Like some despotic colonial power, the European Commission under its ex-Maoist president Jose Manuel Barroso suddenly demands an arbitrary levy from the UK of £1.7billion – nearly £30 for every man, woman and child in this country.
This outrageous charge is a crushing blow to David Cameron as he tries to persuade an increasingly sceptical British public that the EU (whose accounts, of course, have never been signed off, so dubious are its figures) can be made to change its profligate, anti-democratic ways.
For Nigel Farage and Ukip, it’s an absolute gift in the run-up to the Rochester and Strood by-election.
The Barroso levy is nothing less than a tax on prudence. Because Britain has implemented a raft of painful austerity measures since 2010, our economy – though still fragile – is growing faster than any in the Western world…