Jam tomorrow and jam yesterday — but never today

·2-min read
 (West End Final)
(West End Final)

“I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!” the Queen said. “Twopence a week, and jam every other day.”

Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire me - and I don’t care for jam.”

“It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.

“Well, I don’t want any today, at any rate.”

“You couldn’t have it if you did want it,” the Queen said.

“The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday - but never today.”

“It must come sometimes to ‘jam today’,” Alice objected.

“No it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: today isn’t any other day, you know.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Boris Johnson’s career has often been characterised by cakeism - that is, the act of both having and eating cake. But jammy might be a better description.

Some time before his predecessor as prime minister, Theresa May, turned jam into JAMs - that is, those just about managing (you had to be there) - Boris Johnson was all about the preserve and its future availability.

He is now prepping a nation already spooked by empty shelves and fuel shortages for a long climb up to those sunlit uplands.

Come the next election, he will spin a story of how weaning the UK economy off cheap EU labour will take time, how new infrastructure projects in the North cannot spring up overnight and how the pandemic delayed all his brilliant plans. And it may well work, given past results and his undoubted political strengths.

But for the moment, better cover your toast with something else.

In the comment pages, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham writes that it’s time to take violence against women as seriously as issues of race.

Meanwhile, Melanie McDonagh says Ben Miles’s Cromwell is brilliant — but it’s just not true.

And finally, Gemma Collins says she felt “sick” spending £1,450 on Salt Bae’s gold steak. Gordon Brown really should have sold off all the gold.

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