Is the UK Government really looking after our interests or
are they a bunch of ambitious self-serving ex-public schoolboys?
Another true story? This was written
in December 2012
I used to read Charles Dickens' books
and in one of these Mr Micawber said something along the lines
expenditure £19/19/6d bliss
expenditure £20/0/6d misery.
In a nutshell this makes perfect sense.
Unfortunately perfect sense is something that MPs, especially
Chancellors of the Exchequer do not possess.
Nowadays we have the effects of something called "The Budget"
foisted on us twice a year. It used to be once a year, but things
started to get out of control and book balancing was needed more
What is a "Budget"?
In the same way as Mr Micawber knew that one must not spend more
than we earn, the Government knows likewise.
Unfortunately the Government, whether it be the Ruling Party
or the Opposition, choose to ignore the basic principles of a
Why is this?
The proper way to work out a budget is to determine the amount
one is going to spend, then work out how to raise enough cash
to cover this. To be prudent one should include a contingency
so that if expenditure is a bit higher than planned there's enough
left in the kitty to pay the extra.
This is pretty straightforward isn't it, and the Chancellor should
be able to understand the principles?
No.. it isn't straightforward at all because in order to pay
for expenditure we need to pay taxes. If a Government increased
taxes to actually cover expenditure they would rapidly become
This is the problem with a democracy.
Given the choice between paying 20 pence in the pound income
tax or say 25 pence, what would you choose?
It's a no-brainer.
The Ruling party cannot afford to balance the books like Mr Micawber,
because The Opposition will say "rubbish, we can run the
country without raising income tax".
The Ruling Party and Opposition will shortly afterwards swop
places until the same thing happens and they swap back again.
Meanwhile, what happens to the job of
balancing the books?
The Ruling Party will borrow money to cover the shortfall.
As time progresses, more and more money is borrowed and the country
gets deeper into the mire. As Mr Micawber said; "misery".
What I've said above is quite true.
One must however figure out some strange things.
The Ruling Party under Mrs Thatcher
stayed in power for ages.
Why didn't they switch over and become
the opposition after four or five years?
The answer is that someone had the bright idea of making money
on the side. Instead of raising all the cash they needed from
just taxation they decided to sell off the family silver.
What "family silver"?
Lots of things. Our railways, our buses,
our electricity, our gas, our oil, our radio waves, our telephones,
our water and lots more
Instead of paying just income tax we now pay a little extra for
electricity, gas, travelling, phoning, water etc etc etc
These things can be bundled together as stealth taxes.
There's loads more hit by stealth tax as well. The cost of a
visit to the local pub and the local shop (if you still have
All well and good, but unfortunately
the country has long run out of family silver and more and more
esoteric things are having to be dreamt up to keep the budget
Take television for example. Do away with analogue TV. Introduce
digital TV and sell off any spare radio spectrum resulting from
the change. Do away with radio as well
This change to digital transmission was wonderful. Manufacturers
with a totally saturated analogue market could now develop huge
new ranges of digital equipment with which to re-flood the market.
Competition and progress will create
more and more advanced designs and the Ruling Party are already
planning to exploit this and sell off even more radio spectrum
Not too long ago a chap called Mr Brown,
strapped for cash sold off a load of our gold reserves. Even
more valuable than our family silver! Unfortunately he sold the
stuff at a bargain basement price
but that's another story.
there's also the raid on pension funds, carried
out by the same chap, that resulted in lots of pensioners losing
I heard a theory a few years ago. It
seemed to make sense. Something along these lines... the only
threat to us in the Ruling Class is from educated plebs.
Where do educated plebs come from? Why,
grammar schools of course.
Why don't we close down grammar schools
then and stick all pleb children in comprehensive schools?
That way it'll be pretty rare for any
pleb children to become properly educated like us.
That should put a stop to people like
John Major or Maggie to ever pose a threat again.
We'll crack on that comprehensive schools
are really super places and real seats of learning.
We'll lower standards so that plebs
will think their kids are ever so clever while we really know
that they're just passing dead easy exams.
They'll never be as clever as us old
Of course this is exactly what happened.
Maybe a bit of fine tuning if the plebs
Why not call some comprehensives "Academies".
That sounds really good, and we'll keep
lowering standards so that plebs think the new schools are fantastic.
In the latest government (2013) I hear
that recruitment is now restricted to ex-public schoolboys.
Finally. Government weazel words.
How can the prime minister hoodwink
people into thinking he and his chancellor crony are doing really
Easy, just dream up a way of saying
things in such a way that people think the opposite of the truth.
One way is to use statistics. Some knowledgable
people refer to statistics as "damned lies" as figures
can be manipulated to turn horror stories into really good news.
Another way is to use a word that sounds
similar but has a different meaning.
Take for example "debt".
Debt is what we owe other people. Britains
debt mountain is growing year on year at an almost constant rate.
Hang on though. The Prime Minister keeps
telling us he's reducing the deficit.
Isn't debt and deficit the same thing?
The clue to government half truths is
the rate at which debt is rising.
If debt continued to rise in a straight
line the deficit would be unchanging and debt would be increasing
However, if the figure for annual debt
(that's the extra amount for just this year) is less than it
was for last year one would say the deficit has fallen.
Recently the Prime Minister slipped
up and told everyone that Britains debt was falling.
He got confused and used the wrong word.
"Debt" rather than "Deficit".
Britain's national debt is rising and
it's massively bigger than it was when the Opposition were in
To confuse the electorate the government
now refer to deficit and they speak of this in rosy terms.
Every year annual government expenditure
minus annual income equals the annual deficit.
If we return to the original statement
by Mr Micawber, the position scaled down is this.
Income £20. Expenditure £34.
That explains why we should be miserable.
We've reduced the deficit by 30% over
3 years really means Income is £20 and expenditure is about
The Prime Minister said recently he
had reduced the National Debt by 30%.
The debt is currently around £1,200,000,000,000.
A 30% reduction would be £360,000,000,000
making the debt £840,000,000,000
In fact the debt is on track to rise
The total error is therefore £560,000,000,000
Is this the biggest numerical error
(or fib) a government spokesman has ever made?
Incidentally.. what about the term "billion"?
When I was at infants school (that was nearly 70 years ago) we
were taught that a billion was a million million. Nowadays a
billion seems to have shrunk quite a lot... in fact by a thousand
times. Maybe a thousand million sounded way too much to decribe
anything (especially debt) so a billion was redefined. Unfortunately
National Debt has actually grown to more than a real billion...
this is now called a "Trillion". At the same infants
school a trillion was a billion billion. Not any more...