‘I can’t put into words how awful this is’ remarks one Tory MP. The party is split not on the kind of policy issue that people can debate but on the question of one man: the Prime Minister. Neither side is finding this struggle rewarding. The Johnson loyalists feel that they spend all day trying to bail water out of the boat, only to be hit by another wave as yet another story breaks. Those who want Johnson gone fear that the police investigation may slow every-thing down and that the current mantra, ‘Wait for the Sue Gray report’, will simply morph into ‘Wait for the Met report’.
I must offer my support to Luke Main and Dr Joanna Brunker, who as a consequence of their fervent Christian beliefs refused to sell their house in Surrey to a gay couple. It shows a certain principle, no? I recently sold my house in Kent and being a Christian should really have made a similar sort of stipulation — but the truth is that such is my avarice I’d have flogged the property to the campest old queen in the country if he’d offered a few quid over the asking price.
‘The main job of a government is to ensure that the economics don’t go wrong.’ So argued an economist friend of mine to me many years back. And I must admit that my first response was uncommonly cynical. ‘Well, you would say that, wouldn’t you?’ I replied. ‘You’re a political economist.’ It is to be expected. In the same way a military-defence type might say that the most vital job of government is to be able to defend these islands and project military force.
I know that all must have prizes in the Victimisation Olympics these days, but when I heard a bicycle-rider on Radio 5 Live this week complaining about being ‘dehumanised’ and ‘othered’, I really knew we’d reached peak woo-woo with the ceaseless self-pity of cyclists.
‘What’s the magic word?’ our mums used to ask us. Today it’s not ‘Please’ but ‘Mine!’ as various groups jostle for attention and funding. If you’re in a wheelchair I get your point — ramps all round! But it is ludicrous for those voluntarily on two wheels rather than forced to be on four to act all aggrieved.
Justin Webb is normally one of the least self-righteous BBC presenters, but he was out-Maitlising rivals on the Today programme on Tuesday. In that special, shocked tone broadcasters usually reserve for stories about racism or paedophilia, Webb contrasted ‘the final goodbyes not said’ by those who followed the rules with the Prime Minister’s birthday party/gathering in the Cabinet Room. He quoted Adam Wagner, ‘the human rights lawyer and Covid rules expert’, that it had been ‘obviously a birthday party’.
‘Market turmoil’ looks set as the theme of the week, so let’s take a close look at a trading arena more prone to mayhem than most. Why has bitcoin lost half its value since November?
First, I could make a case that since crypto investment has become at least a small part of many mainstream portfolios, its prices tend to respond to the same signals that influence conventional share indices — rather than following fantasy flight paths of their own.