“Change the bloody government” – Rod Stewart calls time on the Conservatives

Katie Neame
© Ben Houdijk/Shutterstock.com
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The Tories appear to be at risk of losing a key demographic at the next election: 70s rock stars. Rod Stewart called a phone-in segment on Sky News yesterday and told viewers that, though he has been a Tory “for a long time”, he thinks the government should “stand down now and give the Labour Party a go at it”. He expressed sympathy with NHS staff taking strike action, declaring that they are “not asking for a great deal”, and described the current situation in the health service as “heartbreaking” for nurses. “In all my years of living in this country, I’ve never seen it so bad,” Stewart said. “Change the bloody government.” Here’s hoping we’ll see similar political epiphanies from the likes of John Lydon, but I won’t be holding my breath.

According to a new analysis by the TUC, City pay including bonuses has risen more than three times faster than nurses’ pay since 2008 (3.2 times as fast to be exact). The disparity was even greater for midwives and paramedics; pay in the financial services and insurance sector rose 3.4 times faster than the salaries of healthcare workers in those areas. The TUC again criticised the government’s decision to scrap the cap on bankers’ bonuses – one of the few policies to survive from Liz Truss’ disastrous ‘mini-Budget’. General secretary Paul Nowak said: “We can’t live in a country where nurses are having to use food banks to get by, while bankers are allowed to help themselves to unlimited bumper bonuses.” The union leader stressed that it “boils down to political choices”, declaring: “Ministers could be taxing wealth and giving all of our public sector workers a decent pay rise. But instead, they are choosing to inflict more pay misery on our nurses, paramedics and midwives.”

Yesterday, Labour highlighted the government’s long-term failures in another area: the criminal justice system. According to the latest crime outcomes statistics from the Home Office, just 1.6% of recorded rapes in the year to September 2022 resulted in a suspect being charged. Data from the Office for National Statistics, also released on Thursday, revealed that sexual offences recorded by the police were at their highest level on record in the same timeframe – at 199,021. Commenting on the figures, Yvette Cooper warned that rape victims are being “systematically let down” by the government. The Shadow Home Secretary said: “Of the nearly 200 people who report a rape to the police today, just three will see their case go to court. That is truly shameful. These figures have plummeted over the last seven years.”

On LabourList this morning, we have a powerful piece from Alex Sobel to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. The shadow minister tells the story of his family who lived through the Holocaust in Ukraine, alongside the stories of people caught up in the current conflict in the country. He writes: “The people of Ukraine did extraordinary things during the Holodomor and again through the Holocaust. Now, faced with the horrors of a new genocide, they do so again. Slavia Ukraini!” We also have an article from London Assembly member Marina Ahmad, ahead of London Labour’s regional conference this weekend, discussing her and the wider Labour group’s current priorities at City Hall.

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