Cast your mind back exactly a year.
Good news, certainly, but it’s still too early for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to hand out the cigars.
True, the Bank voted yesterday to hold the interest base rate at 5.25 per cent, rather than hike it. Many economists now think it has finally peaked.
Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, during the Bank of England Monetary Policy Report press conference on Thursday
Pictured Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt
This will come as a relief to those seeking new mortgages and businesses with borrowings.
And yes, inflation is believed to have fallen sharply, easing the cost-of-living burden on families and putting Rishi Sunak on course to meet his target of halving it.
But the growth figures are nothing to brag about. While still outgunning the ailing Eurozone, the economy is expected to flatline next year. With an election looming, that would be disastrous for the Tories.
However, in light of the Bank’s appalling track record, can any value be attached to what it says?
Disingenuously, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves tried to blame our woes on Liz Truss’s mini-Budget. How she accounts for interest rates being as high in the US is anyone’s guess.
But many voters will inevitably lay responsibility at Downing Street’s door.
In his zeal to balance the books, Mr Hunt must somehow turbocharge growth – preferably with much-needed tax cuts.
If hard-pressed voters don’t feel better off by the time they get to the ballot box, they will make sure the Conservatives feel worse.
Sir Keir’s poppy riddle
By resisting pressure from Labour politicians to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, Sir Keir Starmer is doing the right thing.
Are the MPs and councillors who are demanding Israel end military operations ignorant of the clear intentions of Hamas?
The terror group has stated it would ignore any peace deal and repeat the October 7 atrocities until Israel was wiped off the face of the map and all Jews slaughtered.
Yes, these Labour members may be moved by the plight of Palestinian civilians, but by calling for a ceasefire they are in effect lobbying for Hamas to regroup, rearm and continue its barbaric blood-letting.
Of course, Sir Keir’s stance on Gaza has infuriated many British Muslims. Is that why the Remembrance poppy he was wearing for a speech this week curiously disappeared before he filmed a video aimed at a Muslim audience?
If this was a deliberate act, it is not only disrespectful to those who sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy, it also suggests he believes some Muslim voters would be offended by such a symbol.
Isn’t the poppy meant to be worn with pride at all times?
Keir Starmer posted a video to X, formerly Twitter, aimed at a Muslim audience, where he is not wearing his poppy
Keir Starmer delivering a speech in Lonodn on Tuesday while wearing his poppy
Taken for a ride
A staggering £2.3billion of taxpayers’ money has been spent on low-traffic neighbourhoods and other anti-car schemes to encourage healthier lifestyles.
Yet according to a damning report by MPs, these controversial initiatives have failed miserably. There has, it says, been ‘no sustained increase’ in cycling and walking.
Once the pandemic ended, millions simply returned to using their vehicles.
Whether the green lobby likes it or not, cars remain the most feasible mode of transport for the overwhelming majority.
Many LTNs were imposed without proper consultation to placate eco-campaigners.
At a time when the public finances are painfully tight, doesn’t it feel like we’ve all been taken for a ride?