Outside the fantasy world of the conference halls, where no one gives a shit about the shape of the starfleet sash worn in series IV, or how the fantasy chancellor will spend non-existent money in the fantasy future, the real Britain is fast becoming a bleak and desperate place. This week I experienced the most pathetically inept attempt at pickpocketing you can imagine; as I stepped back and frowned in admonishment at the respectably dressed 30-something Afro-Carib lady whose fingers had tried to enter my jacket pocket she was deeply embarrassed and fled. Clearly not her usual occupation. Ticket and shop counters resound to the arguments of the poor trying to get refunds or exchanges and they are often the victims of each other. The newly-arrived African woman who had bought from a station tout a used travelcard that was actually just the receipt portion that someone had left in the machine and was crying at the penalty fare being imposed; the Addison-Lee wall mounted ashtrays hanging broken-open all over the city as the desperate lever them open to get at the dog ends, and the small joints of meat in the local Tesco now all routinely security-tagged all tell the tale of growing financial pain and desperation a million miles away from the twee fantasy world of the political class.
Richard North has his finger close to the pulse and is aware of the danger. Quentin Letts wrote about it yesterday. Today in the Guardian even John Harris knows it. He writes;
The murky id of the Conservative party is defined by those ideas, but parts of Labour are surprisingly open to a similar approach. On left and right, politicians who fear that kind of future should realise the urgency of the moment. Politics needs new ideas, language and voices. The bubble that has defined the past three weeks must be burst – before it's far, far too late.