THE main headline on the front of the Times yesterday was ‘Fifth of all taxpayers will now be in 40p band’. The second headline was ‘I’ll get you more jets, Sunak tells Zelensky’.
You really have to read the hard copy to appreciate fully the gaslighting, or perhaps trolling, that is involved in this juxtaposition. The paper also displayed a charming ‘bro-hug’ photo of Sunak and Zelensky, which if you haven’t thrown your cup of coffee at the wall before that point, you will after.
That tax bomb piece works as follows: ‘Rishi Sunak is facing mounting Tory unrest as he imposes the biggest tax rise since the 1970s, dragging millions of middle earners into the 40p rate of income tax. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says that many teachers, nurses and electricians are among the one in five taxpayers who will be paying a rate designed for the wealthy because of a six-year freeze on thresholds.’
Once you have taken this in, you can digest the story about the poodle Sunak hugging it up with Zelensky. Under a different headline online, we are informed that ‘Rishi Sunak has promised to spearhead an international effort to secure fighter jets for Ukraine as he pledged hundreds of long-range attack drones for Kyiv during President Zelensky’s latest visit to the UK.
‘The prime minister said training of Ukrainian pilots on western fighter jets would begin “relatively soon” but warned that the provision of planes was “not straightforward”.’
We are reminded, in case you forgot, ‘that Britain provided £2.3billion of military support to Ukraine last year, more than any country other than the US’. In the print version we were also told that Sunak announced a military aid package for Ukraine on Tuesday.
So, this is all great news, I’m sure you will agree. The thing is, the issue I have with these headlines is that ‘I’ll get you more jets, Sunak tell Zelensky’ is not quite true, is it? The people who will be getting Zelensky the new jets are the hard-pressed taxpayer, the put-upon teacher, the under-pressure nurse and the self-employed sucker of an electrician mentioned in the piece right beside the bro-hug.
How can Sunak have the face, the barefaced cheek, to ship off yet more tax-payers’ money to Ukraine when the middle classes, the fools that pay for all this, are under so much financial pressure? Why, even Hugo Rifkind talks about the debt bomb of middle-class homeowners in the Times opinion section.
I am beginning to think that the Tory party must positively hate the middle classes. Perhaps it’s because we are fools to have voted for them so long, some kind of sadomasochists who along with demanding more economically ruinous lockdown (another form of sadomasochism) have been rolling out the Ukraine bunting because some bloke on Twitter told us to. I don’t know who to be more disappointed in, the voters or the party.
And now some of the ‘hardliners’ (whatever the media like to call them) like Mogg and Braverman are falling over themselves to get to some conference called National Conservatism to tell us all how bad things are. No, that’s not how it works, you nincompoops. You don’t get to trash the place and tell us that we must vote for you again because the other guys might trash it more or would have trashed far worse than we have. How? How on earth could Labour have been any worse?
As Mark Steyn says, it is worse when the Tories do it. When you vote for Labour, you know you will get mass immigration and more tax because they tell you that’s what they stand for. At least they are honest about it and don’t lie to your face like these bunch of morons in the Tory party.
As for Russia, look, I am not some Putin apologist – he is one of the bad guys. But it might be worth making a distinction between him and the Russian people as a whole. I’m no foreign policy expert, and I know very little about Russia, but the Russian people strike me as a tough lot. We know they are viewed as totally expendable by their own government. If Putin has to sacrifice ten Russian soldiers for one Ukrainian, that’s no sweat to him. We know they have their own national myths – that they survived being invaded at least twice, once by Napoleon and then the baddest of them all, Hitler. We know they won Stalingrad and that they survived the siege of Leningrad.
Consider how much you Brits go on about the Spirit of the Blitz and rationing. Well, the siege of Leningrad was a bit like that, only 2,000 times worse in that thousands froze to death and those who didn’t freeze instead starved once they ran out of wallpaper to eat, and a fair few who did survive did so by eating their neighbours, not that the Russian officials will admit to that.
So, Sunak and the rest of hardliners need to stop funding this forever war off the backs of the teachers, nurses, and electricians (two of those three are striking) and start to end this war. And please, spare me the hugs.