A Freudian slip has left Chancellor Philip Hammond humiliated live on BBC Radio 4. Accidentally or otherwise, BBC Today host Nick Robinson put a rude twist on Hammond’s nickname ‘Spreadsheet Phil’:
This is basically Spreadshit Phil – uh SpreadSHEET Phil I should say, as he’s known in the Treasury…
Hammond himself was on the show just before. Robinson had been grilling the Chancellor on his 2017 Budget, primarily the manifesto promises that the Conservatives are now breaking. A tax rise for the self-employed not only breaks a pledge not to raise National Insurance, but has also faced heavy criticism from all sections of the press.
So ‘Spreadshit Phil’ is not Hammond’s only new post-budget nickname. The Daily Mail labelled him “Flatfeet Phil”, The Sun a “bean-counting funeral director” and The Daily Mirror dropped the sarcastic “The Bantzellor of the Exchequer”.
And Robinson’s joking on Twitter suggests his own nicknaming may have been intentional:
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I'm very very worried about your hearing. I clearly said SpreadSHEET Phil …didn't I? https://t.co/vOk0JkuLw6
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) March 9, 2017
But the backlash goes beyond the media. Hammond is facing a backbench rebellion on a wafer-thin parliamentary majority. One of the latest to call for a climb-down is Conservative backbencher Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who said:
Those who are out there working hard at their own risk – no-one is going to… pick up their holiday pay – they have got to be sure that a Conservative Government understands and backs them and doesn’t use them as a cash cow.
As well as the political and media class, the move has infuriated many ordinary people:
A reminder for Philip Hammond.
Self employed get no:-
Sickness or holiday pay
Maternity/paternity leave or pay
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) March 8, 2017
I pay more tax than Facebook, don't get holidays, sick, paternity or pension pay and THEY get the tax cut while mine goes up? 😡 #Budget2017
— Alex Moore (@AlexMoore2001) March 8, 2017
The budget contained no answers to the pressing issues of the 21st Century. The Chancellor apparently has nothing to say about climate change, automation or geriatric care. But on top of these broader failings, Hammond has managed to turn the political and media class against him with a tax hike on the gig economy. Quite the shambles.
Listen to the ‘Freudian slip’ here:
– Read more from The Canary on Budget 2017.
Featured image via Flickr
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