“Too many notes, Mozart. Very good effort but too many notes.”
Keir Starmer was saying that the British public wanted to tell the Conservatives to “eff off” and the PM was saying, “A £100,000 mortgage locked in six months before the end with savings £350 a month with a new deal AND repossessions prohibited 12 MONTHS after the first missed payment. TWICE as generous as Labour’s!”
What administrative arpeggios he can improvise – the audience really needs a degree in public policy to appreciate our prime minister as he deserves. Keir’s adenoidal adagio rather cut through, the Alastair Campbell school of rhetoric: Eff off Prime Minister.
He had tied it to the Tory candidate at Tamworth who had gone on the record as advising beneficiaries to “f*** off,” and categorised it as “official government policy.” He called for a general election “so that the British public can return the compliment.”
With his weakness for the underdog, your correspondent is firmly on the side of the prime minister. When Keir brought up the case of Anna Lisa who had been no-fault evicted, I struggled not to heckle, “Laffer effects! It’s Laffer!”
“What other message could she possibly take?” he asked.
The correct message – and no details are necessary – is that making evictions easier will increase the supply of rental properties and thus bring rents down, making life both easier and cheaper for renters. Agreed it’s a variation on Laffer rather than the opening theme, but with time and tuition, Anna Lisa would see the logic and the beauty of it. With an intensive program of door-to-door economic one-on-ones, our country would be ready for a Tory government in – what – 150,000 years?
A Welsh MP accused the prime minister of “failing to unite the country”. That’s not really true, is it, judging by the polls.
There were several calls from oppositions for something called a “humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza. It was said in various ways to be “the only way to stop the conflict escalating beyond control.” There was also a demand for a Palestinian state as a solution to the situation.
They seemed very sure of themselves and their assertions. You might think that they know something the rest of us don’t. Some sort of classified intelligence, or deep, submarine knowledge of world affairs. But, the reality is that, mostly, these opinions are those of blokes in pubs. As with so much in the Middle East, every opinion creates an equal and opposite opinion. Only one fact probably doesn’t. If Hamas hadn’t converted their water pipes into rocket launchers, no Gazans would be be thirsty today. What that does to our moral responsibilities is hard to say – but it’s not nothing.
To end on a kinder, gentler note: Keir began by welcoming the by-election victor of Mid-Beds. Rishi asked to join him, saying he suspected the new Member would support him more than the last one. Cross-party joy. It created a lovely bubble of illusion in which it was possible to believe that there is something deeper than politics, some British thing that can be activated and deployed in times of great division. It lasted as long as a bubble..