There’s something about Mary for Chim Chim Tory!

By Alice Reeves-Turner
December 10 2019, 11.25

Jeremy Corbyn’s favourite flick is Casablanca while Boris Johnson prefers to kick back and watch Dodgeball.

But Tory Croydon Central hopeful Mario Creatura’s cinematic inspiration is arguably the weirdest in political history – Mary Poppins.

Not only that but he also thinks Dick Van Dyke’s London accent is supercalafragilisticexpialidocious.

Whether it’s Julie Andrews in the 1964 original or Emily Blunt in the 2018 remake is unclear.

And although Mr Banks, Mary Poppins’ employer, lost his job at the hands of greedy bankers and was threatened with eviction from his Cherry Tree Lane, Mr Creatura doesn’t see the link with austerity.

However, he sees plenty in P. L. Travers’ story of Edwardian London in 2019 in Croydon.

Despite seeing his constituency as ‘Practically Perfect’, believing its entrepreneurism, and creativity make it a unique place to live, he does admit it needs a kick.

He said: “Mary Poppins is a brilliant film and highly underrated. It’s got a really good social commentary element to it – Dad working hard struggling to balance his family life.

“There are decent size pockets in Croydon Central, and also central Croydon as a whole where the cost of living is just too tight. There are too many people that need more support.

“It’s a travesty. No one should be living in or near the poverty line. There has been some great progress over the last ten years or so in reducing absolute poverty, particularly with children but we absolutely need to do more.”

As Labour’s shadow housing minister, Croydon Central Labour candidate Sarah Jones has helped design Labour’s new FirstBuy homes with prices linked to local incomes.

She said: “Everyone knows someone affected by the housing crisis. “Rather than pouring money down the drain on housing benefit, we’re going to be building homes so that we have an asset and can take the rent and get back the money that we have borrowed.

“We’ve seen all the people now on the streets that never were there under the last Labour government, we want to grip the homelessness crisis and take people off the street.

“But also, the 1,500 children in Croydon who will sleep tonight in emergency accommodation, they need to be properly housed as well.”

The Labour manifesto has made much of their proposed dramatic increase in public spending, reversing Tory policies such as the closure of Sure Start.

They have pledged to build more than a million new genuinely affordable council and housing association homes over the next decade and to scrap the ‘punitive’ bedroom tax in their manifesto.

However, Mr Creatura claims Labour’s funding promises don’t add up.

“I don’t think if you’re looking at Labour’s manifesto at the moment, that they would be able to improve poverty rates,” he said.

“They want to cancel the marriage tax allowance, which will stop people from having £250 in their pockets.

“In Croydon Council’s case they have increased council tax since they got into power by about 20%, that takes money out of those at the lower end of the income.

“They are saying they want to clear up the air of Croydon by taxing your parking permit based on the emissions that come out of it.

“That sounds great, but the real impact of that is that if you are someone on the lower end of an income, if you can’t afford to buy the latest electric high bred vehicle that’s energy efficient, you will have to pay more to be able to go to work to be able to get to the shops.”

Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.

Related Articles