People should never confuse intelligence with stupidity.
Which brings me neatly to Boris Johnston and the Conservatives.
When Boris Johnston said that ” Some people are so stupid” to be allowed to take part in the democratic process without of course saying who they were it reminded me of comments in a similar vein made by other politicians.
There is something cowardly and pathetic about politicians who from a selfish self-serving position paid for by the tax payer insult the public’s intelligence or mount attacks on those who don’t have a right of reply.
The other day I was, as you would expect of a modern man ‘doing the weekly shop’ when I experienced what is increasingly a microcosm of life in the Conservative United Kingdom.
The whole list of events started when standing in the queue to pay for my groceries an elderly lady found herself in the embarrassing position of being £2 short of money to pay for her basket of goods.
This wasn’t a basket full of luxuries but solely essentials such as bread, milk etc.
What happened next restored my faith in human nature because as I took £2 out of my pocket the man in front of me got in first and paid the difference?
What was remarkable in this day and age of selfishness was that the woman behind me in the queue had also taken the money out of her purse.
It was just one of those moments that brought people together who didn’t know each other and are unlikely ever to meet again.
The sadness of the situation was that it demonstrated that ordinary people recognise that the elderly are increasingly finding themselves in the poverty trap and the embarrassment they face because of it.
On the up side the reaction of those in the queue demonstrated everything we should be proud of.
Understanding, humanity, generosity and a willingness to help, the same reactions that people up and down the country are demonstrating in donating to food banks.
The next two incidents happened at the Lottery Booth when an elderly man tried to return some of his winnings believing that he had been overpaid and the delight on his face when it was explained that the prize for three numbers is now £25 instead of £10.
It was an example of what is sadly now considered in many quarters as being simple old-fashioned honesty.
This was followed by two young men who were talking about not being able to get a job which brought to mind the wastefulness of a whole generation of young people.
For me it showed the whole gambit of society which I fear is returning to the horrendous every man for themselves, the means always justify the ends, selfish and self-serving days of the mid-1980.
In the space of 20 minutes it showed poverty, embarrassment, generosity, honesty, despair and a lost generation.
What cannot be assumed is that any of those involved in the incidents are amongst those the leading light of modern Conservatism Boris Johnston called ‘stupid’, but just ordinary people going about their business.
In fact the same people who politicians court and make promises to and butter up with statements such as ” the public are very intelligent” when they want their votes whilst at the same time treating them with contempt by deliberately and intentionally misleading them.
Perhaps the Conservatives, and it would be wrong not to admit that it is a disease that also exists in other political parties, are believers in the statement by their most famous and successful spin doctor, Bernard Ingram when he said “Voters display bovine stupidity”
Conservatives just don’t get it as their attitude to the public shows.
Fortunately there are still a lot of people, including politicians, who like those involved in Fridays incidents in Newton Abbot are honest decent and reasonable people.
In fact the very people who make up the majority throughout the country.
It is why when the Conservatives attack the young, the elderly, the vulnerable and those who can’t defend themselves from their position of secure tax paid roles that they are using for self-promotion.
“They just don’t get it”, and in fact as we have seen throughout the General Election campaign
“The Conservatives will never get it”.