+Trump may be on his way out, but how much longer will we have to suffer his ‘mini-me’ here in the UK? Johnson’s blessing of his Home Secretary, Pritti Patel after she was clearly found to have bullied her staff(unintentionally), in breach of the so-called ministerial code demonstrates once again an attitude which places his vastly inflated judgement before any standard of accountability. This may not be the biggest story around (apart perhaps for the victims of Patel’s gross behaviour) but it is just another telling sign how the supposed self-policing norms of our unwritten constitution operate. Except of course that the ministerial code is printed in black and white.
+Throughout the Thatcher years we were led to believe that the government’s budget was very similar to a household budget, and we had to keep it ‘in balance.’ Rishi Sunak in a mini-budget next week, according to rumour is going to start a new era of austerity to get the economy back on track after the pandemic, starting with a public sector pay freeze. This is because the cost of Covid has led to the overall UK debt level reaching 100% of our GDP. Well, I say let’s go back to household budgeting. I recall when I first applied for a mortgage in the 1970s I couldn’t borrow more than 3.5 times my annual wage. The very concept of borrowing such a large amount in excess of my income caused me no alarm at all, and I wasn’t forced to go short on baked beans or anything like that. But governments aren’t households and they can do whatever they want, in accordance with their ideology, which is what we’re about to witness. Rishi gives and Rishi takes away.