The first time a Socialist paw
is laid on a bottle of Krug and
Brown’s ‘waste, not, want not’
policy will be toast

When John Major exposed his ‘back to basics’ strategy to the world, it sniggered and winced in equal proportions. It sniggered because it knew it was doomed to fail with the first dropping of a Tory MP’s pants and winced because it knew just how silly Major was about to look. Now Brown is at it.

A propos Major, I winced a lot, for, human failing and frailty being what it is, not least the lawyer’s stock-in-trade, I knew it would be only a short moment or two before the first Tory adulterer was smoked out of the woodwork. So it proved to be, to nobody’s surprise.

We fondly believed at the time that it was, however, to John Major’s surprise as he emerged blinking into the sunlight every time yet another Tory was caught in flagrante delicto, apparently puzzled as to this unexpected rash of personal failings in his colleagues as the likes of Mellor, Yeo and so on were found to have been engaged in this or that piece of naughtiness. In fact he was well at it himself with the unspeakable Edwina Currie, so he was later to suffer the double blow of being thought a rank hypocrite and immensely stupid to boot.

What, I hear you ask, has all this to do with Our Dear Leader? Has the Son of the Manse been found engaged in some steamy ménage à trois above Number 10?

Sadly, no: were it so, he might find himself to be rather more liked as a man by dint of having an unexpected but racy flaw in his character. That is about as likely, however, as finding him voting for the BNP.

No, his claim to boobydom has come with his having, whilst on his way to a big beano in Japan where there will surely be wall-to-wall sushi on offer, urged us all to stop wasting food: (‘waste not, want not‘, in The Times, for example). Indeed the Daily Politics today reports that indeed there will be shedloads of suchi, foie gras, Perigord Black Truffles, sea urchins and something called ‘G8 pate’ (glutinous and indigestible, I dare say) at no less than eight official troughing sessions down to which the G8 Nabobs will be sitting: Guido has managed to snaffle from somewhere a copy of a menu for one of the G8 days which demonstrates the sort of belt-tightening McStalin has in mind.

I confidently predict that, given the propensity for political hacks and The Ovine & The Bovine troughing in close proximity to one another, it will not be long before John Prescott is spotted leaving his fourth helping of steak and kidney pudding half finished, at which point the charge of hypocrisy will swiftly be levelled. Or a particularly good party at the home of Champagne Socialist Shaun Woodward will have every last loving detail of the tartinas on offer and just how many bottles of Sainsbury’s own brand of vintage Champagne were required to wash them all down lovingly splashed all over the front pages.

It also sits pretty poorly with his failure to get his Ministers to vote for a curtailment of the system of allowances and expenses enjoyed by MPs, so that he has chosen to call for some serious literal belt-tightening by 59,999,354 of us whilst the other 646 have, by his conspicuous dearth of leadership, been urged to continue to spend, spend, spend.

McStalin is often said to be be the most cerebral of politicians of his, or indeed, if you can believe it, of any day. I reckon that pretty well every major decision (and a fair chunk of the little ones, too) he has made since the spring of 2007 have actually proved to be indications of serial boobiness. This one certainly has ‘booby factor ten’ written all over it.

More to the point, this is a remarkable statement for a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to feel he has to make. Since the ending of rationing in the early 1950s we have not really had to think much about parsimony in the kitchen as a way of life. Indeed the whole thrust of the intervening fifty years had been a solid increase in consumption across the board, such that we now have a serious problems with obesity in the UK.

It speaks instead of a time of gloom and doom for huge swathes of the British electorate who will be wondering just whose fault all this is. They will quickly fix on McStalin.

Now this dour Socialist apparatchik finds himself urging an electorate which already hates him to relearn the virtues of corned beef hash and currying the left-overs from the weekend joint of beef. Not so much ‘back to the 1970s’ as ‘back to the 1940s’.

Woolton Pie, anyone?