Pump fake action!


Those familiar with basketball or gridiron, the popular American game they call football, will know about “Pump Fake Action”, it’s a move where a whole team shapes for a long and graceful passing pay, while intending to execute a low and mean “quarterback sneak”.

Opposing teams are often caught out, falling for the lofty stated intention , they relax into defensive positioning only to find the game passing them by.

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I fear that Britain is about to become the victim of a quarterback sneak from Theresa May. Her fine words, from her Downing Street Podium , have been followed by the promotion of an assembly of right-wing mountebanks peddling social justice while preparing for some low-down skirmishing to get the Tories a few sneaky first downs.

The Lizard  at large.

That nobody has taken the slightest bit of notice of the protest vote by more than half of us that resulted in us accidentally leaving the EU, was quite clear last night. I went to the Margaret Thatcher memorial lecture at the Guildhall, hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies, chaired by Maurice Saatchi (in a Beatnik suit) and delivered by the far right and not very honourable George Osborne.

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Bankers at play

The lizard got a prolonged ovation, spoke for an hour on how wonderful he and his party were and then took selected questions which avoided the away support (Tarrant, Pitt-Watson, Tapper, Greenwood, Keating, Carne et al).

There was no sympathy from the Bankers in the house, their paeans of praise for Osborne were self-congratulatory; not only had Osborne delivered them from evil (2008) but he’d  given them the power and the glory- for ever and ever – Amen.

Afterwards, Osborne was mobbed by adoring tossers as the baton passed to Hammond and George luxuriated not just in past glory, but in his martyrdom, so that the show can go on. The ugliest aspect of last night was the very obvious sanctitude, the beatification of George Osborne – at least in our next of the wood has begun.

It may surprise readers that I am a card carrying Conservative member and- assuming I don’t get barred from the ring of complicity- will attend this year’s party conference. I do so because the only good thing about the Conservative party over the past 6 years was its coalition over the first five of them by the Liberals.


Lizard at large – exit sign ignored.

The best thing about the Tories was the Liberals.

Not only did the Liberals contribute in their own right, but they kept the Conservatives honest. Once let off the rein, the Conservatives self-destructed. They ran round the tree chasing little boy Sambo and they disintegrated into a pool of honey.

There was one in my party who claimed “you’ve got to admire Osborne as a politician”. No – came the unanimous response- at every level, Osborne the politician has screwed up, and still he is admired!

If you pump fake action too often, people see it coming. That’s what happened to Osborne and his FEAR campaign.

Pump fake action – a cameo

A little cameo of the political mess we’re in was played out yesterday at the DWP, which assembled its four new ministers (and old father time Lord Freud) for an awkward meet the troops event in Caxton House yesterday morning.

Meanwhile, Reuters has been blaring out disinformation about the Pension Ministry so that as the Department was being told one thing, those interested in pensions were being told another. My blog about it is here and has as many revisions as the rest of the year;s blogs put together. No sooner had I completed one version of the truth, than a newly spun version had arrived courtesy of @dwppressoffice.

Instead of the  vision of a single policy making unit in the Treasury with the Baroness as boss, we’ve ended up with a pension spokesperson who has to start from scratch with the barest of authority and two predecessors against whom he will be benchmarked of the highest calibre. I do not envy Richard Harrington- he will get my support (and I may be meeting him this morning) but he is part of the pump fake action.

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About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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3 Responses to Pump fake action!

  1. Amanda Burden says:

    I was also at last night’s event and whilst I agree the questions seemed to be taken from those already known to Osborne and there was prolonged applause there was no general standing ovation that I could see ( unless ithere were some standing at the back)
    I am no lover of Osborne but I thought how he explained the idea of trying to make a difference was interesting . Plus his praise for his successor suggests he definitely isn’t burning any bridges and may well be back.

  2. Andy Heath says:

    Don’t forget that it was working with the Conservatives that did for the Liberals at the polls. Maybe a fallout from the Labour party’s hara kiri will be a resurgence of common sense, and support for the Liberal cause, but I’m not holding my breath.

  3. henry tapper says:

    Amanda – you’re right – nobody stood – but it was a very long ovation. I wanted to ask the question “how did you manage to go from favourite to be PM to backbencher in 10 months?

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