Gavin Williamson is the worst one.

The Education Minister is the dud out of a set of duds.

Most of the country at this point thoroughly dislikes Gavin Williamson. He’s once again failed to redeem himself from this summer’s exam fiasco, by once again leaving students across the country confused, while continuing to put the nation’s heroic teaching staff at risk, with no protection and inadequate support, on the frontline.

Williamson remains in denial about the fact we’re currently at the worst point of the pandemic thus far in this county, and the impending, overarching, irrefutable, need to shut the damn schools. No one likes school closures, not least teachers, but what’s far worse is someone incapable of levelling and telling the truth, and who just sits in his bunker until the obligatory stressful, hope shattering U-turn.

Williamson has further radicalised a generation who had no love for the Tories, and have grown up resenting what they’ve done to our universities, our schools, the jobs market, and the housing market. A generation that knows, during this year, the Conservative government didn’t give a shit about them, and a generation the Tories will have a job on their hands to even win back a chunk in later life.

The Tory hegemony in England has a sell-by date, and it’s called demographics. However you look at it, young people here know they’ve been let down, and there isn’t anything ahead in their lives to bring them into the arms of conservatism, therefore, Williamson and his party will pay for this, one way or another, with a series of heavy electoral routings down the line. This generation’s rejection of the Tories spans class, race, and postcode. Everywhere, in numbers without parallel in British political history, they vote Labour.

Starmer’s Labour must tap into, and speak to, this undercurrent of fustration and anger. With bold offers on education and climate change, on housing, and on racial justice, a tidal wave of anger can motivate and propel Gen Z and Millennials into the ballot box to vote Labour in 2024; but only if there’s good reason for them to. Labour purely targets older, post-industrial town dwelling, radicalised socially conservative homeowners at their peril, and the peril of their future coalition.



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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.