March 13, 2018 02:20:58by

Philip Hammond's propaganda and the true state of Tory-run Britain

Philip Hammond\'s propaganda and the true state of Tory-run Britain

Philip Hammond had promised a brief Spring Statement.

The only reason it overran to nearly 30 minutes was because he was so busy congratulating himself.

This was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Philip Hammond party.

And, as with all pieces of propaganda, the Chancellor was under the illusion that if you say something often enough, however tenuous its relationship to the truth, people will believe it.

Britain was, he told us, an outward-looking, free trading nation and a “force for good in the world.”

The economy was performing wonders, he claimed, and “good progress” was being made on Brexit.

Perhaps in Mr Hammond’s favourite children’s books such a world exists.

Those who are witnessing the decay in our public services, who are in insecure jobs and struggling on stagnant wages, may beg to differ.

It is was telling the Chancellor got his defence in early.

Those who dare challenge his rosy vision were “talking Britain down.”

At risk of provoking Mr Hammond’s faux-patriotic ire, it should be noted that national debt has doubled to £1.74trillion and is set to rise to £1.83trilion next year, real wages are down by 10.7% and Britain is the worst performing economy of the G20 group of nations.

This is not a script from Winnie the Pooh but from Alice Through the Looking Glass.

The Government’s own analysis shows that whatever path of Brexit the Government pursues we will be worse off.

Local councils are on the brink of bankruptcy, social care is dangerously under-funded and the NHS in a state of perpetual financial crisis.

In such circumstances, the Chancellor’s vague promise that he would open the wallet for more public spending in the Autumn was at best complacent and at a worse negligent.

If there is an explanation for this caution, it is because the uncertainty of Brexit means he may be unable to meet this pledge.

Instead of a 28-minute puff piece, it would have been better if heard some candour from the Chancellor.