WITH every move and utterance Chancellor Philip Hammond seems determined to prove himself a liability to this Government.
So many of its woes are down to him.
It is Mr Hammond and his aides who have led a Remain resistance from Downing Street, scuttling no-deal preparations and ceaselessly doom-mongering.
It is Mr Hammond who, just as Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab talked up the benefits of a no-deal, undermined him by publishing his own dire warnings.
And it is Mr Hammond who sabotaged Theresa May’s mission to help the “just about managings”. In his very first disastrous Budget he tried, and failed, to raise National Insurance for self-employed strivers. Has he learned? No.
Now he intends to scrap a tax cut for White Van Man and a scheme helping hard-up Brits to start a business. He is plotting to hit drivers with the first fuel duty rise in years. And not content with taxing fizzy drinks, he targets the CUPS.
One sneaky grab after another, from people already struggling. What part of “just about managing” doesn’t he grasp?
Mr Hammond is a glum, grey, blinkered bean-counter with no vision, political nous or clue how hard life is for the low-paid. His instincts, not to lower taxes from a 30-year high but to raise them, have no place in a Tory Treasury.
Can the upcoming Budget reprieve him? We doubt it.
SOME rail services are a disgrace, a grotesque betrayal of paying customers.
So we welcome the review into their future. If it nails the myth that renationalisation is the answer, all the better.
A frustrated public seems keen to take trains back into state hands. Older people have only dim memories of British Rail’s endless strikes, late trains, filthy carriages and lousy food. Younger generations weren’t born to experience it.
Some private firms do run a great service. Others give the system a bad name.
Fares are too high and absurdly complex. Franchises are regional monopolies with no need to compete — all of them vulnerable to union blackmail.
It is high time Transport Secretary Chris Grayling got to grips with it.
THE Lib Dems won’t fool anyone with the “rebranding” Vince Cable fancies.
The “New Liberal Democrats” would not be new, liberal or democratic.
The Lib Dems won’t fool anyone with the ‘rebranding’ Vince Cable fancies[/caption]
Reheated Blair ideas aren’t new.
A party committed to state regulation of the Press and maintaining the EU’s protectionist trade policies isn’t liberal.
And champions of democracy don’t fixate on overthrowing the biggest ballot box mandate in our history.
Back to the blank slate, Vince.
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