Budget Blues

Can I just start this post by saying that I hate George Osborne and all that he represents? Thanks.

And that David Cameron.

I’d explain, but it’d make me depressed.

Maybe tomorrow. But just in case you are wondering, here’s a hint.

It was budget day today. Millionaires can sleep happy knowing their children will not pay inheritance tax on the first £100,000. After all they’ve earned it.

If your family does not have a million pounds in the bank, expect your meagre assets to be taken into account when your eligibility for any welfare benefit is assessed.

Those offspring of wealthy families have already probably benefited from the family millions. They may have attended fee-paying schools, where although there are question marks about the quality of the teaching being better than in their state counterparts, the classes are undoubtedly smaller, and the facilities usually better. At those same schools they will have made contacts that can be beneficial to them for the rest of their days. Not for nothing do we talk about the old school tie. They will have a sense of entitlement. I have a few friends who went through the public school system. Lovely people all, but their sense of having a right to things always amazes me. They also have a sense of being right; of knowing, in a way us state-educated folk cannot really know.

If you met me, I don’t doubt you’d think me as middle class as they come.
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How Would Your Cat Vote?

I am rather disappointed that less than two weeks after the excitement that was the Scottish Referendum, UK politics has gone back to be mainly blah again. Last week Ed Milliband forgot to mention the deficit in his main speech at the Labuour Party Conference. Jon Snow grilled him with barely concealed exasperation, like a public school house master who is getting very tired of this student who continues to dither. I have some sympathy with Ed. I threw precious marks away in my finals when I was so confident in what should have been my best paper that I put all the frills into my essay but failed to include the main points. Something that occurred to me about ten minutes outside the exam hall and literally stopped me in my tracks. George Osborne, who I am still not convinced is a real person, gave a speech today where people on benefits were warned of more cuts, because we cannot ‘tax our way out of difficulty’. That’s not exactly what he said, but I didn’t have a notebook beside me and am not prepared to watch the speech again. It translates as ‘we shall leave people with money alone because they have power and influence and can make our lives uncomfortable. Also, we have money too, and cannot conceive of what it must be like to not have choices. Therefore those of you who fall into that category are not like us and do not qualify as human beings worthy of our sympathy and attention’. A few weeks ago someone wrote a long but brilliant piece in the Guardian about the City of London’s rôle in our country. We, as voters in a supposedly democratic country, think we choose our government and that our government is ultimately accountable to us. Step forward the City. The government is accountable to the City. Another interesting, but frankly depressing piece, was about how the country’s assets have been sold off; many now in the hands of other countries. We are effectively tenants in our our own land. So how did this get me to cats? Well. If you know me, or if you have followed this blog for a few years you will know that I adored Cat. He adopted me, opened my eyes to the pleasure of feline company, and made me reassess their position in relation to dogs. I should previously have classified myself as a Dog Lover. Actually, I should still classify myself as a Dog Lover. Nothing expresses joy in the world like a dog. Dogs are amazing, wonderful creatures who enhance our lives, give generously, empathise, protect us and remind us that loyalty can be bought by a sausage. Continue reading

Fracked Off

I wasn’t at the Olympics when they booed George Osborne last year, but I saw and heard it on the televsion. I hope all those people and more are booing him today even louder after he has announced tax breaks for firms extracting shale gas.
Ungorgeous George reckons the UK must be leaders in this market. He might as well consign half the country to a watery grave and kill off all unborn children. Yes, it is that serious.
Of course if it were just the UK that will be affected by this exploitation of the earth’s resources, we could pack our bags now, bid a nostalgic farewell to lands that were a byword for green and pleasant, and remove to a more environmentally sensitive world.
But behaviours in one country affect all of us. A bit like the flap of the butterfly’s wings in New Mexico that ends in a hurricane in China. Continue reading