He was in dire want of a handkerchief. Boris Johnson was honking and sniffling all of the over the place. Ruddy hay fever.
‘It’s very, excellent to be right here in…Blackpool,’ Boris introduced. Phew. First catastrophe averted. That little pause should have felt like a lifetime to his aides.
Wouldn’t shock me if one had written ‘Blackpool’ in large capital letters on the palm of his hand.
The Prime Minister had ventured North yesterday to make a speech. Ostensibly, this was alleged to be the launch of the extension to Margaret Thatcher’s Proper-To-Purchase scheme, which he hopes will ring aspirational voters’ ding-a-lings.
Boris Johnson seen returning to Downing Road this morning
Following latest travails, it felt extra of a pc reboot of his premiership.
Our venue was Fylde School, the place the PM had spent the morning with building college students giving him a lesson in bricklaying. There was glee on Boris’s face as they combined the cement – he was most likely fantasising about making Jeremy Hunt a pair of concrete footwear.
We heard about rip-off petrol costs, a return to dizzying mortgage money owed and, er, tariffs on olives and bananas. Nicely, a minimum of he didn’t begin rabbiting on about Peppa Pig once more. Presentation-wise, he was a bit sheepish. The well-known Johnsonian bravura was briefly provide. He appeared to me like a schoolboy who’d simply emerged from the headmaster’s research after a heavy dose of the slipper. Which in a method, after Monday night time’s drama, I suppose he had.
By way of content material, nevertheless, there was loads of pink meat for conventional Tories to chew on. Nice juicy chunks of prime tenderloin in reality – guarantees to chop taxes (finally) and cut back childcare prices.
He additionally vowed to ease off on the Wag-style spending splurges. Rishi Sunak at this level should have been treating the Treasury to a rendition of Hallelujah. Channelling Mrs T, Boris introduced that ‘sometimes the best thing is for Government to just get out of the way’. A return to a low tax/low regulation authorities, in different phrases. Whisper it, amigos – the penny would possibly lastly have dropped.
The viewers definitely appeared to love what they heard. At one level, they even cheered him. The nation was as soon as once more ‘steering into the wind’, mentioned Boris.
Costs are on the up and up – grocery purchasing, power payments, the ‘spooling digits on petrol pumps’. Taxes, he admitted, had been too excessive. ‘It is an aberration,’ he declared. Then got here that barely surreal bit about olives and bananas. Why will we pay tariffs on them after we don’t produce any right here?
‘This is a truly amazing and versatile country, but, as far as I know, we don’t develop many bananas, not even in Blackpool,’ mentioned Boris. Cue nervous laughter.
Ultimately we received to the nub of the speech. Underneath new proposals, he hoped to ‘unbolt the door to home ownership’.
The Prime Minister ventured to Blackpool yesterday to make a speech
He needed to ‘turn benefits into bricks’ by permitting Common Credit score to be counted as revenue when taking out a mortgage.
He additionally needed to widen the mortgage market, growing entry to loans of as much as 95 per cent of a property’s worth. Hmmm. Is that sensible? Fairly positive we went there earlier than the 2008 crash. As I recall, all of it ended quite badly. What else? He was in opposition to pay rises, which might gasoline inflation.
He received in just a few customary digs at London Mayor Sadiq Khan for failing to construct sufficient homes. Oh, and he had a brand new slogan he was making an attempt out. ‘We’re in your facet,’ he mentioned on quite a few events. Should say it was a bit Nick Clegg for me. The type of irritating factor constructing societies placed on their adverts earlier than they flip you down for a mortgage and demand you clear your overdraft. The BBC’s new political editor, Chris Mason, was the one hack to ask in regards to the confidence vote.
He additionally introduced up feedback that former Tory Occasion chief William Hague made this week, evaluating the PM to somebody ‘trying to drive along the M1 with flat tyres’.
Boris wasn’t completely satisfied. However he mentioned he’d enable it because the BBC was a ‘venerated organisation which I love’. Every time Boris begins pouring sugar on one thing, it normally means he loathes it As for Hague, the PM resisted questioning out loud what number of elections he’d received again when he was Tory chief. However I guess you something he did so in personal. Anyway, a day stuffed with guarantees. Now he’s received to ship. Or, like Hague, he’s destined for the political graveyard.