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On this evidence, the Chancellor would appear to be a bloodless, technocratic sort of fellow — a remorseless (as well as a rather conceited) bean-counter, eager to pump the ordinary taxpayer for all he is worth even as he indulges big companies, which are promised ever-decreasing rates of corporation tax. He plainly has not taken Mrs May’s concern for the “Jams” much to heart. Unsurprisingly, it did not take long for the Treasury and Number Ten to cross swords. Hammond’s advisers were quoted in the Sunday Times as saying that Theresa May’s aides were “economically illiterate”, while they retaliated by suggesting that the Prime Minister had not supported the rise in national insurance which had been “smuggled into the Budget”. The latter claim can hardly have been true, since the measure was trailed in the press for several days before the Budget.

Given the divergent political outlooks of Mrs May and Mr Hammond, and the pugilistic inclinations of Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, trouble may well lie ahead. It would be bad for the government and the country, particularly during delicate negotiations with the European Union, if relations between Number Ten and the Treasury were to sour. We had quite enough of that during the Blair/Brown years. That said, Mrs May and her advisers were surely right to force Mr Hammond into withdrawing his proposal for higher national insurance for the self-employed. But the cost of this strong-arming may be that both the Chancellor and the Treasury are already nursing an animus against Number Ten.

The question is the degree to which the Prime Minister can help the “Jams” and improve social justice during a period of continuing belt-tightening. It is true there are some things the government could do which might not be particularly expensive. Most of us would cheer if the rapacious energy and utility companies — so greedily oblivious to the interests of the “Jams” — were taken to task, though I don’t suppose Mr Hammond would be overjoyed. But better hospitals and schools cost money and there isn’t an awful lot of it about. Nor does the government have much, if any, room to cut income tax for lower- and middle-income earners. There is a danger that Mrs May’s inspiring talk of helping hard-pressed people will ring rather hollow as it becomes clear that her options are limited.

Moreover, such scope as the Government may have will be further reduced if there is an economic slowdown or recession, which after seven or eight years of growth may well be on the cards, since economic cycles always come to an end. Needless to say, any downturn would be immediately blamed by Remainers on Brexit, even if it were not the cause. In such circumstances, Theresa May’s position, at present so commanding, would inevitably weaken — the more so if Labour were able to eject Jeremy Corbyn and acquire a proper leader. The Tory backbench rebellion over national insurance reminds us how the government’s small overall majority leaves it extremely vulnerable. Isn’t it likely that over the next couple of years Conservative Remainers in the Commons will prove less accommodating than they turned out to be over the triggering of Article 50?

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October 16th, 2017
2:10 PM
Barnier Rubble,Halal Capone Junker and team are disgusting . How about giving the EU Ed Sheeran and Bob Geldof? Just wrap them in a big ribbon with fairy lights. With the option of adding Richard Branson and Michael Heseltine wrapped in Christmas paper and Nick Cohen decked in holly and ivy. If the EU insist on having Michael Craig Martin RA in a cardboard box for display in Brussels then Theresa May should just deliver it.

October 13th, 2017
1:10 PM
M Barnier`s `disturbing deadlock` is caused entirely by his own analism and stinginess and that of his ` mandate `. He should be showering us with gold and flowers. Obviously pro-Brexit Julie Burchill in the Spectator,Ringo,Morrissey,John Lydon and Gilbert & George mean nothing to Corbyn,May,the Green Party, the Lib Dems or the BBC`s Daily Poltics. Sterile tv studios are mandatory for discussions. Brexit is more famous than anyone.

October 10th, 2017
1:10 PM
The EU`s M Barnier is poncing about. The ball is in the EU`s court. The EU is in denial because it can`t handle Brexit at all. The EU has gone catatonic and reduced to jerking movements and irrational malevolence. Even a monosyllabic tory team should be able to win by Christmas. If there`s no deal all the countries concerned would soon be beating a path to the UK`s door. Because Brexit is a brilliant quantum leap and paradigm shift. The will of the people is for Brexittania not Remainia. Trump and Brexit have rendered the dire style of politics extinct.

October 4th, 2017
1:10 PM
Theresa May`s conference speech means she can`t be `friends` with Jeremy Corbyn ? PM Macmillan got thousands of council houses built. The Thatcherites spoilt everything.

October 3rd, 2017
5:10 PM
The only word used at the Conservative conference to describe the Brexit vote was `opportunity`. Mr Johnson thinks the `quiet revolution` is a roaring lion. And Corbyn is Mr Vampire Venezuala. Another tory minister claims we are `good Europeans` and daringly `international` and `global`. Marvellous. But at the local level it`s the atrocity of Grenfell Towers, cuts to Disability Benefits, library closures, social care cuts,evictions and debts. According to Mr Rees-Mogg even the tory members are treated appallingly by the `north Korean` tory leadership. Will Theresa May be able to express any appreciation of Brexit? A nastier then ever tory party simply virtue signalling is repellent to young and older voters. Capitalism is pagan.

September 30th, 2017
11:09 AM
I`ve already decided to vote Labour again. Corbyn was absolutely right to claim that the stars of the Labour conference were 1) the Manifesto and 2) the increasing number of Labour members and voters. The Brexiteers got rid of Cameron and Osborne but neither May nor Corbyn hail this achievement. Brexit is more punk than punk and more radical than 1968. The Tories are not. The Labour Party now is. Brexitannia not Remainia won. The Honourable Members for the 21st Century are all in the Labour Party. The Tories are all Dickensian cobwebs, stingy,anal and verging on the monosyllabic. Luxury Socialism For The Many Not The Few.

September 23rd, 2017
2:09 PM
Theresa May`s speech in Florence was an insult to the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit. She should make another speech to the Brexiteers in the UK . What does she think we want? We ordered a pizza and the Tories say they will deliver but it will take at least four years. She never mentioned the will of the people om the ingredients. The problem with our political elites is that they are too Bob Geldof when they should be pro-Brexit Ringo. In Royal Academy terms the elites refuse to listen to the Fuckosophy of (tory voters) Gilbert & George. Mrs May wants `creative` ? A quick Brexit would be creative. The EU elite hates us. Appeasing it is not leadership

July 22nd, 2017
11:07 AM
I`ve changed my mind about Theresa May. I voted for Brexit and the Labour Party.

April 19th, 2017
1:04 PM
It`s good news Theresa May isn`t doing tv debates. The other party leaders are professionally jealous of her and can only rattle their bins noisily. George Osbourne is actually leading the retreat of the anti-Mayists. The majority of voters will give Theresa May her mandate.

April 18th, 2017
5:04 PM
After her announcement for June 8 Theresa May has my vote. 17.4 million Brexiteers may well have already decided to vote for her.

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