Yesterday Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the introduction of a windfall tax – or as he called it, a “temporary targeted energy profits levy” – signalling a huge u-turn from his party’s previous stance on the policy.
The announcement came the day after the Sue Gray report on Downing Street boozy parties, leading some to condemn Sunak’s move as a “dead cat”.
Not everyone might like the graphic image of Boris Johnson slapping a dead kitten on the table, but that’s what it’s all about. And the bigger the cat, the harder to look away.
This can be a successful political strategy, involving timing an important policy or story to divert attention from a negative one.
But do you know who coined this term? Boris Johnson himself, according to speculation under the advice of Australian political strategist Lynton Crosby. No wonder his government knows how to use it so well.