An absolute gem from the front page of the Daily Hate Mail, following the grisly murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes:
‘Boris Johnson vowed last night to leave no stone unturned to learn from the failure to save the life of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.’
Meanwhile, The Times reports the following:
‘Rishi Sunak is preparing to cut income tax by 2p in the pound or to slash VAT rates before the election.’
Like anyone with a heart, I was heartbroken by the story of young Arthur’s life of torture and then murder. In all honesty, I can’t find any more words to describe how I feel about it and I certainly can’t find the words to describe the anger and contempt I feel for his father and stepmother, other than wishing there was a hell for them to go to. However, I very much get a sense of the government’s real priorities when I read the stories from the Mail and Times.
Since 2010, the Conservative government has presided over massive cuts to social care, as well as the NHS. Local authorities have seen their government funding pared to the bone. I cannot say this conclusively because we won’t know the outcome of the serious case review of Arthur’s killing for some time. But you cannot tell me the cuts presided over by David Cameron (and the useful idiots of the Lib Dems), Theresa May and Boris Johnson have not contributed to a care sector in crisis.
As well as the serious case review, Johnson’s clown car government should carry out an immediate review of funding for the care sector and front up about how bad things are. Because they are bad. Then, commit to ensure the sector, especially for the protection of children, is properly funded, regardless of the cost. if that means an increase in taxation then so be it.
But Rishi Sunak wants to be prime minister and he has decided that his best chance of succeeding Johnson is to cut people’s taxes. As the richest man in the House of Commons, with a wife worth billions, it seems that Sunak knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. But here’s a thing: with the country massively in debt, it will be interesting to see how Sunak spins it. He can hardly stand at a lectern in an election campaign and say, “Let’s cut taxes for the better off and not worry if other young children are tortured and then murdered.” I’m sure not even a heartless politician could say that. He’d have to do a Boris Johnson and lie about it.
And do we really put tax cuts above children being tortured and killed? We will always say a big YES, and mean it, but then will we also vote for a politician promising to lower our tax bills? In fact, the British public did exactly that in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019. It’s just that the argument wasn’t framed like that.
Sunak always said he would “do what it takes” to save the economy when Covid struck. Now we need politicians, even as ambitious and slippery as him, to “do what it takes” to make sure we never get another Arthur. And whatever it costs, then pay it.