IF owning your own home is the British dream, then losing your family home is our collective nightmare.
Margaret Thatcher wasn’t revered because she drove a Challenger tank, or because she invaded the Falkland Islands, or because the Russians called her the Iron Lady.
Thatcher was loved because she enabled millions of people to own their own homes.
In 1980, Thatcher’s Right To Buy program resulted in more than 2.5 million community tenants buying their own homes.
Working-class families suddenly had a stake in society they never had before. It made them Tories for life.
And it works the other way around.
When working families lose their homes because they can’t pay their mortgages after years of Tory government, they will never vote for Tory again.
Liz Truss has been Prime Minister for less than a month.
Those who already want to put Liz in the dustbin of history hate the Tories, hate Brexit and hate Truss – the Remainer-turned-Brexiteer-born-again.
But the fear of losing our homeland is real. It affects anyone who has a mortgage — or anyone applying for a mortgage.
Thatcher understood the desire of working people to own their own home. But she didn’t invent striving.
My father was a greengrocer. Dad never shared the contents of his pay package with me, but I imagine he never made much more than minimum wage in his entire working life.
But two extra jobs took us from a rented flat above the shop where he worked to a semi-detached house in the Essex suburbs. I grew up there. My parents lived and died there.
The dream of home ownership was there long before Thatcher.
But Maggie made it a reality for millions.
What is happening to the fledgling government of Liz Truss is almost the opposite of Maggie Thatcher.
Much ado about Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is overheated waffle.
The 45 percent tax rate – abolished by Kwarteng – did not exist during Tony Blair’s ten-year tenure.
The 45 percent rate was only introduced by Gordon Brown, a spectacularly screwed up Labor prime minister who never won a general election.
The tax rate of 45 percent is not the basis for everything decent and good in our country.
But the horror of rising mortgage payments is undeniable.
We had forgotten what mortgage anxiety felt like. And now we remember.
I was living in my first apartment when mortgage rates were at their highest in modern history.
In 1981 the average annual rate was almost 17 percent. I vividly remember waking up in the middle of the night sick and worrying about how to make that next payment.
After many years of rock-bottom interest rates, we’d forgotten that those nice glossy ad mortgage lenders can take your home away from you – and certainly will – if you can’t pay your mortgage.
Borrowers have been allowed to take a break from mortgage payments during Covid. Why can’t this happen now?
If mortgage Armageddon is not averted, the Tories are headed for annihilation in the next general election.
When I pointed out that Jeremy Corbyn’s career was doomed to fail, I always wondered – why would anyone vote for a Labor Party they hate?
And today there is an equally brutal equation.
Why would you vote for a Tory party that did nothing when your family lost their home?
Kens is a no-go as a BoJo
SOME critics have complained that this England, Sky’s Boris Johnson drama is no laughs.
But neither is it easy to make a comedy about the worst public health emergency to hit mankind in 100 years.
It’s true the giggles are rare, relying mostly on Kenneth Branagh’s Boris Dylan the dog chasing down Downing Street, poop bag in hand.
But as a pure drama, This England is something of a masterpiece.
Because it tells the true story of fallible politicians and their Oxbridge-trained minions grappling with a modern-day plague that surpasses anything they have ever experienced or imagined.
The problem I had with This England was the male lead. Kenneth Branagh’s Boris is far too gaunt and angular to pass for real.
Branagh’s bojo looks more like Stanley Johnson.
Or do I mean Rachel?
Gwyn victory for Moss and Paltrow
With a common age of 98 years, the glamor girls Gwyneth Paltrow (50) and Kate Moss (48) show their things with timeless sovereignty on Instagram and the Parisian catwalk.
With the carefree cool she’s embraced, Kate drags her fur down the boulevard like a beau in love.
Meanwhile, Paltrow poses nude and painted in gold to celebrate her 50th birthday.
Women were once praised for looking good for their age.
Golden girls Moss and Paltrow look sensational for any age you care to mention.
Kat and 9 are whining
I HAVE a friend who insists the most depressing words in the English language are “Over to Katya Adler in Brussels.”
Katya, the BBC’s Europe Editor, was the BBC’s Darkness and Doom correspondent on the long road to Brexit.
Now that our exit from the EU is a hard historical fact, Katya still finds plenty to grumble about.
She fabulously displayed that famous BBC impartiality while covering Giorgia Meloni’s election victory in Italy.
“Millions of Italians didn’t vote for them,” Katya sniffed about the right-wing arsonist.
“They say they don’t recognize themselves in their nationalist, protectionist proposals, anti-immigrant rhetoric and conservative family mores.”
Of course Katja is right. But exactly the same could be said of any general election.
Certainly it’s not about the millions of Italians who didn’t vote for Meloni – but the many millions more who did.
Everyone stands behind Gareth
On the eve of the World Cup, England has not won a competitive game for 320 days.
Hard to believe as we watched England score three goals in 12 scintillating minutes against Germany at Wembley on Monday night.
But let’s not forget – Gareth Southgate has guided England closer to glory than any manager since Sir Alf Ramsey.
Football didn’t come home in 2018 when England lost in the semi-finals of the World Cup.
And it didn’t come home in 2021 when we lost to Italy on penalties in the Euro final.
But don’t you remember? For a few blissful nights, it felt like coming home.
And that’s thanks to Gareth Southgate.
The idea that England would be better off with a temp like Pep Guardiola is completely insane. Southgate feels for England in his blood and bones.
Who can forget the broken boy in blue who missed his penalty at Euro 1996?
And the proud man in his vest in Russia in 2018?
As England prepares for the World Cup, this England manager deserves our country’s unconditional support.
More than that – Southgate deserves it.
Clean with the old one
YOU do not like it, Comrade Putin.
Vlad’s mob army of rapists and murderers is reinforced by geriatrics.
While Putin and his billionaire cronies live the good life in Moscow, these wrinkled recruits are sent to the battlefield to fight against a highly motivated, heavily armed Ukraine.
Putin hopes Ukraine runs out of guns before he runs out of cannon fodder.
And when that hope is gone, all that remains for Putin is his nuclear weapons.
Tony has doubts
FOR all the rictus grins when the Strictly camera catches Tony Adams in moments of reflection, he looks totally beat up.
You can almost see the thought bubble above the noble forehead of the former Arsenal captain.
“What have I gotten myself into?”
It’s okay to be trash, strictly speaking – many are – but only as long as you can laugh at yourself.
Ed Balls doing salsa Gangnam Style with Katya Jones – now Tony’s dance partner, right – is the classic example.
Ed knew he looked like an overweight, middle-aged guy making a fool of himself with a salacious career goddess. But Ed saw the funny side.
He laughed first. Balls recognized the absurdity of the situation.
The world warmed to Ed Balls on Strictly in a way it never did when he was in government.
So much so that the last time I was on Good Morning Britain was Ed. . . sitting next to Susanna Reid!
Ed has turned his father’s dancing into a burgeoning career in broadcasting.
Look at balls, Tony Adams.
If you can’t do well at Strictly – be funny.
Don’t be silly and dead serious.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6347433/tony-parsons-liz-truss-build-trust/ Liz Truss needs to focus on bricks and mortar if she wants to regain confidence