Ask any bad party magician; it's really hard to mess up a reshuffle. However, Sir Kier Starmer, who has one more blue suit than supporters on the Labour left, completed a miserable week by failing to quite sack Angela Rayner, the elected deputy leader of the Labour Party. Strangely he was not fully buoyed by Andy Burnham, who is Tracee's choice of 'MILF' (with the 'M' standing for mayor, we understand) crowing over how successful some parts of the party were last week; specifically his own, having been re-elected as Mayor of Manchester.
"I don't understand why we are getting such a negative story (sic), when I had such a good victory to celebrate."
"Are those your real eyelashes, Andy?" cooed Tracee, playing absently with the strap of her hessian bag.
"What have eyelashes got to do with Angela's shuffle to sit opposite Micheal Gove (poor cow)?" Mr Burnham seemed confused, but recovered sufficiently to high five Steve Rotheram who was elected Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. Andy and Steve like each other - they were made from material from the same sow's purse.
Labour have chosen this moment in history to squabble amongst themselves like wasps over a jam-jar. Sterling chose to ignore the party by holding one of its own. Today (Monday 10 May) it climbed one cent against the dollar, as well as 0.7 per cent against the Euro. Frustratingly we can't get on a plane to anywhere to spend our new uplifted and glittering pounds, even as Boris said we can look forward to unlocking England "cautiously, but irreversibly", much as he would love to lock up Nicola Sturgeon's mouth, forcibly and irreversibly.
Rumour has it that our prime minister went to Greggs for lunch during cabinet meetings to map out the new way out of the Government-imposed restrictions and he would have been in the midst of a non-Labour party there, as the sandwich and pastry chain has announced its profits will be “materially higher” than expected and could return to pre-pandemic levels this year thanks to robust sales since shops reopened. That's good, as a robust Greggs leads to a rotund Great Britain, and its share price was up today, as sales in the eight weeks to 8 May had recovered to £324 million, a £72 million increase on the same period a year ago but £21 million lower than 2019.
Meanwhile, house prices are doing their best to work in opposition to economists' predictions this time last year that the UK was in for a "serious price crash". You have to make up your own minds, but the numbers may help. Prices increased at their fastest rate in five years last month as the budget decision to extend the full stamp duty holiday to the end of June gave the UK’s booming property market another shot in the arm. They rose 8.2 per cent in the year to April, the quickest annual rise since 2016, following a 6.5 per cent increase in March, the mortgage lender Halifax said. For April alone the increase was 1.4 per cent, the biggest monthly rise since September last year.
Here in the NTI newsroom we just don't get it. This was the only area in which economists looked to be scoring a mark for accuracy. Turns out they are hopeless at that, too.