Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: STEPHEN HEPBURN

TIMING is important in life and not just politics, though weak and wobbly Theresa May will never forget the tough lesson she learned in arrogantly calling an election nearly three years early.

Nor will the millions of voters who inflicted that hard lesson, stripping rejected Mrs Incompetent of her majority with the result a shrunken Prime Minister who slipped PS1billion to Northern Ireland Unionists to cling on to high office and create a Bung Parliament.

How long it is socially acceptable to go around wishing people a Happy New Year is a question of etiquette and some people will be doing it in February, but two days into 2018 we're all still at it.

So, Happy New Year to you and yours and I trust any hangovers are over or the boat was pushed out too far as we bid goodbye to December 31st and hello to January 1st.

I'm a glass half-full rather than half-empty man as most Geordies are, preferring optimism to pessimism which isn't easy for a Sunderland fan. Or Newcastle supporters come to that.

Which means I'm up for the fight to build a better, fairer, more prosperous North East and Great Britain.

From denying the fabulous WASPIs the state pensions they grafted for and deserve, to slashing grants for local authorities which really are cornerstones of communities, the battle will be fierce.

Brexit will understandably grab many of the headlines with the chaotic Tory negotiators out of their depth, amateurs when we need professionals sitting at the table with our 27 European neighbours.

The value of wages is falling and will do for much of the year in a poor Tory record which sees economic growth low, inflation high and the debt mountain increasing way into the next decade.

And there is the NHS crisis, social care disaster, East Coast train privatisation coming off the rails, callous benefit cuts and the scourge of low-paid, insecure work. …

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