Alistair Darling’s pre-budget report did little for relations between himself and Gordon Brown, but I’m sure his eyebrows will lose no sleep over that. Brown wasn’t exactly friendly with his former boss. Tensions between Prime Ministers and Chancellors are nothing new. Although in this case, when is someone going to point out that there is a common denominator: Blair and Brown don’t get on and run the country into the ground; Brown and Darling don’t get on and just keep on digging us deeper.
But Darling’s PBR did wonders for the Conservatives’ chances of being elected in 2010. Not only did the Chancellor fail to tackle public debt, but he also saddled most taxpayers with tax rises in the form of additional National Insurance payments. Darling should do the honourable thing and cross the floor of the Commons and sit with his natural party, the Tories. Not only has he helped them win the election, but his public school background will sit well with their breeding. At least that is probably what Gordon Brown is thinking, a man who was disabled at his local school, but thinks this is preferable to having your policies tainted by a private school upbringing.
And the winners out of last week’s mini budget are those wanting to scrap their old boiler, rural communities without broadband and those with a disposition towards fat ladies and little ducks.
Introducing boiler scrappage is a curious ploy, but he can dress it up as a green initiative whilst actually targeting the low-paid and pensioners; the reduction in bingo duty is obviously aimed at the Jeremy Kyle-watching layabouts who cannot get enough of this government’s handouts. And broadband is touted by Lord Mandy of Pandy as an essential utility, akin to water and electricity. It has also been described as a “human right”.
So it’s a human right to watch monkeys pull peanuts out of their bums? Or to announce on Twitter that it is cold/sunny/wet or what you had for breakfast? And the last time I looked, provision of broadband in this country was the responsibility of private companies. I resent having £6 taken out of my pocket each year to help BT and other companies to improve the nation’s broadband infrastructure. Darling appears to have forgotten that BT is no longer part of the civil service.
I commend this budget to the workshy, infirm and impressionable males wanting free porn. And please vote for me.