Sir George Young is the new Government chief whip. As it happens I know a bit about him as he is also my second cousin once removed and, rather more importantly, brother of my step mother Helen. And I see that he is now a founder member of a new group of Tory MPs which wants to “reach out” to “blue collar” Conservatives. The sort of people Young’s predecessor Andrew Mitchell might have described as “plebs.” Young’s qualifications?
Born in a stately home at Cookham, like his grandfather, father and brother he went to Eton then Christ Church Oxford ( the college known as “the House” known as the posh folks college). On the death of his father he inherited the baronetcy. When Sir George goes to a better place his son Gerry ( Eton, Christ Church, natch) will become the next Baronet. As a housing minister under Thatcher Sir George once opined that “the homeless are the sort of people you trip over on your way back from the Opera.”
Overall he is not a dreadful man, but the closest Sir George Young has ever come to talking to a “blue collar” Tory is when he ( or Lady Aurelia) have to pay the cleaning Lady or the gardener. I see that this group thinks it can reconnect with what should be termed “Thatcher Tories” ( Labour working class voters converted by Baroness T) with policies linking the tax threshold to the minimum wage and “boosting education opportunities for working class kids”. Yeah…that will really have them flocking to the blue flag in Basildon.
Norman Tebbit and Thatcher understood this demographic, in part because that was their background. Hint for “wicked Uncle George” if you wish to reconnect:
1. Bring back grammar schools
2. An immediate referendum on the EU and it would help if your party campaigned for withdrawal
3.Bring back the death penalty and stop handing out soft sentences in the Courts
4. No welfare benefits for those who have not paid tax
5. Tell Piers Morgan that he is not allowed back from America.
How is that for starters?