HOLMSEY: Can you smell election fever?

Tony Blair banned smoking, smacking and hunting in a single week. Imagine how much Kier and Angela could achieve in their first few days? Sir Kier may even decide whether a woman can have a penis; Ms Rayner might even recall where she used to live.

Just as we did in 1997, the country needs a change of government, but are Kier and Ange’ really the best we can do? I was relaxed about Labour’s victory in ’97, partly because ‘Yes Minister’ was still popular, so I knew the civil servants were really at the wheel.

This week, some of them threatened to strike if the government keeps (legally) supplying arms to Israel. Another lot asserted their right to work from home – full time and forever!

Remember those supposedly neutral Whitehall mandarins were distressed by the Brexit vote. Aided by Speaker Bercow, they seemed to spend most of Teresa May’s time in office obstructing it. Former Chancellor, Ken Clarke, says of his time at the Treasury, “officials constantly refused to do as I asked, unless I had a proposal to raise new taxes”. Naturally, they loved his new insurance, energy and flight taxes ideas, which were swiftly implemented. Ken claims any proposals they disliked met fierce opposition or vanished without trace. It seems Sir Humphry and Co outsmarted one of the best chancellors we ever had.

Former Labour Minister, Alan Johnson, says John Major’s government left the economy in great shape for New Labour. He reckons, it’ll be impossible for Starmer to manage people’s high expectations this time – because post pandemic and Ukraine, there’s no money left.

Britain’s economy is weak, and new taxes are always tricky. They’ll have far less money to spend on improving anything in the way most people hope. Now we all realise those PFI ‘schools and hospital’ schemes all politicians loved are ruinously expensive.

How long before we’re all sick of hearing the next government tell us they can’t do anything just yet?

In the early days of the coalition, Cameron, Clegg and co constantly reminded us of Liam Byrne’s ‘I’m afraid there’s no money left’ note left at the Treasury. Traditionally, departing Ministers leave a handover memo, the content of which, shouldn’t be disclosed.

Liberal MP David Laws was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury and revealed it. Laws lasted just three weeks in the job; sometimes karma works quickly, eh?

There’s election fever here too, beleaguered Bob, our lacklustre MP, is running around the Island as fast as he can. Whenever I see Bob, in my head I hear Benny Hill’s ‘Yackety Sax’ chase music!

If you spot Bob somewhere, please don’t pat him on the head, it’s possible he’ll mistake that as a sign of approval. Bob is a human butterfly, landing fleetingly for a quick snap, or to feign a modicum of interest in the Island’s many problems. Even those woeful ferries are on his action list. But hold on, just before the 2017 election, he promised a ferry regulator and an ‘Island Deal.’ Sadly, even as they cleared away those battered black ballot boxes down at Medina, Bob’s pre-election promises were slipping his mind.

Bob Seely’s memory is worse than Joe Biden’s! Stupidly, last week he claimed he’d “secured the future” of The Sun inn at Hulverstone. If you didn’t know, it’s a closed pub. It’s been closed on and off over several decades – because like many rural pubs, it’s not viable. Only in Bob’s crazy world could ‘securing the future’ of an already closed pub be considered a triumph! Only a complete buffoon lacking business sense would be impressed. If you’re thirsty, a closed pub is about as useful as a chocolate teapot – or Bob’s tenure as Island MP.