DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Jeremy Hunt's upbeat vision for Britain's future
DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Jeremy Hunt’s upbeat vision for Britain’s future
Is this the day we can start waving goodbye to Eeyore – and look forward to welcoming Tigger?
Since becoming Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt has been like the glum donkey, with an approach to the economy that’s been decidedly glass-half-empty.
Times are tough, he says in funereal tones – and will be until discipline is restored to the nation’s finances. Families and businesses are forced to slog under the biggest tax burden in peacetime.
We are about to be dashed on the rocks of recession. And Mr Hunt has ruled out tax cuts until sky-high inflation and the towering national debt are under control. Misery heaped upon misery.
Since becoming Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt has been like the glum donkey, with an approach to the economy that’s been decidedly glass-half-empty
But what have we here? In a major speech today, the Chancellor is transformed into the most optimistic character in the Hundred Acre Wood.
With a firm swipe, he swats away the narrative peddled with unseemly relish by Labour that the country is in terminal decline. On the contrary, he says, it’s time to believe passionately in Britain.
Coupling the nation’s talent and genius with a determination to ensure our companies can exploit the freedoms gained from Brexit will be a catalyst for growth.
He is rightly confident that the UK can remain one of the world’s most attractive places to invest. Mr Hunt will focus on liberating those high-tech industries in which Britain leads the world – such as life sciences and artificial intelligence.
His commitment to enterprise and entrepreneurialism – those dyed-in-the-wool Tory values which create jobs and generate prosperity – is also welcome.
So is the desire to prioritise employment and education. Leaving the EU means organisations can no longer rely on mass immigration to fill job vacancies.
Yet this country has millions of people idling on benefits, rather than working. By training up the population, Mr Hunt can tackle this ‘something for nothing’ culture.
This all sounds promising. So far, though, it’s just talk. The Mail doesn’t doubt Mr Hunt’s good intentions. A coherent growth strategy was desperately needed.
But he needs to strain every sinew to ensure his plans aren’t scuppered by his own punishing tax regime, choking off innovation and discouraging aspiration.
A good start would be scrapping the six percentage point rise in corporation tax.
And where are concrete proposals for housing, energy and freeports? These can contribute hugely to the nation’s prosperity.
For now we will give the Chancellor a decisive thumbs up. But he must start seriously considering tax cuts.
That would ensure the Tories once again become a genuine alternative to the hideous spectre of a Labour government.
Peril of trans dogma
Isla Bryson, formerly Adam Graham, has been moved to a male jail
Nothing illustrates the dangerous insanity of Nicola Sturgeon’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill more starkly than the placing of an anatomically male double rapist in a women’s prison.
After a furious backlash, the SNP leader was forced into a humiliating U-turn, ordering sex offender Isla Bryson, formerly Adam Graham, to be moved to a male jail.
Her controversial trans reforms would make self-identifying much easier – and make women-only spaces even less safe.
Ms Sturgeon repeatedly trades in fantasy politics, such as her fixation with Scottish independence. This horrific case shows her ideologies coming into contact with the real world – outside the narrow enclaves of rabid nationalism – and backfiring spectacularly.
Labour, as ever, is in a gigantic mess over the issue. One MP despicably claimed Bryson should be ‘treated fairly’ and given support to ‘transition safely’. Anyone with an ounce of decency must despair. But that’s today’s Labour Party – always siding with the criminal, never the victim.
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