ANDREW PIERCE: Cap'n Hindsight lacks foresight on council tax

ANDREW PIERCE: Cap’n Hindsight lacks foresight on council tax

There was a rare policy announcement last week from Captain Hindsight, aka Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who called for a block on council tax increases in April.

Yet, not for the first time, he seems completely out of step with much of his party. 

London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan had announced only days earlier that he will hike his share of the council tax by almost 10 per cent, five times the rate of inflation, and the biggest rise since he was elected in 2016.

And many of Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet represent constituencies in which Labour-run local authorities have proposed or agreed council tax rises.

They include Anneliese Dodds, the Shadow Chancellor, Angela Rayner, the Deputy Labour Leader, and Luke Pollard, who has the frontbench local government brief.

Captain Hingsight, AKA Sir Keir Starmer, seems completely out of step with much of his party

Meanwhile, Camden Council’s cabinet has agreed a report from December to raise its council tax by 5 per cent.

With a huge Labour majority in the council, the hike will go through when the new charge is set next month.

And where is Sir Keir Starmer’s Holborn constituency? Camden.

Surely picket lines are outlawed during lockdown life in Britain

How depressing to see Starmer is carrying on where his predecessors left off by backing strikers. ‘Solidarity with British Gas workers striking against attempts to fire and rehire them on worse terms,’ he tweeted. 

At least he’ll be spared the dilemma of whether to join a picket line.

Surely, they are outlawed during lockdown?

Have faith in cod, Archbishop 

Forget the miracle of the five loaves and two fish, it’s straightforward fish and chips for the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell since becoming the 98th Archbishop of York last year. 

After moving into Bishopthorpe Palace, he and his wife Rebecca have become fans of their local fish shop — called Bish and Chips.

‘I went in for our supper not so long back and asked the lovely lady behind the counter: “Why isn’t it called Archbish and Chips?” . . . and then revealed that, yes, I was indeed the “Archbish” himself.’

Archbishop of York the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell is a fan of his local chippie

What made MP turnip his toes?

This year marks a bizarre political anniversary — 140 years since Sir William Payne-Gallwey, Tory MP for Thirsk, died after tripping over a turnip while out shooting. He was 74. 

Even more bizarrely, he’s not the only MP to suffer a turnip-related death. 

Captain Lewis Fenton, a Whig member for Huddersfield, plunged to his death in 1833 after leaning out of a window to get a better view of his turnip patch. 

There is a lesson here for Yorkshire MPs: stay safe — plant spinach.

New BBC chairman Richard Sharp is said to be a Tory-supporting Brexiteer. 

He’s clearly a pragmatist. 

Asked by the Commons Culture Select Committee to give an example of the Beeb’s Left-wing bias, he cited Roadkill.

‘It depicted every Conservative as a venal villain who wants to privatise the NHS,’ he said, before adding: ‘Those aren’t even my views — it’s what the [Left-wing] New Statesman reviewer said.’ 

So what was Sharp’s view? ‘I enjoyed it.’

For the second year running, Labour MP Diane Abbott’s charity has failed to raise any donations or sponsorship. 

The Diane Abbott Foundation is designed to help young black Britons at work and in education. 

In its pomp it spent £55,000 on lavish awards ceremonies at Westminster. 

But in 2019, according to the recently published accounts, Abbott paid £748 of her own money to cover losses.

Moniker just the jab for Nab 

Newly promoted Minister for Vaccines, Nadhim Zahawi, is one of the few scientifically qualified MPs, having studied chemical engineering. 

He is also one of the richest, having co-founded the YouGov polling organisation.

An Iraqi-born Kurd, he has several buy-to-let flats in London, a home in Putney and a manor house in Warwickshire. 

He’s also a close friend of Jeffrey Archer, whose doomed London mayoral campaign he worked on. 

Archer’s affectionate nickname for him? ‘Lemon Kurd.’

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