Tories Out. Protesters at Kings Cross supporting RMT strike. Photo: Paula Mitchell
Tories Out. Protesters at Kings Cross supporting RMT strike. Photo: Paula Mitchell

Make a list of people who you feel pity for, a Tory minister would be bottom. Ex-science minister George Freeman cried poverty about his £120,000 ministerial salary, stating it as a major factor in his decision to stand down. He wants to be an MP part-time (for £86,584 a year) and find other work to top it up.

Frugal Freeman says his mortgage increased from £1,200 to £2,000 a month. Average rent in the UK is £1,260 a month, much more if you live in London. And the median household income is about 35 grand – a fraction of Freeman’s ministerial pay.

Being a minister left him “exhausted, bust and depressed”. Imagine how he would be feeling if he faced the stark financial reality facing most working-class families! Maybe he would have thought twice before voting through over a decade of cut backs under five different Tory prime ministers?

MPs should be paid the average wage of the workers they are elected to represent, without the option to skip parliament to do lucrative second jobs either. If the likes of Freeman aren’t prepared to do it, good! There are undoubtedly thousands of working-class people in his constituency far better qualified to represent their communities.

Government not ‘outstanding’

Workers whose bills have gone up while their wages don’t stretch as far. Students getting into a lifetime of debt without enough money to pay their rent. People stuck for hours waiting in hospital to be seen by underpaid, overworked NHS staff. Ask any of them what they think of the government and “requires improvement” or “inadequate” might be putting it mildly.

But you’d expect a senior government minister to have something better to say!

Gillian Keegan, Education Secretary, when asked on LBC radio how she rates the Tory government’s performance said it was “good”, not the top Ofsted rating of “outstanding”. But she should know. Our schools are literally crumbling, teachers leave the profession because of sky-high workload, and attempts to expand free childcare have ended up reducing places on offer.

Time for special measures – kick out the Tories and build a working-class political alternative!