Dodgy Dave and Wally the Wall Builder, Hit Yorkshire
There was something comforting familiar about TV news footage that showed a man building a dry stonewall in a snowy Wharfedale in Yorkshire. It conjures up images of wholesome country folk living rugged lives in the countryside. But hold on a minute, who is that heaving those stones? Is it Feisty Farmer Jones, or Bob the Bradford builder? No it’s not, its Gritty George Osborne.
Dubbed dry stone Wally, on his election foray to the ‘North’ the chancellor was posing for the cameras, having swapped his Saville Row tailoring for a posh countrified anorak although underneath his shirt and tie were firmly in place. He looked more out of place than Madam Whiplash in a convent. As nervous Treasury spin-doctors shuffled from foot to foot the chancellor farted about with a lump of stone pontificating about the 100,000 jobs he was going to create in the local area by 2020. Bad timing then that in Doncaster 300 men and women had just been told they were being laid off by Cooplands, the traditional bakers. And also bad timing that 450 jobs will go this year as Leeds City Council responds to Tory spending cuts, with the avalanche of job losses continuing in Bradford, Wakefield and Sheffield, on top of tens of thousands gone already and the second-highest rate of unemployment in England. But then again he was quite safe from all this unpleasantness, visiting as he was the second safest Conservative seat in the county. And then one wobbly addition to the wall complete, he was off like a rat up a drain pipe back to good old London. But if he thought that the undecided Tyke voters would be impressed and un-swayed by his teetering dry stonewall, I doubt they will because it gets worse.
Just like police officers patrolling a particularly rough Primark, Tory top brass turn up in twos, these days. And appearing with Dry Stone Wally on this occasion was Dodgy Dave, or DC as we know him who has famously struggled to spot the difference between Liverpool and Leeds. But those canny Yorkshiremen and women are not as daft as they are cabbage looking and have not failed to notice that the Tories have ignored Yorkshire for 5 years. “They can sling their ‘ook,” one local was heard to say.
Catchup next week.
Cartoon courtesy of Routledge and the Daily Mirror.