Grantham Journal column: Peter Clawson

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We live in a world where the ludicrous idea of alternative universes has become acceptable and, in my opinion, that must be where Nick Boles got most of the information for a recent column in the Journal.

‘Britain is growing again,’ writes our Conservative local MP.

‘Not in the backstreets of Grantham, it isn’t,’ says I.

‘The Government’s long-term plan to cut public spending and reduce borrowing has given British businesses the confidence to create jobs ...’ explains our worthy representative at Westminster.

‘But not the decency to pay their employees a living wage,’ I must point out.

‘Now of course we would all like to pay less tax ...’ claims good old Nick.

‘Now why does that, like prime minister David Cameron’s ‘All in it together,’ comment, seem to apply more to the rich rather than underpaid workers who don’t earn enough to pay tax anyway?’ I wonder.

As for stamp duty, I won’t even demean those financially embarrassed people forced into rented properties by commenting further on that; or on the other Autumn Statement tweaks allegedly benefiting our beleagured economy.

Then he comes to the so-called ‘extra’ £2 billion apparently already allocated to the NHS budget to secure the future of the service, being David Cameron’s top priority as well.

All I can add to that is: ‘Not at Grantham, mate, where Coalition cut-and-run policies seem likely to lead to the eventual demise of our hospital as we know it.’

Also our beloved MP’s reminder - as if we didn’t know it - that: ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees,’ let me say, ‘It does for the wealthy, except in this town where trees appear to be disappearing at an alarming rate.’

Alternative universe? The reality of ours is that after nearly five years of Coalition governance, there is still a massive black hole in public and private finances.