This week promised to be not a great one for the Conservatives, but that forecast, like the forecast for the UK economy, inside the EU, was quickly revised; unfortunately unlike the economy the revision wasn’t positive – Theresa your boys took one hell of a beating!
Things didn’t start well for Labour either. Stephen Hawking wheeled into the argument over Corbyn’s leadership by saying “I regard Corbyn as a disaster. His heart is in the right place and many of his policies are sound but he has allowed himself to be portrayed as a left-wing extremist.”
When an expert in the chaotic world of black holes tells you you’re a disaster it’s probably time to listen to him rather than your mate going on about soft coups and Murdoch conspiracies.
The Brexit Brigade were conspicuous by their absence when the Peugeot takeover of Vauxhall was announced, not a sign of the “it’s going to be a great future” although there was a bit more of a smirk detected on the face of Professor Patrick Minford who Brexiteers will quote chapter and verse till the cows come home, but not the chapter where he says Brexit will eliminate what’s left of the UK’s manufacturing industry.
Dr Liam Fox, where do you begin? He looks like a decent sensible chap, that is until he opens his mouth. He was at it again this week, tweeting about the UK being “one of the few countries in the EU that doesn’t need to bury its 20th century history.” No, too big a debate….
The Appeaser suffered yet another defeat this week as the lords decided to double down on their previous amendment on EU nationals rights by delivering a winning vote on well, err, having a vote. An action which prompted yet another display of petulance from this government by sacking chief agent provocateur Hezza!
Theresa’s discomfort became much more than a pair of pinching kitten heels when PMQs arrived. With Jezza champing at the bit, yes it’s difficult to tell, but he was, he jumped to his feet to tell her all about the tape that had surfaced concerning the ahem “gentleman’s agreement” between Tory Surrey council and this Tory government. Four time he asked four times she swerved, after the third she gave a stunning impression of Ted Heath laughing, as amusing as were her answers, all style and no substance.
Handing over the despatch box to Spreadsheet Phil to deliver his ‘back of a fag packet’ budget brought little relief to the debacle that passes for parliament these days.
Looking like the kid who had done his homework on the bus to school, old Phil delivered a budget that had promised little but delivered even less.
The main talking point was an increase in white van man’s national insurance, an open goal for Jezza who, along with shadow chancellor, not only missed the goal but completely missed the ball.
Returning to the Phil’s outrage, and with due respect to the self-employed – we know how touchy WVM can be, don’t we Lady Nugee! – these are, after all, the people who are “just about managing” and, as they’re an easy target, were left managing even less.
What’s amazing over this faux backbench outrage is that, yes, the rise in Class 4 NIC’s isn’t welcome for hardworking self-employed people, many of whom will have voted for the Conservatives, given their manifesto commitment not to raise NIC’s, but the same backbenchers appear to be as outspoken as a Trappist monk over another manifesto commitment that has disappeared quicker than a UKIP leader, the commitment to the single market.
The leaving of the single market will have a detrimental effect on 65,000,000 in the UK alone, obviously more in Europe, but, if you think like Tebbit, Johnny Foreigner can do one!
Spreadsheet’s budget was thinner than a catwalk model and had more jokes than detail, mostly aimed at a stone faced Jezza who at least had the last laugh.
The joke about blackholes now seemed ironic given that’s probably the destination of his standout policy statement and as for the quip about driverless cars well it’s better than having backseat drivers in the form of the 1922 committee, the European Research Group and a phalanx of alt right groups stampeding into Number 10, but still, the Tories never have been too bothered from where their funding comes from.
With the week closing with news that whilst the economy remains buoyant, in line with the rest of the EU, who have just delivered 14 consecutive quarters of growth, that will be the EU which is described as a dying organisation by Nigel Farage, Boris decided to get the excuses in early over possible Russian interference in the European political process.
Next week will see Theresa swapping her kitten heels for a pair of Nike Lunar Epic’s as she sprints from the Commons down to Brenda’s to get Royal assent before anyone finds out what’s really gone on…..