The leader of the Conservative Party’s youth organisation has been called “patronising” and “snobbish” after insulting the diets of northerners, describing the party’s successes in the region as the “gravy revolution”.
The Tory website London Spin — previously the venue of appalling anti-gypsy racism — claimed that Conservative Future chair Ben Howlett has “committed to having chips and gravy with CF branches in the north”. Not for the first time, it was left to the blog’s readers to point out how out of touch this supposedly amusing campaign ruse is.
The comments from Howlett, who attended Cambridge University and lives in leafy Fulham, are redolent of long-standing Conservative attitudes to northern England. In 2010 the director of David Cameron’s favourite think tank Policy Exchange claimed the Tories required a “Yorkshire pudding offensive” to target “Greggs man”. This came two years after his wonks published a study suggesting that northern cities were “beyond revival” and residents should consider moving south.
Conservative attitudes to the regions clearly haven’t improved since Edwina Currie claimed northerners were dying of “ignorance and chips”.