK are now at the highest rate on record, rising by 4.7% per cent in the year to February 2023, according to the ONS. 

The median monthly rent in England between October 2021 and September 2022 was £800 – higher than at any other point in history, according to the ONS. Again, the problem is caused by high demand and a lack of supply. 

‘housing deficit would take at least half a century to fill’

Rightmove also reported that average asking rents in London have surpassed £2,500 per month for the first time. 

In addition to sky-high rental costs there is bullying landlords, some of whom provide sub-standard accommodation. 

This week it was revealed that the family of a billionaire Tory landlord used a no-fault eviction to throw out a tenant after he refused a £1,680 annual rent increase having reported mould, damp and cold. 

The flat is part of a rental portfolio part-owned by Zameer Choudrey, who has donated £1.3m to the Conservatives through his wholesale company Bestway, which has a turnover of £4.5bn a year. 

The flat is registered to a Channel Islands property holding company, which in turn is owned by the peer and his two sons, Umair and Haider, according to filings registered in Guernsey. 

Adding to the woe caused by economic uncertainty and lack of housing, is childcare 

The average cost of sending a child under the age of two to nursery is: 

  • £138.70 a week part-time (25 hours) that is £7,210 a year 
  • £269.86 a week full-time (50 hours) that is £14,030 a year. 

The average cost for families using an after-school club for five days is £66.52  a week. 

This is after tax, so we can add an additional 20%-25% onto these numbers 

Childcare costs have risen by nearly 6% per cent over the past year, whilst the availability of places has fallen. 

  • 25% of parents say the cost of childcare is > 75% of their take-home pay, according to a survey of 24,000 parents by the charity, Pregnant then Screwed. 


  • 10% break even or end up with a loss. 
  • Parents are delaying having another child due to the cost of childcare. 
  • A survey of 1,000 parents with children under four found that 63% would delay having or would not have another child due to childcare costs, and 70% of parents would work more if childcare were available for free. 

Compared to other countries we have the third-most expensive country childcare in the world, based on a couple earning the average wage, according to data from the OECD. Only Switzerland and New Zealand are more expensive 

  • For couples earning 67% of the average wage, the UK is the most expensive country for childcare, alongside the Czech Republic and Cyprus. 


  • For couples earning the minimum wage, the UK is the second-most expensive country, after the Czech Republic. 
  • Nordic countries are considered to be among the best countries in the world for childcare. 

According to the World Economic Forum, childcare costs in Denmark are capped at 30 per cent of the actual cost – around £460 per month. 

In Norway, preschools charge a maximum of £200 per month. In Sweden, parents receive around £85 per month to help with childcare costs, which usually cost around £100 per month. 

In a nutshell Ms Cates, your party’s mismanagement of the country is the reason not ‘cultural Marxism‘. 

It is the Tory’s who have stripped young people of any hope with, of course, their much fabled Brexit. 

‘When your day is long 
And the night, the night is yours alone 
When you’re sure you’ve had enough 
Of this life, well hang on’ 

Another cracking piece from Philip to round off your week, but don’t expect too much in the way of good news; as a state-of-the union summary, it’s pretty gloomy.
This is the reality of life in the trenches; struggling to make work pay, struggling to keep a roof over their heads, struggling to put food on the table, and delaying, or canning plans to start a family.

As Chief Economist at the BoE, Huw Pill, said, ‘Britons need to ‘accept’ they’re poorer; unless they are a fat-cat. The light at the end of the tunnel has been extinguished because the ‘leccy has been cut off.

And just wait until you read what Brexit has done to our car industry. FMOB.

So what was Philip thinking?

The Tory factions were on display this week at the National Conservative Conference. Some of the rhetoric was just awful, real right-wing extremism, with an overlay of racism, all dressed up with a Christian message.

I could resist the part about our falling birthrate which, whilst a genuine concern, was too good to miss. How any one can blame Marxism, more accurately “cultural Marxism” for this is beyond me.

Children, no matter how much we love them, are expensive. For years people were told it was irresponsible to have children they couldn’t afford, now it’s “get sh*****g for England!”

The lyrics to “World in Motion” are just too much:

·       “They think it’s all over. Well, it is now”

·       “It’s one on one

·       “You’ve got to hold and give, But do it at the right time, You can be slow or fast, But you must get to the line”

·       “Get ’round the back”

Sorry, it was just too much!

Back to reality with Ann Widdecombe who, when asked about the rising cost of cheese sandwiches, said families should go without if they cannot afford them.

She continued saying there was no “given right” for low food prices, despite being told families “cannot afford to feed their children” and were having to make huge sacrifices as the cost of living crisis deepens.

The only way this is going to be tackled is if inflation is going to come down,” Widdecombe said. “You will not get inflation coming down if you continue to have inflationary wage rises.”

What she misses is that the only people getting above inflation pay rises are those that don’t need them!

And we can’t finish without Brexit; Stellantis, the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker, and the owner of  Vauxhall and Fiat has urged the government to renegotiate rules in the Brexit deal that it says could force it to shut some of its UK operations, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The company said it can no longer meet rules in the Brexit trade deal that require 45% of parts by value to be sourced in the UK or EU by 2024, after a rise in raw material costs used in electric car batteries during the coronavirus pandemic and the energy crisis.

This means electric vans made at the Ellesmere Port site will face tariffs of 10% when exported to mainland Europe from next year because they do not have enough locally sourced parts, putting the future of the plant at risk.

Ellesmere Port, which is due to start electric vehicle production later this year, employs 1,000 workers, while 1,200 are employed in Luton making Vauxhall and Fiat vans. Thousands more people are employed in the UK in businesses linked to the plants.

The effect of the rules of origin changes on individual carmakers varies between carmakers. Adrian Mardell, the boss of Jaguar Land Rover, last week said the future of its British factories did not depend on sourcing batteries from the UK, as its Indian owner, Tata, prepares to choose between the UK and Spain for a “gigafactory” to make batteries.

If Labour do win a majority, what will “light blue” Kier do about this: “So, yes, we need a better Brexit deal. We will make Brexit work. That doesn’t mean reversing the decision and going back into the EU but the deal we’ve got, it was said to be oven-ready; it wasn’t even half-baked.”

Perhaps there is a ray of hope.

Lyrically, we start with New Order’s “World in Motion”, and finish with REM’s “Everybody Hurts”. Enjoy!




Philip Gilbert 2Philip Gilbert is a city-based corporate financier, and former investment banker.

Philip is a great believer in meritocracy, and in the belief that if you want something enough you can make it happen. These beliefs were formed in his formative years, of the late 1970s and 80s

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