Skip to main content

The distant sound of money.

At the Conservative Party conference a policy is announced. It is duly parroted by media outlets. An important question is left unasked.

But first, the policy: tax relief on inherited pensions, previously tacked at 55% and now to move into line with income tax. It’s an inoffensive enough policy, as Conservative policies go, not one of the more odious ones specifically designed to help out rich people ones (though, be under no illusions, it most definitely will help out a bunch of rich people), a few will benefit. It also has the handy characteristic of being easily labelled by tabloids as “Death Tax” as in “Osborne scraps Death Tax”. Which is point two, the due parroting: tabloids say Death Tax, BBC report tabloids saying Death Tax, people think whew, glad we’ve got rid of that Death Tax, good times all round. It’s a more of a mouthful to say “Osborne unpins fixed rate of 55% on inherited pensions to normalise them with income tax”. No, Death tax it is.

And now we come to the unasked question. But first, a bald statistic. In 2008-9 the number of people forced to visit food banks for three days emergency food stood at 25,899. In 2013-14 that number had risen to 913,138. That’s an increase of 3425%. So the question is this, against this backdrop of increasing desperate poverty, where nearly a million need free handouts of food, is that all you’ve got? Is that the best you can fucking do? Jesus wept.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Just let us enjoy it for five minutes, yeah?

He lost! The moment that most sane humans have been fervently praying for for the last four years has finally arrived. After an interminable period of watching numbers fail to move, more "Key Race alerts than I've had hot dinners, and much marvelling at the seemingly iron constitutions of all at CNN, the news was finally confirmed. And lo there was much rejoicing across the land. You'll have your own favourite bit, no doubt, Personally for me it's a toss-up between Nigel Farage losing a ten grand bet and the hilariously shambolic, bathetic ending, where a confused Rudy Giuliani, thinking he'd booked the Four Seasons Hotel for a press conference, stood blinking in the car-park of Four Seasons Total Landscaping, between a crematorium and a shop selling dildoes.  I am not by any stretch much of a US politics nerd. I know that most UK politics fans have a slightly dorky obsession over the US process which probably stems from watching too much West Wing , but it's s

Lockdown 2: Back in the Habit

 The weather, suitably, is dreich. The sky's filled in, the drizzle is unrelenting, all the better, were I a glib columnist dealing in clunking metaphor, to reflect the mood of nation, as we collectively enter Lockdown 2: This Time it's Personal. As with all sequels, this Lockdown comes freighted with prior knowledge of the original. We should, arguably, know what to expect and so, in that sense, it should be easier. With a more clearly defined end point than the original, it should, in theory, be easier to bear. Only four short weeks of seeing whether or not the sourdough bread-baking skills survived the months back in work, and then off we go. Viewed this way, Lockdown 2: Lockdown Harder should be negotiated fairly easily. A pain in the arse, yes, but at least we know what we're dealing with now. That's the Panglossian version of events, of course. A bit of time at home, recharge the batteries, maybe we'll get it right this time, get that pesky R rate down, we can

Gordon Ramsay and the semiotics of the full English breakfast.

 It was bound to happen, sooner or later. A public which has spent a long time having to think and argue about serious things was just gagging for something trivial to get in a froth about. Sure, football's back, but is that trivial enough? Enter one-time chef turned full-time media personality Gordon Ramsay, and his iteration of that classic dish, the Full English Breakfast, the dish of which Somerset Maugham famously said "If a man wishes to eat well in England he should eat breakfast three times a day." Here he is announcing the Savoy Grill's breakfast It's hard to think of a dish more deeply embedded in the national psyches of the nations which make up the British Isles. I should like, at this point, to acknowledge that Full Irish, Scottish and Welsh breakfasts are all things of pure beauty, I mean no disregard by referring to a full English in this blog (though Ramsay, as a Scot, should have known he was playing with fire). Roast Beef maybe, Fish and Chips pr