ConservativeHome’s caricature of London teenagers

Or, how not to win the youth vote.

The right-wing blog ConservativeHome has published what appears to be an attempt at a humorous account of canvassing for the Tories in the east London borough of Hackney. It includes this delightful caricature of a couple of black teenage girls who happen to cross paths with the canvassers.

- Tory! shouts one.

- Vote Laye-bor, goes the other one, in that adopted rude-bwoy cod-Jamaican accent that I detest. I don't give them a second glance and it takes a moment to see that I've walked on alone. Oh God. Keith stands in front of them.

- Who do you want to win, then? he asks, forgetting about this not-talking-to-people thing.

They giggle. They're both clinically obese, a common enough sight here, as is the fried "chicken" product one is shoving into her mouth. I remember being the fat boy at primary school; it wasn't fun, because no-one else was. I wonder if it's the thin kids who feel isolated these days, since they're the minority now.

- Mai mum allays votes Laye-bore, one says. Her friend's eyebrows knit. There's a better answer than that, she thinks, something she's been taught. I can see the moment of triumph when she remembers:

- You'll take away our EMA innit. She's so happy to have remembered the reason not to vote Tory, which someone has carefully taught her, that her epiphany of political insight is delivered in natural cockney. For this reason at least I warm to her a little.

Perhaps this utter contempt for the inhabitants of Britain's inner cities is why the Tories came a poor third in Hackney on 6 May.

Daniel Trilling is the Editor of New Humanist magazine. He was formerly an Assistant Editor at the New Statesman.

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Keir Starmer's Brexit diary: Why doesn't David Davis want to answer my questions?

The shadow Brexit secretary on the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers, the Prime Minister's speech and tracking down his opposite in government. 

My Brexit diary starts with a week of frustration and anticipation. 

Following the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers, I asked that David Davis come to Parliament on the first day back after recess to make a statement. My concern was not so much the fact of Ivan’s resignation, but the basis – his concern that the government still had not agreed negotiating terms and so the UKRep team in Brussels was under-prepared for the challenge ahead. Davis refused to account, and I was deprived of the opportunity to question him. 

However, concerns about the state of affairs described by Rogers did prompt the Prime Minister to promise a speech setting out more detail of her approach to Brexit. Good, we’ve had precious little so far! The speech is now scheduled for Tuesday. Whether she will deliver clarity and reassurance remains to be seen. 

The theme of the week was certainly the single market; the question being what the PM intends to give up on membership, as she hinted in her otherwise uninformative Sophy Ridge interview. If she does so in her speech on Tuesday, she needs to set out in detail what she sees the alternative being, that safeguards jobs and the economy. 

For my part, I’ve had the usual week of busy meetings in and out of Parliament, including an insightful roundtable with a large number of well-informed experts organised by my friend and neighbour Charles Grant, who directs the Centre for European Reform. I also travelled to Derby and Wakefield to speak to businesses, trade unions, and local representatives, as I have been doing across the country in the last 3 months. 

Meanwhile, no word yet on when the Supreme Court will give its judgement in the Article 50 case. What we do know is that when it happens things will begin to move very fast! 

More next week. 

Keir