AND the patronising acronym of the day is “Jam”. Prime minister Theresa May likes to spread the ‘jam’ and is always mentioning people who are “just about managing”.
Whether this translates into real and useful action, or is merely a spot of acronymic annoyance remains to be seen, whatever tinkering we see in today’s Budget.
Still, it does present a theme. Personally, I am just about managing not to ignite with irritation every time I hear whatever Nigel Farage is up to now. I thought that man wanted his life back. So why is he still fulling his role as the inflamed pimple on Britain’s arse? Every time we try to get comfortable, we become aware that the Pimple is back.
The interim leader of Ukip is in the headlines after President-elect Donald Trump called in a tweet for Farage to be made Britain’s ambassador to Washington. The only possible response to this suggestion, short of swearing, is: You what?
Perhaps this is what people mean when they say admiringly that Trump is a deal-maker: there The Donald goes again, making another deal on Twitter. Is he going to run his presidency on Twitter; and will he be declaring war on countries in 140 characters? Or is deal-making merely a businessman suggesting that one of his mates should get the job? God, what a world.
Strangely, there are people who warm to the idea of Ambassador Farage, and in the Daily Express the columnist Leo McKinstry says that “conventional wisdom” has “been found wanting”, and that: “New thinking is necessary… the idea of Mr Farage taking charge at our Washington embassy should be treated with seriousness rather than a shudder.”
New thinking? Well, I just tried that. And no thank you. Shudders all round, I’m afraid. It is none of Trump’s business who we choose to have as our ambassador for Washington. I have just discovered that we have one already and he is called Sir Kim Darroch. A spokesman for Theresa May said that he was “an excellent ambassador who only took up post in January and traditionally they serve for four years or even longer”.
Good luck to Sir Kim, whoever he is, and please don’t appoint Farage to anything at all. Unless there is a vacancy on Mars
Interestingly, there are parallels between Britain post-Brexit and the US pre-President Trump. You will recall, possibly with that shudder again, that all sorts of rash promises and dire threats characterised the referendum debate in this country. And once the unexpected result was in, the hasty promises – wasn’t it £350 million a day for the NHS if we left? – evaporated in an instant.
In the same way, Team Trump is now quietly dropping various policies and promises that helped him win: that Mexican wall might not be built; Obama-Care will stay in some form; oh, and Hillary Clinton won’t be imprisoned after all because she isn’t a criminal but just needs time out and some ‘understanding’.
Oh, and those racists and white supremacists of the alt-right whose rabid backing helped Trump win the presidency? Trump doesn’t support them one bit, telling a group of New York Times journalists: “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group. And if they are energized I want to look into it and find out why.”
He might have to give that one an inwards glance, as the so-called alt-right were inspired and somehow legitimised by his candidacy.
As for that jam, The Sun is in favour of Philip Hammond’s proposals for Budget day, declaring in a headline: “What, jam, thank you Hamm” – which is as snappy as it probably is misleading
Today I am sticking with the Guardian view: “While Mr Hammond’s giveaways may be considered rabbits out of a hat, they are rather small bunnies. In the UK, the richest 1% own a quarter of the country’s wealth… if Mr Hammond were serious about evening up the economy, he would try to tackle that giant gap.”
Time to pierce those big fat jammy doughnuts.