Never thought I'd see it but Keir has just wiped the floor with Boris - PAUL BALDWIN | Express Comment | Comment |

2022-06-25 03:53:32 By : Ms. Amy Yang

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Yes the gargantuan profits of our beloved oil and gas firms took centre stage at PMQs, as well they might - because, whatever your political stripe, the fact BP, Shell and their mates are reporting record (and utterly jaw-dropping) profits at a time the rest of us are really starting to feel a decidedly tighter grip on our bank balances stinks to high heaven.

Just for clarity, this is not a reward for super hard work, or sharp investing.

It's just you and I paying them more of our hard-earned cash because of a complex pricing mechanism which massively rigs the market in the oil suppliers' favour.

Petrol remember was close to £1 a litre about five years ago, now we are staring down the barrel of £2 a litre.

It's a classic case of the house always wins.

The case for a windfall tax is now seems both morally and politically sound. It is also a massive vote winner. And Keir knows this.

Which made today's PMQs one of Keir's best ever performances and one of Boris's worst.

"He doesn't get it does he, he doesn't get what working families are going through?" snorted Keir. And it was hard not to conclude that he didn't, that Boris had lost that common touch which, despite his considerable wealth, had seen him win over the nation's taxi drivers and refuse collectors both as London mayor and as PM. A man you could happily have a pint with.

Today all that seemed a distant memory he felt, as the Labour leader pointed out "on the side of excess profits for oil and gas companies" and very much on the wrong side of history.

Of course Boris tried to hit back accusing Labour of being the party of punitively high taxes, which of course they are, no need to hold the front page on that one. But, as the sainted Conservative Margaret Thatcher knew, desperate times call for desperate measures - which is what led her and Geoffrey Howe to slap a very un-Tory windfall tax on the banks in 1981.

And if it's good enough for Maggie..

Not only did this generate significant income but the optics were important, she was standing up for the little people hammered by the awful recession of the early 80s.

Might want to start taking notes here Boris.

The Labour knight of the realm was right about another thing too - the momentum for a windfall tax is growing to the point it will probably become impossible to prevent.

This of course won't be the first time Boris has said one thing and done another but it should be worrying to all Conservatives that he is so not on the same page as the rest of us common folk, that his wealth (and that of his chancellor) is insulating them completely from the real horrors of the deep economic troubles Britain currently finds herself in.

Walking to shops a bit more these days? Putting off that big trip because you can't face the £100 fill-up bill? Dusted off the rusting mountain bike in the shed? Yeah, me too, and meanwhile in just the first three months of this year Shell made £7.3bn (nearly triple its profit for the same period last year) BP’s profits more than doubled to £5bn and Esso's parent company announced record profits.

And, as if to rub our noses in it, BP boss Bernard Looney (a true gift to nominative determinism) rejected calls for a windfall tax to help the poorest in Britain while proclaiming his company a "cash machine." With similar sensitivity his fiance chief Murray Auchincloss admitted: “It is possible that we are getting more cash than we know what to do with.”

Even the most pro-business, dyed in the wool true blue Tory might conclude these firms have amassed Croesus-like profits - or more accurately taken money off the rest of us -as a result of pure luck. That luck being good or bad depending on whether you are a oil giant shareholder or not.

Today Boris looked very much like a man on the side of the easy money shareholders and the company fat-cats

Conversely, and whisper it quietly, Sir Keir looked far more like a man who might actually represent the people. Perhaps even in No10.

He might even be a man you could have a pint with.

You know, next time you're in Durham I mean.

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