TOURISM to Britain joined free milk for the under-fives as another escaper from George Osborne's cuts in government funding yesterday. London's mayor Boris Johnson made a successful personal appeal to the Chancellor to exempt Visit London, the tourism promotional organisation whose 16 million pounds annual grant had already been earmarked for the chop. The Mayor was right to do this, given the imminence of the Olympics, but a lot of other worthy causes will now be wondering how they can get the Chancellor's private telephone number to plead their case with him. And after Downing Street's explanation of the reprieve for kiddies' milk -- that it was “a measure going back to the Second World War” -- any number of organisations threatened with cuts will be looking to see if they have a similar link. Might identity cards be saved on this principle? We had them in the war so why should they have been among the first things to be abandoned by the coalition? Meanwhile yesterday, David Cameron was beating the drum for stay-at-home holidays, saying that Britons should spend at least half of their vacation budget in the UK. Hopefully this does not presage a return to the kind of currency restrictions which limited overseas travel in the 1950s and 60s. The prime minister said Britons should be “proud of their country” but did not explain why this should make them prefer holidays in the rain to those in Spanish sunshine.


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