Last night’s Tory leadership debate was supposed to be a championship fight in the battle to be the next Prime Minister.
Instead, we got a scrap between political lightweights.
Less the rumble in the jungle: more the joke in Stoke.
Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak ducked questions about why he put up tax 15 times on working people and businesses
Liz Truss did the same when she was asked how she is going to pay for the £30 billion of unfunded giveaways she’s promised.
The country deserved to hear proper plans for how the Tories are going to get us out of the cost of living crisis they created.
Instead, we got two continuity candidates pretending it’s everyone’s fault but theirs.
Two stooges of Boris Johnson’s failed government, who parroted every lie he told and nodded along with every decision he took.
Two Tories with nothing to offer working people except more of the same.
The only haymakers on show were personal insults or when they trashed the Tories’ 12 years in government.
As the two contenders limped on it became more ridiculous.
We didn’t hear a word on the things that matter to people across the country.
Energy bills are going to go up by £1,000 in October – what are they going to do to help hard-pressed families and businesses?
When are they going to scrap tax breaks that only benefit the super-wealthy, like non-dom status or private school loopholes?
How are they going to ensure people can get a doctors appointment? Or renew their passport? Or sort out the gridlock at Britain’s ports that is damaging our economy and stopping people getting away on their summer holidays?
The truth is, having made this mess, they’ve thrown in the towel on fixing it.
Fortunately, we did see one heavyweight event yesterday.
Just up the road in Liverpool, Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves were setting out Labour’s plans to grow Britain’s economy and ensure we all feel the benefit.
Fully costed, pragmatic, ambitious, focused on doing right by working people.
That’s the Labour Party back to its rip-roaring best.
And it’s going to land a knockout blow on whichever contestant emerges from this Tory debacle.
Conor’s article was first published in the Mirror.