Written by ‘Norman’

 

One has to feel sorry for poor old Dishy Rishi (well not really but there you are).  Two years ago he was, according to the media experts, the best thing since sliced bread was invented.  He’d got everyone’s back and the media and the political class along with the middle income earners were relieved that the warm embrace of the state was to look after everyone.

There were few, if any, voices of opposition making much objection to the fact that although draconian restrictions were in place on the whole country which meant that many would find their entire business life disrupted and in many cases destroyed, finance and benefits, grants and loans would be available which would soften the blow.  Others of course, in the parlance of ‘yuck’ speak used by modern day politicians, would fall through the net – collateral damage if you like.

The last few months have been very interesting to say the least.  Supply chains across the world were going to be disrupted and cause all sorts of shortages in any sector you care to mention; shortages mean if there is money available there will be an inevitable rise in costs and prices. Take farming.  Wheat has double in price in the last year, a shortage of fertilizer again causes price rises, the end result is that many meat producers can’t make ends meet and could go out of business because their rising costs are not being met by the big supermarkets. So don’t be surprised if there is a shortage of chicken nuggets or pork chops later this year.

Want a new car? Shortages mean that the same thing has happened, there are reports of buyers paying a premium of up to £30K over full list price to get a new Range Rover.   Shades of the 1970s then when buyers did the same thing and advertised in the quality press thousands above list price for your nearly new Jaguar XJ6, the car of the moment.

Now, as the cost of  fuel, domestic heating and lighting, food and just about everything else apparently, rises by the day, diesel (which by the way is considerably cheaper to produce than petrol) is around £1.85 to £1.90 at our local garage and fluctuates daily despite the wholesale price on the ‘spot ‘ market being stable.

Our household energy bill is apparently set to be around £2,800 in the near future, which is eye-watering to say the least. It is no wonder that the nation, now used to being given free money for staying at home, free money to eat out (remember that?), loans for this, grants for that, is shouting that ‘more’ must be done.  What about the workers you may well ask, but that is well in hand as rail workers have given their backing for a national strike.  Never mind that most of it was nationalised during the pandemic and without government aid packages many would have lost their jobs, they want ‘their’ way of life protected.  By the way when the last of the large-scale motor industry failed in the 90s, a Labour government was in power.

In the last few weeks the clamour in the media has been for Rishi and Boris to do something and throw more borrowed money at the problem, and, as we saw on Thursday, that’s just what has been done.   Boris: “There’s a problem Rishi.  I want solutions, preferably a Conservative solution.”  You can just imagine the reaction from the treasury mandarins.  “Well, we’ve thrown money at every sector you can think of, protected jobs, found the money to increase the civil service by 24,000
people last year, given millions in aid to Ukraine.  The only thing we can do is borrow and print, just as before.”

Isn’t that a bit, well, socialist, you may ask. Well of course, but that’s the way the country is heading.  We have a population that has become accustomed to cheap money and state intervention and now an increasingly unpopular government sees the only way out is to keep the people happy.

But which people?  Well there’s the 5.72 million public sector workers on the books for a start and although they don’t all vote Tory they need to be kept on side. Then there are the pensioners, the ones drawing the state pension, there’s 12.4 million of them and the 4 million on pension credit, disability, carers allowance or job seekers all need to be kept on side.

There are 23 million plus in full time jobs, the highest for years, but personal debt has now reached 130% of income – but as long as that’s serviceable what’s the problem, all of these need to be kept ‘on side’ too.

Now you may think that the Tory media would be awash with compliments at the way in which Rishi has managed to turn on the free hand-out tap again, but not so.  The odour has been thick, sticky and damming.

The Labour press are screaming that it was their idea all along.  Well, at least they have had an idea at long last.  Whether or not you think it’s a good one remains to be seen at the next general election.  The comment section of  one ‘quality‘ broadsheet this morning was running at about 10 to 1 against Rishi and Boris: ‘This is not a Conservative policy’, ‘Like much Boris has done, it’s socialist’, ‘If I wanted this sort of government I’d have voted for Labour’, and of course the ‘I and my entire family circle and friends will never ever vote Tory again, especially if Boris is still PM’.

The media is divided.  The ones claiming to represent middle England, middle class, middle earners are mostly against, the others claiming to represent the middle income but with working class attitudes and pensioners.  Presumably state pensioners are broadly for, so if this is an attempt to keep much of the retired ‘red wall’ on side it could well work.

We are almost into summer, the spending boom following the furlough payments is still, although slowing, going on – try getting a builder for example. Holidays abroad bookings are up, house prices in some areas are stabilising.  There’s the feel-good factor of the Jubilee holidays next week, the kids are on holiday and many people will use up accrued holiday entitlement which means they can have extra days off.

So here is a theory.  The shortages and inflation will start to hit later this year, NHS waiting lists won’t seem so bad in the summer, the rail strike won’t hit commuters particularly badly this time with thousands still working from home or have decided to commute using that cheapo small car they bought in the pandemic because of the fear of rail travel.  In any case, outside of the south east and the M25 that’s not really an issue as public transport is so poor anyway. Then there is the Northern Ireland issue; it looks fairly unlikely that the EU will compromise, so the talks to save it will drag on and on through the summer.

So why not call a snap general election while all the feel good factors are in place, and make it a Brexit election along the lines of ‘we need now to be decisive as we have shown we can be with help for Ukraine the, Covid rollout and financial help for the most needy in our communities. We need now, though, to take decisive action over the ECHR to solve our immigration problems and the Northern Ireland Protocol.  So make no mistake, this is what this election is about – give us the mandate and we will do the job.’  I’m sure you get the idea.

Of course the usual, ‘we don’t believe it’ and all the other objectors will be there along with the CBI, the BBC and Rejoin MPs with the pro EU Labour, Liberal and Green Parties.

The ‘I will never vote Tory again’ middle Englanders will be there having the usual tantrums in the comment sections of various media outlets, but when it becomes apparent what a LablibGreen pact or alliance will do to them, their families and the country, they certainly will.

The Conservative party knows that it’s having the last drink in the last chance saloon. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see a general election at the end of the summer.  Time will tell.

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