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Tuesday 20 October 2020

Manchester - Tories Taking The Piss

Alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals have a problem: a political leader who knows his subject, who is prepared to stand his ground and fight for a decent deal for his constituents. Thus Bozo and Co have tried to impose a Tier 3 Covid-19 lockdown on Greater Manchester, only to come up against Mayor Andy Burnham.

Burnham is not averse to Tier 3 in principle, but to the idea of not compensating those whose lives and livelihoods are set to be adversely affected by it. The Tories have been taken aback: what is this strange concept of elected politicians caring about those ghastly lower orders? Bozo clearly can’t handle the idea, and has left the field of play. Instead, the Government is being represented in this clash by communities minister Robert Jenrick.

Sadly for the Tories, Jenrick against Burnham is a mismatch. As the BBC has reported, “Mr Jenrick said local leaders had been ‘so far unwilling to take the action that is required to get this situation under control’”, which is not true. What is true is that when Jenrick, or someone on his behalf, leaked his ultimatum to the media, Burnham saw him coming.

So there was more. “Speaking to Today, Mr Burnham described the government's ‘late-night ultimatum briefed to the media’ as a ‘slightly provocative move’, but he said he was going to ‘try and find a way forward’. He said local leaders had never been given a figure for additional financial support in return for further restriction”. So what’s on offer?

Pippa Crerar of the Mirror had the letter sent by Jenrick to Burnham and local council leaders. “This is [the] letter sent to Greater Manchester council leaders: Govt offering them £22m for 2.8m ppl and is ‘open’ to looking at more to support local biz. Lancashire got £42m for 1.5m ppl. Merseyside got £44m for 1.5m ppl. One GM politician tells me: ‘Utter pisstake’”. Looks like it. So what figure might prove more acceptable?

An alternative reading is that if Merseyside and Lancashire, with their populations of 1.5m each, got £42/ £44m, then GM with its population of 2.8m could get around £75m after more discussions. This, of course, is the figure that was flying around earlier today”. The Tories are trying to do this one on the cheap by imposing a Tier 3 order today.

But here a problem enters: Jenrick, as was picked up during his interview the other Sunday on The Andy Marr Show™, his own constituency, Newark (population just over 105,000, or around 4% that of Greater Manchester), was handed an additional £25 million recently - to spend, it seems, as local politicians saw fit.

Scaled up, that would mean Greater Manchester should receive £625 million. That’s what puts Jenrick in one of those Very Difficult Positions. So perhaps he should quit pissing around and offer Burnham the £75 million Ms Crerar mentioned.

Coronavirus versus Cronyvirus. It’s a game of two halves. Halves, and halves not.

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grim northerner said...

The qanon in me is thinking, 'he whom will reign down fire on the the gammon, And he (will) burn ham!

Anonymous said...

Will Manchester now be dubbed Self Pity City?

There are precedents.....