THE DIARY OF A GEEK IN OXFORDSHIRE


Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WTF. I mean, seriously, WTF???

I'm frequently accused of 'ranting' when it comes to the inequities of our current Government.

But yesterday's Pre-Budget Report - and the BBC's coverage of same - can lead me to only one question:

WHAT THE FSCK??

I know that we are living in a 'fake' democracy. I know that our politicians view us as farm animals, milked of our resources and kept in an information-free pasture.

But come on, Mr Darling. Do you seriously, seriously believe that anyone with an IQ above room temperature couldn't see straight through the poorly spun, plagiaristic BOLLOCKS you spouted in the Commons?

It's sad enough that you think you can get away with it. Even sadder that Auntie Beeb make it sound like you're not talking arrant tosh.

Given that you are clearly unable to do basic mathematics - or to understand the essential difference between 'new policy' and 'rehashed announcement in a desperate and ultimately failed bid to regain the political initiative', perhaps you might like to consider the information below:

You did not Increase the Inheritance Tax threshold
I'm sorry to break it to you, Darling, but you didn't. You see, the current limit is £300k. Per person. You announced, in the Commons, that the limit would be 'increased' to £600k. Per couple.

Basic Arithmetic 101: 300 + 300 = 600

Google has a calculator function if you are that unable to fucking add up.

So just to clarify - you took something that was already in place and which could already be achieved with a simple legal document - and made it sound like you were doing something more.

And what's this - taxing non-domiciles? Hang on, this sounds familiar! Would that be because it's the SAME policy announced by George Osborne at the Tory Party Conference?

So - what we see here is a strategic masterstroke, therefore, by Gordon Brown.

Make noises about an Election, make sure your minions are poking the right people - even Nick Robinson thought it was going to happen - and force your opponents to publicise their policies.

Then steal them, and say 'no, of course we're not going to have an election'.

Next, announce those fiscal policies as your own. For bonus points, and to show your complete contempt for the British people, announce these 'new' policies just 1 WEEK after your opponents went public with them.

We're all too stupid to notice, right?

RIGHT?

3 comments:

Chris Chapman said...

I've been away from news sources for a few days and I've come back to a news landscape that has left me confused.

I genuinely can't see why this is even a story. It's not like someone's lifted a section of somebody else's political speech. It's a squabble over the ownership of ideas. (The Lib Dems are in the fray too, saying the Tories stole their ideas from them... have none of these people any idea how batshit crazy this sounds?)

If one party proposes something, is nobody else allowed to do it? I don't see an issue with what's happened here, it's just politics. I'd be far more worried about a government that ruled out a policy based solely on its source.

You can't 'steal' ideas for making the country better. Such an idea, once expressed, is public domain. If a proposal is a good one then what does it matter which party implements it? Politicians participating in the ridiculous circus surrounding 'ownership' of policies are exposing their own self-interested motivations from behind their practiced facade of public service and commitment to social improvement.

Neil said...

It's a good point, Chris - and _technically_ you're right, ideas are public.

What irritates me, though, is the cynicism. There's no attempt to say 'this was a good idea, so we're going to support and promote it', rather it's packaged as a new concept.

Additionally, what I really dislike is the spinning of something that already exists as something new.

That, I'm sure you'll agree, isn't right.

Chris Chapman said...

I agree, it's completely cynical, and while I'd love to see the dawn of a new political age based on civility and acknowledgement and free of cheap point-scoring, I'm not sure the political trend toward spin and soundbites and exaggeration and acrimony is reversible, as that is itself a response to 24-hour news media and headline-driven newspapers and busier lives and more limited attention spans (and that, in turn, is a reaction to the fact that we all now have thousands of things we could choose to be doing at any given moment...)

We live in a world where politics equals cynicism, I think, where the politicians that are good people (and there certainly are some) are drowned out (on a national level) by the machinery of partisanship and the need to win elections. Maybe it's always been this way.

I don't think any major party comes out of this looking particularly good, since none of them stayed out of it. It doesn't make my choice of who to vote for any easier. I have a feeling I'm going to end up voting for whichever local candidate for MP makes the best impression on me, because if I thought about it as casting a vote for Prime Minister, I would probably just stay in bed and cry.