'Living in parallel world' Britons blast Tories and Labour who are 'as bad as each other'

Boris Johnson grilled on ‘eroding’ impact of cost of living crisis

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Local elections were held across much of the UK this week. A vote was not held in Stoke, which is, perhaps, just as well, given the apparent levels of voter apathy among its adult population. Few workers, students or visitors who spoke to Express.co.uk during a walkabout on Friday (April 6) could pinpoint many – if any – differences between the Conservatives and Labour, and discussions in a pub suggested that while “every pub is a parliament”, not every pub cares much about what actually happens in Parliament.

One worker, who preferred to remain anonymous, said ‘if it was me, I’d go back to Labour. But, moments later, he asked for confirmation about which political party Boris Johnson headed.

He went on to clarify that he was more moved by local politics.

Labour councillors in his area, he said, had worked to set up a local BMX park, useful for “keeping the kids off the street”.

Many other potential voters were unmoved by the goings on in SW1.

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‘Living in parallel world’ Britons blast Tories and Labour who are ‘as bad as each other’. (Image: Getty)

A sign at Longport station

A sign at Longport station. (Image: -)

One contractor from outside the city said: “I don’t follow it.”

He said that when it comes to politics: “I’m the worst person to talk to”, perhaps unaware of how many held the same mindset as him.

“I’ve got no time for that,” added another local.

Another claimed politicians are “all as bad as each other”.

Laszlo, who moved to England from Hungary in 2013 and has spent time working as a cable engineer in countries across the world, said as far as he can tell, politicians – not just in Britain but on the continent and beyond – are “living in a parallel world”.

He said that British politicians are not quite as bad as those from his home country, but are still adept at the “art of lying”.

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Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson. (Image: Getty)

Sir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer. (Image: Getty)

At Staffordshire University, one student – his two friends nodding in agreement – said they have not bothered to keep an eye on the news “ever since Covid”.

The handling of the pandemic was also a big turn-off for Matt, a young musician from the area.

When questioned about ‘Partygate’, Matt said: “I haven’t got a clue what it is.” But he was very well versed about policies which, over the past few years, had directly interfered with his life.

He said: “I’m a musician, so the handling of the Covid pandemic really impacted my livelihood. I think lockdown has a massive sway on how I find [the main political parties].”

Matt, and many others like him, faced a difficult position when considering who to support – as they are frustrated at the Prime Minister for his actions, but uncertain that the Labour Party would do anything different.

The general feeling was, however, that apathy towards national politicking has its roots in failings that occurred long before Government-imposed lockdowns.

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Boris Johnson: a timeline

Boris Johnson: a timeline. (Image: Express)

There was some mention on the streets of immigration, about which polling shows voters believe the Tories have done a bad job of controlling over its more-than decade-long run in office.

Another big issue, which is, in many ways, linked to the decision to lockdown the country in response to Covid, was rising living costs.

Paul, 71, said one of his happiest moments in life was when he left school, aged 15, to work as a painter and decorator earning £3 a week. He later paid his way as a miner, but now admitted: “I daren’t go shopping.”

He, sat in a pub set beside countless boarded-up buildings, added: “Let’s face it, I’m on my way out, but I think about these families and wives who have got to buy food for their kids. It’s ridiculous.”

A boarded-up building in Longport – one of many

A boarded-up building in Longport – one of many, with others such like it in Stoke central, too. (Image: -)

A Labour man all his life, Paul was sure Mr Johnson was not the answer to this problem (or to any other, for that matter). But what about Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour? He maintained it is important to vote for someone because “people died to get the vote”, though there was little enthusiasm about the choice at hand.

As with all parties, Paul said, “you’ve got your good” figures involved.

There was, however, perhaps a little more emphasis on his final thought: “And you’ve got your bad.”

William Murphy

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