Ghost train

“By long tradition, Parliament has had ultimate control over the Government’s purse strings. It must permit major spending specifically. Without this power it is just a mascot or a toy. That power has been abolished. Back in March, unnoticed by almost everyone, Parliament vastly increased the Government’s freedom to spend what it liked. The old limit, for emergency spending, was increased from a mere £11billion to almost £270billion a year. I cannot say where or how this will end. It is my own growing belief that Johnson and Hancock do not understand what they are doing. Their decision to strangle our struggling economy once again in an alarmist shutdown is one of panic piled on panic and is visibly destroying the NHS they claim to be saving, as well as laying waste to those jobs and businesses they have not yet ruined or obliterated. I see them as two schoolboys on the footplate of an old-fashioned steam locomotive, clattering into deepening twilight, too scared to call for help, too vain to admit their error. They started it moving by accident, foolishly pulling and pushing at levers whose functions they did not know. Now they cannot find the brakes. The safety valves are blocked. The whistle screams, the pace gathers. Alas, the rest of us are trapped in the lurching, bucketing train behind them, unable to reach or influence them, let alone stop them.” - Peter Hitchens, ‘The dictators have taken over – and we didn’t even notice’, The Mail on Sunday, 1st November 2020.

9 November 2020