Spend, spend, spend ... is this wise, Boris?
NOTORIOUSLY, when her husband won the equivalent of £3million on the football pools in 1961, housewife Viv Nicholson vowed to ‘spend, spend, spend’.
Could Boris Johnson, man of letters and historian, have set aside his volumes of Greek Classics and picked up her memoirs?
Not only has he ordered a £1billion blitz to prepare the country for a No Deal Brexit, in just four days he’s unveiled a raft of enticing – but costly – funding pledges. Mr Johnson has explained to EU negotiators that while he wants a pact, if an acceptable one can’t be struck, Britain will leave on october 31 – ‘no ifs, no buts’.
Mule-headed as ever, Brussels refuses to ditch the major obstacle – the hated irish backstop, which manacles the UK to the sclerotic bloc (despite accepting customs checks could happen away from the border).
The Mail believes getting Britain shipshape for No Deal is eminently sensible.
if Brussels – profoundly worried about the economic shockwaves – sees Mr Johnson is serious, it may offer last-minute concessions. if not, the UK is immeasurably better placed to ride out any turbulence.
However, Downing street has gone further – wrenching open the spending hydrants.
Announcements include a £3.6billion windfall to revitalise run-down towns and cities, 20,000 extra police to combat rising crime and new high-speed transport links.
Yes, Mr Johnson has ruled out a snap election. But he’s in full campaign mode – touring the country, making big speeches and firing out popular policies – just in case he gets caught between the EU devil and the remainer Parliament’s deep blue sea.
Ploughing huge sums of money into public services is a brazen pitch to disaffected Labour voters in Leave- supporting heartlands – as well as one Nation Tories.
Already, one poll has the Tories ten points ahead – their biggest lead for months.
But how will Mr Johnson fulfil these extravagant promises? it’s suspected he has written ioUs on the £26billion buffer ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond squirrelled away to mitigate any chaos from No Deal.
Through a decade of good housekeeping, the Conservatives have repaired public finances ruined by Labour’s improvidence.
Mr Johnson should be careful that an orgy of profligacy doesn’t jeopardise their reputation as the party of prudence.
Viv Nicholson did indeed ‘spend, spend, spend’. And she ended up penniless.