Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Owen Jones goes to Tory conference: ‘socialism is more exciting’

Difficulty: 0

So, we are at Tory party conference,

it's a home away from home, I'd say.

I've got my lanyard on and here's my thesis about the Conservative party:

They are in chaos, they have no ideas and they're completely detached from reality.

So I am going to go and test that thesis,

here in the conference hall.

So, a couple years ago when I came to this shop,

Theresa May was everywhere.

There were like big posters of her, that you could put on your wall.

Where's Theresa May in the merchandise?

Absent by the looks of it.


She may be the leader but not everyone's behind her.

Who do you want to take over?

A bit of a dark horse James Cleverly.

For me personally, I think it should be Sajid Javid.

Theresa's going to be prime minister for the foreseeable future which is three weeks.

Three weeks?

And after that, David Davis.

I could be quite controversial here.

I would like to see Hammond take over.

Oh, wow, that's very unexpected.

Why Hammond?

Because I think he looks like a statesman.

Philip Hammond?

I think he's got some sense and sensibility behind him.

Are you happy with Theresa May?


Yes, well, we have to be behind Theresa May,

she is the prime minister and we have to get behind her.

Are you running for leader again?

You can't do that. Come on you can't just laugh.

Are you going to run for leader again?

We have a fantastic prime minister,

she's absolutely focused.

But when she goes.

... and getting a good deal with Brexit.

I am focusing on helping her to get the deal that she's seeking.

But then you'll stand ... I can tell, come on.

It's a very serious mission that she's on.

And for me, being leader of the Commons is a fantastic job

and I'm just focused on that.

Thank you. Nice to see you.

OK, but good luck with the leadership bid.

Thanks, see you.

Take care.

So why do you think the Tories are struggling amongst young people at the moment?

It's not an exciting party.

It's the party of reliance, we get things done,

whereas socialism has an atmosphere of excitement.

You've got to realise that going for radical change isn't always the answer.

You've got to work out exactly the individual problems and work on that.

You can't just up and upheave everything.

I know he's Owen Jones, that's all right.


What? Why not?

Because you're talking absolute rot, that's why.

What do you mean I am talking absolute rot? I am not talking rot.

I am talking to people about how to win back young people.

He's done a great job talking.

You're obsessed with young people.

What do you mean by 'I am obsessed by young people'?

Just go and find somebody else.

I don't understand what you mean because the Tories need to win over younger people,

They don't necessarily need to win over younger people,

they need to win over people.

Everything is not about young people.

So you don't think the Tories should win over younger people?

I am not saying they shouldn't win over young people,

it should be specific to generally getting people, not young people.

You don't have to agree to be on camera.


You don't have to agree to be on camera.

Hey mate, what's up? What's the matter?

Just double checking you're allowed to speak to people.

Yeah we do, we're just having a really nice chat.

We were just having a really nice chat.

How do I spin things, there's a camera, it's a film,

you've got to spin the camera.

You do, you do.

What's wrong with having a chat and a conversation?

I mean, he was great, he was great.

It's how you twist things.

You twist things.

Why? It just seems a bit insecure.

The economy as it works at the moment, doesn't work for young people at all, does it?

Well, it's difficult you say that to someone like me because

I had to start with nothing.

And you go out with nothing and you work hard.

There's a sort of feeling that I am entitled,

therefore I should have everything that everybody else has got.

Do you think that younger people have that 'something for nothing'

kind of attitude in this country?

Well, they probably hate me for saying it but to a certain extent, they do

because they don't know anything different.

They need to talk to them, they need to engage with them

and they also need to ask their opinions and listen to them.

The Tories have lost the youth vote in a big way,

why do you think that is?

I think because for too long the Tories have focused on older voters,

I don't think there's been a clear message for young people to vote Conservative.

There hasn't been a, 'we're offering you this'.

What needs to be done to cut through,

is you need to have people who represent, who look like people.

You know, there's not as many young MPs,

it needs to have more young MPs.

Do you understand why a lot of young people are thinking to themselves,

'this whole system's not really working for me at the moment'?

Can you understand why they think that?

I think some of them think the world owes them a living before they've even earned it.

And that's the attitude that I get from the left.

So, in terms of the Tories fighting about a lot of ideas,

I don't look at this and think, 'this is a pie, brimming with new ideas,

full of optimism, look at the sort of Britain that we can create.'

It's just, 'Uhh, the Reds are coming, the scary socialists', you know,

'equal shares of less and less, that's socialism,

don't let them turn the clock back,

rocks of socialism, income taxes, Labour isn't working,

tax bombshell here.

Not a massive vision of hope, certainly in the Tory merchandise office.

We thought we'd buried it 40 years ago,

it's come up again.

Why is it back?

That's a good question.

Well, I think because a lot of people of your age can't actually remember what it was like.

So you think that younger people are a bit delusional?

I think they're looking around for something they can hope in.

Hope would produce for them.

But I think they haven't got the experience to know that it won't.

What is it that doesn't appeal to you about Corbyn?

Well, he's beard to start with.

What's wrong with his beard?

Well, he looks awful.

It's a great beard.

There are lots of people with beards here, you don't want to insult them, do you?

I don't like them much, either.

You don't like anyone with a beard!


Anti-beard prejudice.

I can't grow a beard so I'm excluded.

Well, I can talk to you as an unbearded man to an unbearded man.

I don't feel slighted, is good.

He hasn't got a beard either and she hasn't got a beard.

And she looks very nice without a beard.

Don't buy a beard, whatever.

So, other than his beard, what else is a problem?

His policies.

I think he's a political phenomenon, I think he's a real threat but

Why is he a threat?

Because he wants to take us into the Soviet Socialist Republic of Corbynland.

Sounds like a great place to live.

Well, if you want to live there, that's fine, but most people don't

and look at the president he supports, the support of IRA

Well, that's not true.

Well, he had supported the IRA.

This does not feel like a government on the brink of winning another election.

When I was here two years ago,

there was a sense of triumphalism in the air,

a sense of a party which was the masters of all before it.

That's not how it feels two years on, it feels like a party

staring into crisis but that's not for

the left and Labour to be complacent,

this is the most successful political force

in the western world.

They turned it around before and they may well turn it around again

but that's not how it feels right now.

It's a party which seems to be in stagnation,

in decline and bereft of ideas.

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