Boris Johnson must win over blue-collar brigade to become convincing leader

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TORY-BASHING has long been the chattering classes’ favourite bloodsport.

Nothing gets their juices flowing more than logging on to Twitter and reminding everyone how much they loathe Tories.
Being Toryphobic is virtually mandatory in certain dinner-party circles.

Brighty – The Sun

You want to fit in with the right-on, Guardian-consuming set? Then you’d ­better start behaving like Rick from The Young Ones by yelling “fascist!” at anyone who expresses so much as a sliver of sympathy for the Conservative Party.

And yet even by the ­standards of these increasingly infantile displays of people’s Tory-hating credentials, the attacks on Esther McVey have been shocking.

McVey is a former TV ­presenter. She is the ­Conservative MP for Tatton and former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

She put herself forward in the Conservative leadership contest but was ­eliminated on Thursday after failing to win enough votes from ­Conservative MPs in the first round of voting.

Boris Johnson is the runaway favourite to succeed Theresa May
Getty – Contributor

She came last with nine votes. Boris Johnson was the runaway victor, with 114.

If Boris plays it cool and resists the temptation to say something crazy or ­controversial, he looks set to be the next Tory leader and PM.

Actually, even if he does shoot his mouth off in his wacky style, he is still likely to seize the Conservative crown.

After all, one of the things people like about him is that he isn’t one of those cardboard, spin-doctored politicians who only speaks in conformist soundbites.

They like that he’s a ­bumbling shooter from the hip.

As you would expect, there has been much Boris-bashing during the leadership contest, especially from journalists.

But it was the hate for McVey I found most alarming.

Esther McVey has been unfairly pilloried
PA:Press Association/PA Images

Among the Twitterati and snide Left, she came in for a massive amount of flak.

She’s a thicko, they hinted, especially after she struggled with a question about foreign aid during a radio interview.

She’s cruel, they said, citing her stint as disabilities minister in 2012 as proof that she cares little for vulnerable people.

When Lorraine Kelly threw a little “shade” at McVey on GMTV, they had a field day.

To some Tory-bashers, the fact that Kelly seemed to have bad memories of the time she worked with McVey on morning TV confirmed their view of McVey as a “nasty woman”.

Much of the dislike for McVey is motored by old-fashioned classism and sexism.

She was born into poverty. Her family even had to give her up for the first two years of her life, during which time she was fostered by Barnardo’s.

They were later reunited and her father’s construction ­business became a success.

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And the Left loathes nothing more than a working-class Tory.

According to the posh, ­middle-class agitators of the Corbynista movement, working-class people have a duty to vote Labour.

And if they fail in this duty, then they are clearly dimwits who have been brainwashed by the “Tory media”.

Indeed, the thing about McVey that most rattled the PC set was her phrase “blue-collar conservatism” — her belief that politicians must connect with working people who feel their views and concerns are no longer taken seriously by the political class.

This is the most interesting idea to have emerged so far in the leadership contest.

And the remaining candidates — including Boris — should pay attention to it.

Boris speaks at his campaign launch
Reuters

There are millions of people who feel disrespected and sneered at by the political elites.

They bristle at the “woke” PC politics of the ­Corbyn-led Labour Party.

They feel let down by the increasingly technocratic Tories and their failure to deliver Brexit.

People are tired of political correctness. As a Prospect/YouGov poll found last year, 67 per cent of Brits believe “too many people are too easily offended these days”.

People feel they cannot freely express their views.

That poll found that among Leave voters, 60 per cent believe “there are many important issues these days where people are simply not allowed to say what they think”.

The Tories have been leaking votes to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party
Darren Fletcher – The Sun

One reason so many Tory voters turned to the Brexit Party in the EU elections last month is because they think the mainstream parties no longer listen to them.

A poll by the Electoral Reform Society found that 75 per cent of Brexit Party voters feel their views are either “not at all presented” or “not very represented” in Parliament.

There is a “blue collar” swathe of people who long to be listened to.

They are opposed to PC values and ticked off with aloof politicians.

They are in favour of Brexit and national sovereignty. They want frank political debate.

And they value community, family and hard work over the divisive politics of identity now promoted by all wings of the establishment.

Who will speak to this silent majority — to these people who are the backbone of the nation but who fear the nation no longer values them?

Can Boris? He must try — hard. Listening to the left-behind is the key task of the next Prime Minister of Brexit Britain.

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Policing is no joke

IMAGINE if someone on the Right joked about throwing battery acid at a Labour politician?

They would be instantly expelled from polite ­society and blacklisted by the media.

And yet comedian Jo Brand has been defended by the BBC over her acid-tongued joke on Radio 4.

The double standards are alarming.

But we should still stand up for Brand.

The fact that the police are poking their noses into the affair is disturbing.

Do we want cops involved in comedy?

Free speech must include the freedom of comedians to say outrageous things

Yellow vests too close for BBC

Protests in France have received minimal coverage from the BBC
Getty – Contributor

THE brave protesters in Hong Kong, battling against an illiberal extradition deal with China, were featured on BBC News almost every night last week.

This is the same BBC that has virtually ignored the massive ­Yellow Vest protests, that have rocked France every week for the past nine months.


It seems the establishment media only likes raucous protest when it happens far away.

When it takes place in an EU state run by a politician they love – President Macron – they look the other way.

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