This humble blog would like to congratulate Chancellor Osborne on a magnificent, courageous and completely fair budget that is good for the economy, good for the country and will secure a better future for our once proud nation. Gideon has made Conservatives unelectable.
Regular readers will know that the plastic hippo has made no secret of his admiration for the canon of work left to us by a certain George Orwell. Dear old Eric Blair, however, even at his most satirical, could not have imagined that his Newspeak would be adopted as the lingua franca of an actual government.
In his novel 1984, Orwell conjured a world of dictatorship couched in the glib and oily art of a new language of deception and redefinition. Osborne, in his third budget, has mastered the use of Newspeak to oppose the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and take arms against a sea of troubles. He spoke of “rewarding work” and a “financially neutral” budget. Sadly, work has not been rewarded and his ruinous plans are far from neutral. The delicious irony that this year the UK will be represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by an old aged pensioner singing “Love will set you free” is particularly apt. If successful, Engelbert Humperdinck will no doubt record a version for the continental market entitled “Arbeit macht frei”.
The rationale behind cutting the 50p tax rate levied on very wealthy people seems to be that the 50p rate does not generate much income to the exchequer as most very wealthy people manage to avoid paying it anyway. Add to this the mutually exclusive argument that a 50p tax rate encourages the very wealthy to leave this sceptred isle and Osborne Speak becomes the very antithesis of logic.
Gideon, of course, is something of an expert on taxation. The income he receives from his daddy`s trust fund is technically classed as “unearned” and so is exempt from the 50p rate, the 45p rate or, indeed, any taxation at all. Similarly, his aggressive stance on stamp duty when buying and selling expensive mansions will not affect him. He rents out his mansions to the very wealthy who avoid tax and are allegedly deserting the country in droves. For good measure, he has cut corporation tax and removed tax relief for charitable donations. As an example of financial neutrality resulting in a 45p higher tax rate, the head honcho of the failing Barclays Bank, Bob Diamond, will benefit from a £300,000 windfall on this year`s £6million bonus. Work clearly sets you free, especially if you are a millionaire cabinet minister.
To pay for all of this, Osborne has turned on his own dwindling fan base. The leafy Tory shires are up in arms over pension tax thresholds and even the most idiotic and deluded Tory prince would shudder at yesterday`s headlines in the Telegraph, Mail, Express and Sun. Old people, who have worked hard and saved, tend to vote and tend to vote Conservative. Happy to see the ill, the disabled, education and the NHS thrown on the bonfire, the rattling of Zimmer frames and Royal Dalton china teacups is becoming deafening across the Home Counties. Osborne is toast.
In the increasingly surreal world of the coalition, political definitions and redefinitions need to be re-examined. The uncharitable might now describe the Liberal Democrats as irrelevant but that would be unfair. The real definition of Liberal Democrat is a party of two-faced, spineless liars lacking the intellect to comprehend that their only option is to crawl away to a dark corner and die of shame. The Orwellian or Osbornian definition of Conservative is a party of two-faced, spineless liars who possess enough intellect to divert guilt to another irrelevant and doomed political party at the same time as stuffing their pockets full of lovely cash. It is as difficult to define the Labour party as that task is similar to herding cats or trying to capture fog in a jam jar.
Engelbert is likely to do well in Azerbaijan even if none of us voted for the song or for the veteran crooner to represent us. The parallels with Cameron, Clegg and Osborne in terms of an absent mandate to inflict suffering are irresistible. Mr Humperdinck along with Mr Cameron might find that they will be ultimately defeated by grannies with more credibility.
The future might look like this.