Thursday 21 March 2013

The way to Gin Lane

I’ve lived through a lot of budgets and the one thing they have in common is that none of them have ever had any discernible effect on me, my job, the tax I pay, or the life I lead. While the red-tops howl about a penny off this or a penny on that or a half-a-percent adjustment in the underlying rate of what-the-fuck in order to enrage their target audience, I go merrily on my way with a world weary shrug and a sense of déjà-vu.

Budget: n. 
  1. An itemized summary of estimated or intended expenditures for a given period along with proposals for financing them 
  2. A systematic plan for the expenditure of a usually fixed resource, such as money or time, during a given period: 
  3. The total sum of money allocated for a particular purpose or period of time: . 
The news is full of august comment and worthy souls spouting on about what they would have done and what might have happened... if. 

What if he’d increased this or cut that? What if he’d helped out him or her? What if, instead of doing one thing he’d done the other? What if some money could have been found for shits or giggles? If, if if... If we had a working economy there might be a point, but we don’t. What we do have is a nation of people who think that the state owes them a living, or the state owes them good health, or the state owes them happiness, or success or freedom from failure. Me, me, me... they demand.

On my way back to my hotel the road was strewn with broken down vehicles, abandoned for want of fuel and stripped of spares by feral troops of scavengers. Homeless people huddled in their masses, lined the streets and begged open-handed for scraps of food. Mule trains slowly carted away the rotting corpses over the potholed remains of former metalled roads and everywhere the crows picked through the rubble of what were once houses. 

But enough of the Islamic Republic of Small Heath; everywhere else in Birmingham isn’t half as bad. Why, in some streets, jolly troupes of energetic dancers celebrated the 1p generously removed from beer tax. Drink up, fellows, the Chancellor loves you! No doubt the naysayers, ne’er-do-wells and killjoys will gainsay even that small crumb of populist comfort. 

Drink up citizens!

It was a budget, what did you expect? The sorry fact of the matter is that as a country we have about five quid left. And we won't even have that if the EU gets wind of it. Have a nice day.


  1. Yea a penny off beer but drinkers whose tipple is wine will now have to pay £2 duty on a 750ml bottle, up by 10p, and £7.41 on a 70cl bottle of vodka, up 37p.

    Budgets are always about giving a small amount with one hand but taking an even bigger chunk with the other hand.

    A shrug of the shoulders is about all it deserves! The Labour Government on the moral high ground, accusing the Tories of no growth! It was those idiots who spent like there was no tomorrow and got us into this mess in the first place. I despair of them all and we just trudge on and shrug our shoulders and wait to get our pockets picked again! One day the EU will abandon us as there will be no pickings left for them to take either!

  2. There are three great spring sporting events each year: the Grand National, the Boat Race and the Budget. You may care for ten minutes on the outcome of each, and then get on with your life.

    No matter what the colour of the government, the shade of the rowing crew's tops or the jockey's silks, it is all just an amusement.

  3. Great blog, as always.

    It's yet more completely incongruous budget piffle from a cabinet clearly not up to the job. Their arms length, top down, statistical management of the public sector is nothing more than an extension of Labour policy. It's shambolic. It's disgustingly disgraceful. They should have cut more, that is what this budget needed. They should be spending less, but hey ho, we are just about to give up our Country to Eastern European gypsies anyway, so should I really give a fuck anyway?

    What a truly fantastic, spiffing move to lower the price of beer by 1p. No pubs have closed recently, no jobs have been lost, no tax take has been harmed, no, nothing to see here. What about this for a suggestion? Instead of lowering the price, fit a miracle of modern engineering, called a fucking extractor fan, so that consumers won't have to go outside and smoke in the pissing down freezing rain, and then perhaps people wouldn't want to drink all their alcohol at home. Don't persecute the frigging consumer, the business, people's careers and lives.

    I am closer today than I was yesterday, and I'll be closer tomorrow than I was today... the tipping point where I just say, what's the point, I really don't give a fuck anymore.