Andy Richardson: National unity is utterly shattered

So, how are those Brexit negotiations going?

'Burnham’s quotes will stick' - Andy Burnham's press conference over the restrictions imposed on Manchester on Tuesday
'Burnham’s quotes will stick' - Andy Burnham's press conference over the restrictions imposed on Manchester on Tuesday

The Prime Minister who promises so much and delivers so little, appears unable to manage a negotiation with a northern city.

How on earth is he expected to cope with the might of the EU? They’re laughing into their croissants at the wannabe World King.

Let’s revisit Boris’s negotiation with Andy Burnham. Manchester asks for £90 million. Per capita, it’s similar to others, so seems fair.

Government offers £60m-to-65m. Manchester says it’s a struggle, but £65m will do it. Government whips £60m off the table and humiliates him on TV. Trust? Pah. This Government has as much as Charles Ponzi.

'The people, not politicians, make sacrifices'

A pointless slew of boosterish over-promises are as much as we got. The people, not the politicians, make sacrifices.

City leaders, Brussels and business no longer listen to the Sun King – it’s a wonder they ever did.

It would be funny if lives weren’t at stake, if Boris wasn’t punishing the low paid because of some ego-fuelled vendetta against a mayor who stood up for his own.

Burnham’s quotes will stick. Yes, the PM was playing poker with Manchester, while concealing cards up his sleeve. A right regular Del Boy.

And yes, far from levelling up, he’s levelling down.

Constituencies elsewhere are being treated differently – just like special advisors get to drive to Barnard Castle or not pay a £50,000 backdated council tax bill.

At a time when Boris is supposed to bringing people together, he’s forcing them apart. Working lunches at Wetherspoons, for instance, are fine; seeing your family that evening in the same place isn’t.

'Is it now more necessary or less?'

Hospitality accounts for three per cent of Covid-19 transmission but is being hammered by Bozo the Clown and his sidekick, Matt ‘Coco’ Hancock.

Sometime ago, SAGE recommended a circuit-breaker lockdown. Given that infection rates have increased substantially since then, we might reasonably ask is it now more necessary or less?

The answer is obvious. Perhaps Bozo will come clean: "Look, we’re up against it, we can’t afford everything, we don’t know what we’re doing half the time and we’ve no idea when it will end."

Then again, perhaps he’ll play dirty with Manchester.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street is too smart to be thus caught out – and besides, despite sensibly distancing himself from their worst excesses, he’s a member of their party.

But national unity is utterly shattered. There is chaos. There is fury.

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