It’s time to end this farce. Conservative MPs need to start writing more “Dear Sir Graham” letters

Philip Hammond, under any normal circumstances, would have been fired for going off-piste in Davos. But he knew he wasn’t going to be fired which explains why he said in his speech that there would only be “very modest” changes to relations between the EU and the UK after Brexit.

Boris Johnson’s public intervention on the NHS earlier this week should have got him into hot water, but it didn’t. We understand that some of his cabinet colleagues rebuked him as they were sitting around the cabinet table, but that was it. He was only saying what the rest of us were thinking – additional NHS funding plays well in marginal constituencies. It’s good politics and a few more billions of pounds should have a positive effect on outcomes, even in our dysfunctional healthcare system, desperately in need of reform, but which is never going to be reformed whilst May is in Number 10. It isn’t rocket science, but I am sure that there are many ministers sitting around the cabinet table who think it is.

Two of the most senior Government ministers have openly criticised Government policy because they can, although in all fairness to Boris, publicly calling for more NHS spending is different to attempting to change Government policy in a speech to the World Economic Forum. Continue reading “It’s time to end this farce. Conservative MPs need to start writing more “Dear Sir Graham” letters”

Hammond may not remain as Chancellor – the only thing we do know after today’s pointless press conference

Hubris is the only word to describe it. In what will probably go down as the most pointless press conference of this general election campaign, the Prime Minister and Chancellor stood side-by-side to regurgitate the same attack lines about Labour’s manifesto. The assembled hacks had heard it all before – they had reported most of it for yesterday’s news bulletins and for today’s newspapers. So it was inevitable that questions would be asked about the relationship between the Downing Street next door neighbours.

We don’t know if Philip Hammond is going to continue as Chancellor after 8 June, and neither does he, as Theresa May refused to say. It was an unnecessary own goal – one that has been reported all day and will continue to make headlines tomorrow. This will, of course, not make an iota of difference to the election result, but that makes this pointless press conference all the more stupid. Unless you are on the delusional hard left, you already know that Labour’s manifesto is economically illiterate drivel. Labour doesn’t need anyone else to push them over a cliff; they are doing a fine job of jumping under their own steam. Continue reading “Hammond may not remain as Chancellor – the only thing we do know after today’s pointless press conference”