Facing the facts: a reality check for the Prime Minister

In his recent address the Prime Minister expressed concerns about internal forces threatening our nation’s unity.

This led me to ponder whether these forces include those that fuelled the divisive Brexit atmosphere, spearheaded by figures like Nigel Farage and the 21st-century version of Enoch Powell.

Our country has grappled with division since the Conservative Party’s risky move in Europe, fostering deep-seated animosity. It’s crucial to recognize that this hatred isn’t isolated to a particular group, Palestinian or Israeli; it has festered for over a decade.

Austerity measures, police force cuts, and reductions in vital social services initiated this discord. The poor grew poorer, while the affluent one percent thrived, with media playing a pivotal role in alienating the most marginalized in our society.

Does Mr. Sunak genuinely believe the British people have forgotten his former Home Secretary’s statement. Suella Braverman asserted:

The British people are compassionate. We will always support those genuinely homeless. But our streets cannot be overrun by rows of tents, housing people—many from abroad—living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.

So, I find myself questioning the Prime Minister: Who chooses to be homeless, and who chooses to be born poor? The reality is, no one does.

Under this Conservative government, marginalised society faces relentless attacks. As the party falters, we find ourselves in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis, bringing ordinary folks to their knees. Our most vulnerable can’t afford to heat their homes, facing exorbitant electricity and gas bills. For many, it became a choice between heating or eating.

In a nation like Great Britain, such desperate measures should not be necessary.

The real problem, Mr. Sunak, lies in your party’s jingoism and love for populism. In Great Britain, we celebrate our diversity. When the Prime Minister urges us to face down extremists, will he start with his own party?

Figures like Liz Truss, who shared a platform with far-right commentator Steve Bannon, and the former Prime Minister, who stood by while Tommy Robinson, notorious for stoking hatred toward the Muslim community, was hailed as a hero.

The Conservative party, once embodying the likes of Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and Winston Churchill, seems to have lost its identity, now clinging to relatability through populism and jingoistic politics.

Under this regime, 15 Conservative councillors were suspended for posting Islamophobic or racist content online, only to have their memberships quietly reinstated.

Sayeeda Warsi  shed light on the depth of the issue, exposing the prevalence of Islamophobia within the Conservative party. Statements describing Saudi as “sand peasants” and comparisons of Asian people to dogs highlight the xenophobia and Islamophobia within the Conservative party.

So, Prime Minister, my question is: which forces within the Conservative party are dividing it and creating this intolerable atmosphere? Despite Mr. Sunak’s claim that the country isn’t racist, the reality is that the working class and everyday people simply want a good life without worrying about eating or heating. The true issue appears to be the Conservative party’s failure, attempting to stay relevant by using marginalised people who lack the means to stand up for themselves.

As a Liberal Democrat, I champion the cause of the marginalised because, in my view, everyone deserves a voice. It’s not just a political stance; it’s the British thing to stand up for the common person and uphold the principles integral to our party.

* Mo Waqas is a member in Middlesbrough and the PPC for Middlesbrough and Thornaby East.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • David Garlick 3rd Mar '24 - 9:18am

    Well said on all counts.

  • An excellent post.

  • Anthony Acton 3rd Mar '24 - 8:42pm

    Naomi Long’s speech to the Alliance conference should be echoed by LibDems everywhere. The Tories are destroying national unity and Labour are paralysed trying to reconcile conflicting interests. The country needs LIbDems to be the party of reconciliation and hope.

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