Jeremy Hunt’s week: The toothpaste-tube approach to economics
YOU’RE not so keen on my autumn statement? You believe that Solzhenitsyn had a better time in the gulag, eating fish heads and licking the creosote from the camp tables, than you’re going to face in the next two years?
But what did you expect me to do? You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, even if they’re a little hard to come by at the moment, and that, by the way is not the fault of Brexit.
And even if it is, I’m not going to admit to it, because I can’t fix it, and neither can Sir Keir Starmer.
And no, I won’t blame Liz and Kwasi either. Even if they did take a Lehman Brothers approach to forward planning.
As for the detail of my statement, I’ve been accused of squeezing the middle. But who amongst us Chancellors hasn’t taken the toothpaste-tube approach to economics? And what are the options?
If we go after those at the bottom of the pay scale, we lose the election.
And I’m not going to hit the super-rich, the Amazons, or even those who earn more than £100k because that would mean I could kiss my a*** goodbye to landing the sort of nice £250k lecture job that Boris picked up this week, once my time here with the dunces is over.
Which, given this Party’s carousel movements, could be anytime soon.
Yes, yes, you’re saying that the Office of Budget Responsibility says income will fall by seven percent, taking us back to 2013.
But was that such a terrible year? Wasn’t Prince George born? A fabulous occasion! And didn’t Miley Cyrus swing on a Wrecking Ball. Great Tory symbolism or what?
But I have kept up the Triple Lock, to suggest that I do care. And some are saying, “How can a smirking, self-serving toff who’s worth £15m and spends over a ton on a trim even begin to empathise with the swelling ranks of foodbankers?”
Well, to you Scots in particular what I would say is, watch carefully what that Barnett Formula-denier John Swinney does in two weeks’ time.
Yes, I’m still forcing people to sell their parents’ homes to pay for dementia care by kicking care plans into the long grass – and isn’t that what long grass is for?
But I’d bet you that the chances of Mr Swinney tackling this crippling social cost is as likely as Eric ten Hag and Ronaldo cuddling up for a selfie.
The thing is, I’m not squeezing anybody, really. I’m gently massaging them into a position whereby the markets can breathe easy for a while and the very rich can do what they do best. Get richer.
As for you Scots, well there is really good news ahead.
Neighbours is coming back to the telly, England fans are already crying into their non-alcoholic drinks in Qatar – and you won’t be bothered by noisy postmen on Saturdays, interrupting your weekly conjugals.