Monday 7 May 2012

It's okay, my mate's paying...

All eyes are on France, as the great juggernaut of fluffy-bunny socialism relentlessly grinds all before it. Will François Gérard Georges Hollande’s presidency really be a new start for the European experiment? Or will he bring an already struggling French economy to its knees? A 75% top-rate tax has been proposed.

Tax and spend, tax and spend. Borrow and tax and spend and spend. It’s like a childrens’ song, where the wheels go round all day long, but nobody goes anywhere and all the adults in the vicinity go slowly mad and turn to drink.

But tax who? And what did those taxees do to so incur the red rage of socialist envy? What’s that? They made money, so fuck them until they give it all back? Is that really the plan, because it certainly sounds like it. Why not tax them at 120% to speed up the process? Rich bastards – that’ll show ‘em – I’m sure a liberal-minded economist could explain how that would incentivise them to work twice as hard just to keep up.

Maybe, if I close my eyes, I too can see the new Utopia? How would this work? Let’s start with a bankers ‘windfall tax’. It would be like me winning, say £100,000 on the lottery. (Totally free money being an essential plank of socialist fiscal policy) Okay, here goes… wish me luck! (Batsby squeezes eyes tight shut.)

***Floaty-wobbly-flash-forward-scene… with harp***

Wow, £100k! There's the deposit I need for a house. I can borrow another £400k on that, easy, so now I’m a half-millionaire. I read somewhere that with a pension of £500,000 I could retire comfortably for the rest of my days. So there’s plan A sorted.

Obviously, I’ll need a new car; nothing too flash, but a nice little run-around. And I really want to visit Australia; as I’ll be retired I could go for a couple or three months. While I’m at it, that sofa needs replacing and I could do with a bigger telly. I'll have loads of change from half a million.

In fact, why stop there? I have half-a-million in the bank now – as good as – so I can easily borrow another £500k to make me a proper millionaire. What’s that you say? Pay tax on my interest earnings – take a hike, Mike. I’m retired now. Why can’t you just leave me alone to enjoy my twilight years? And anyway, I read somewhere that, as a millionaire, I don’t have to pay tax at all apparently, so I’m good to go…

***Harp. Floaty shit. Back on terra-firma***

How is this happening? Are the voters just simpletons? I mean, the lying, cheating, muck-raking, anti-Semite, Ken Livingstone was only narrowly defeated in the mayoral election despite his sins being daily and loudly broadcast to all who bothered to listen. Or have they worked out that before long the whole world will be bankrupt, so sod it, let’s grab what we can before it all goes tits-up? Because that’s what it feels like - desperation. In the lock-up, surrounded by the Sweeney and with nowhere to run, the train robbers nevertheless carry on divvying up their haul.

Ali Baba's treasure - the last resort of the European Central Bank

Our only chance rests on these two hopes: First, that the whole EU edifice comes crumbling to an undignified end before they've had every last penny of our borrowed money, and secondly, that the voters really are simpletons – because if they are actually doing all this on purpose, sooner or later cold hard reality will hit home and they'll see the scorched earth at the bottom of the European money pit. 

And then it's World War Three. Brace yourselves.

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