Tories’ joy over Big Spender, a broken wallet, would make even Shirley Bassey blush, writes HENRY DEEDES

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As Rishi Sunak sat down to the sound of loud roars yesterday, rows of dizzying eyeballs behind him began to wobble in their sockets. Conservative members were enthusiastic.

They rubbed their hands, they licked their chapped lips with undisguised joy. ‘Following!’ they got together. “Moooorrrre! “

The Chancellor smiled shyly and shook their adulation away. It was as if a feline dandy had just plunged into a nightclub and announced that the drinks were on him.

Rishi’s budget proved to be another challenge for the wallets. The kind of leather hell a footballer’s wife could go on after her boyfriend was caught red-handed with another popsy.

More money for schools, more for transport, more for prisons… more, more, more! Heavens. So this is the kind of Big Spender that Shirley Bassey warned us against.

Splatter: Rishi’s budget turned out to be another wallet-breaking expense. The kind of hell for the leather that a footballer’s wife could go on after her boyfriend is caught red-handed. Pictured: Rishi Sunak in Parliament yesterday

Will such debauchery shake our economy from its post-Covid nap? Who knows. But one thing is certain, it sent the wind in the sails to his opponents. Wily Rishi had not only stolen their clothes, but had ransacked the entire wardrobe and walked them all around Whitehall.

In the end, the opposition front bench simply sat in silence with its arms folded. You could have looked in a lifeless waiting room at a provincial train station.

For years, they demanded madness from the treasury. And here it was delivered, not by a bearded, wobbly skinned old Trot, but by a former Goldman Sachs millionaire who wears £ 90 flip flops. It is not fair !

Mr. Sunak spoke for a little over 70 minutes. Initially, we feared it would take much longer. He arrived with a speech as thick as a cinder block. Cue gasps of relief when we saw that each page only contained about two dozen words.

The kick-off was delayed for a few minutes as Vice President Dame Eleanor Laing berated the government over the amount of information leaked to the media. ‘To resign!’ shouted Labor MPs.

Rishi shot Madam Vice President one of those altar boy looks meant to show that this wouldn’t happen again.

However, the Prime Minister did not budge. He shook his head and exhaled in protest, a tuft of hair falling over his face mask. “It’s not over, your honor.”

Speaking of face coverings, the Conservatives’ front bench was again largely obscured. Rishi wore a particularly sharp number. Smooth. Dear. Hermes probably. Only this icon of the devil’s rebellion perhaps that Jacob Rees-Mogg has remained without.

More money for schools, more for transport, more for prisons… more, more, more!  Heavens.  So this is the kind of Big Spender that Shirley Bassey warned us against.

More money for schools, more for transport, more for prisons… more, more, more! Heavens. So this is the kind of Big Spender that Shirley Bassey warned us against.

Sunak’s opening remarks were greeted with a barrage of fan noises outside clearly designed to deter him. Yet it turned on despite everything. It is noteworthy how much more oomph to his lyrics than to his admittedly impressive debut two years ago. Incidentally, he has grown a few gray hairs since then. Hardly surprising.

Soon he was in his groove and lashing sound bites. He was building an economy “worthy of a new era of optimism,” he said.

He called the Conservatives “a real party of public services”. Loyal cheers erupted from PPS Andrew Griffith (Arundel and South Downs), a former Sky boss who radiates ministerial ambitions.

It did not all go smoothly. A passage on green energy briefly put us in a coma. The announcement of the reinstatement of foreign aid did not generate much enthusiasm either. With Rishi now asserting himself above the chamber, the Labor benches had quietly slipped into stasis.

The only sign of energy came from Shadow Minister of Energy Ed Miliband, who was actively trying to provide answers to Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, enlisted after Sir Keir Starmer was forced into self-isolation.

Loud cheers met with changes in the liquor law. Probably not from the SNP. Oh, they were in a bad mood.

A curious note to finish. After the shameless booster statement, there was a slight argument.

Rishi reminded everyone that it is not for him to solve everyone’s problems. “The government has its limits,” he said grimly. He was committed to lowering taxes. He wanted to reward work.

Was he quietly trying to let us know that it was more about the Prime Minister’s budget than his? Definitely one for the Westminster mischief-makers to chew on.

‘Not enough’ was Reeves’ predictable response. What a surprise. You might suck up safes dry and the job will always demand more expense. Still, she was doing much better than her boss would have. Even one of his good days. Ms. Reeves’ problem is that her opponent never seems to have bad ones.


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