Michael Gove. Photo: Rory Arnold / No 10 Downing Street/CC
Michael Gove. Photo: Rory Arnold / No 10 Downing Street/CC

The circus came to Manchester at the start of October. Tories competed for who could say the most outrageous comment, and Boris Johnson wasn’t even at the Conservative Party conference!

Michael Gove, levelling up secretary, truly is in cloud cuckoo land. His speech included:

Michael Gove: We have delivered better state schools than ever before.

Real world: Over 100 schools couldn’t open for the start of term due to unsafe concrete, levels of which were kept under wraps by the Tory government. Last year, 40,000 teachers left the classroom.

Gove: Our universities the best in Europe and they are growing.

Real world: Chief executive of Universities UK, which represents 140 institutions, says of the state of university funding: “The path we are on is unsustainable”.

Gove: Welfare is simpler, fairer and better targeted.

Real world: 421,967 people had Universal Credit sanctions, removing the limited money benefits provides to scrape by, imposed in the year 2022.

Gove: Families have many more hours of free childcare.

Real world: With childcare costs soaring, for the first time in decades the number of women not returning to work after having a baby is going up.

Gove: We have delivered the fastest decarbonisation of any major economy.

Real world: The UK “will not fulfil the [net-zero emissions] commitments”, according to outgoing chair of the government’s own Climate Change Committee. And that was before the recent huge U-turns.

Gove: We are world leaders in offshore wind.

Real world: Not one company put in a bid to develop offshore floating wind farms earlier this year (see ‘Where are all the offshore wind farms? Nationalise the energy industry!’)


Do you rent? Don’t worry, the Tory housing minister Rachel Maclean has your back…

“There are plenty of young people who are in the PRS [private rented sector] who are not weed-smoking bad people in gangs and everything else, in crack dens… smashing up the neighbourhood…”

…no-one said there weren’t Rachel…

Tory doctor plan must be a joke

The Tories have loudly announced an extra 205 medical school places for next year.

This actually means the number of new people training as doctors is slowing down!

There are over 130,000 vacancies in the NHS. So the Tory announcement will be a drop in the ocean when dealing with the NHS waiting list, which now includes a quarter of the population.

NHS money won’t touch sides

And the Tories are also promising £30 million to help the NHS roll out new technology. What about the £80 billion that the NHS is going to hand to profiteering private companies in PFI deals?

The government says this will help them delivering their 10,000 ‘virtual’ beds. But, in the last 30 years of Tory and Labour cuts and privatisation, half of the NHS’s actual beds have been chopped.