Clearly unable keep up the pretence of being a "LIBERAL Conservatory" any longer, Mr Balloon has turned his predatory – preda-Conserva-tory, even – gaze on the Labour's softening support.
"We'll be there for you," that was Mr Balloon's new message to the working poor.
"The Labour have let you down badly, but we'll be there. Gideon needs some people to pick up the apples on his estate, and Mr Vague knows a couple of half-decent gang masters. And goodness knows I'm finding it hell getting a nanny these days, especially now the NHS is paying nurses a decent living…"
If Mr Balloon is "there" for the people hit by Mr Frown's doubling of the 10p tax band, perhaps he'd like to tell us what his ALTERNATIVE is?
"Oh, no, I couldn't tell you what a Conservatory budget would look like this far from the other side of a General Election."
Mr Andy Marmite tried to press him on the issue:
"Mr Balloon, are you ready for Government?"
"So what are your plans?"
"Gee whiz! I couldn't possibly tell you THAT!"
"Aren't the Labour terrible, though, yah boo! Isn't it AWFUL that the poor oiks will have to pay more tax!"
"So, would you reinstate the 10p band?"
"You're asking me to make decisions!"
"Mr Frown has shown nothing but dither and u-turns over his decisions; that's why I'M not going to make any."
"But the only actual concrete tax cut that you've proposed is to cut inheritance tax for, frankly, people as wealthy as you are. That's no good to the low paid, is it?"
"We've made it clear that we'll share the proceeds of growth between the state and the economy, so that the government takes less as a proportion as the economy grows."
Look, just ONCE I wish someone would NAIL him on this: "Mr Balloon, when you say you're going to grow the state LESS than the economy, exactly WHO do you mean will be getting BELOW INFLATION PAY RISES?"
Health, Education, Defence, Police and Public Safety (I think that means MI5!): that's 42% of the nation's budget right there.
If you're going to restrict the growth of the government spend, then realistically some of that restriction has to be in these areas. Where are the cuts going to fall?
Then you've got to consider the 30%+ spent on social protection – that means pensions and incapacity benefit and jobseekers allowance, for the benefit of Mr "defender of the poor" Balloon, plus child benefits and any bits of the tax credit scheme that Mr Frown can't get away with disguising as negative taxes. Mr Balloon clearly has a greedy, beady eye on the incapacity benefit. Yes, he wants to cut money for the sick in order to pay for "sharing the proceeds of growth".
He plans to make people take compulsory medical examinations… hang on, doesn't he know that people have to take regular compulsory medical examinations ALREADY? (You have to haul yourself off to the hospital and then hope that you are ILL enough on the day to convince the Government probulators not to stop your benefits. Of course if you're TOO ill to travel and miss the appointment they'll stop your benefits anyway.) Does Mr Balloon actually think that people will just go: "oh, if only I'd realised that having both of my legs blown off by the Taliban makes me a drain on the resources of worthwhile people; I'd better just go and get a job"?
And this is the money that Mr Balloon wants to use to give a tenner a week to married couples, rich and poor alike.
And he has the GALL to call it MORALLY WRONG when Mr Frown takes from the least well off to fund perks for the rich.
Add all that up and you've got more than 70% of all government spending. And, with the 5% spent paying the interest on all that debt that Sooty's running up not easily reduced either, you've got less than a quarter of the Government's spending plans left for you to find your savings and "cuts in waste" from.
Mr Marmite chanced his arm again, trying to test Mr Balloon's spending plans.
"You've made lots of spending commitments, though: increased funding for the armed forces, matching the Labour's increases on health, more for education, more for post-natal support… where's all the money going to come from?"
"Look, I've had to make the tough decisions. I know I said I wouldn't make decisions, but it was a tough decision and I decided to make them."
"Yes, but what ARE they?"
"That would be telling!"
"Okay, how about this, MPs' pay. I've said we'd keep MPs' pay increases down."
You could scrap the payroll vote entirely and it wouldn't pay for a whole EUROFIGHTER! You wouldn't save a zero-point-one of a billion if you abolished the whole of the House of Commons! How can you possibly, POSSIBLY expect to pay for your promises if THAT is the sort of thing you think of when you talk about trimming the waste?!?!
Not that Mr Balloon is a man who you can trust to KEEP his promises, as he himself ADMITTED to the The Today Programme's Mr Humpy.
The only promise he's been in a position actually to deliver on and he "fesses up" that he's broken it.
Actually, that isn't true – he ALSO promised to pull the Conservatories out of the European People's Party in Europe… and he broke that promise too.
Now, normally, Mr Humpy's aggressive style of interviewing, interrupting and badgering, can be quite annoying, bit today on Today I detected a CUNNING PLAN: he WANTED to make Mr Balloon lose his cool. As Mr B very nearly admitted, when he gets cross he loses it – that was his excuse for name-calling at Prime Monster's Questionable Time – and that was what Mr Humpy wanted him to do live on air. Not that Mr Humpy has a political AGENDA!
Actually, Mr Humpy DID miss another trick: Mr Balloon claimed that he'd been against Mr Frown's 10p tax policy from the very beginning (which obviously isn't TRUE because he WELCOMED the tax cut and didn't notice where the money came from until Sir Mr the Merciless pointed it out) BUT he ALSO claimed that he was angry with Mr Frown because we've just discovered that he was robbing the poor to pay the rich. Well both of those CANNOT be true at the same time! Mr Humpy should have said: "Which is it, Mr Balloon, were you against it from the start or have you only just discovered it? Which was the lie?"
So we missed that but we got broken promises and Mr Balloon's useless confession. You're not PROPERLY SORRY if you're going to do it AGAIN Mr B!
But presumably, six months into a Conservatory Parliament, we can all look forward to:
"OK, look I put my hands up to it: we said that we'd lower taxes and borrowing and keep the minimum wage and not invade Iran and abolish I.D.iot cards and detention without trial and reinstate Magna Carta, and I "fess up", you've caught me out, I've broken all those promises: we've put 10p on the basic rate of Income Tax in order to abolish Capital Gains Tax for non-doms, tripled the national debt to pay for hired mercenaries so that we can invade Venezuela, abolished the minimum wage, sold the NHS to Haliburton, reintroduced the slave trade and appointed Robert Mugabe as Minister of Justice… it's not like I didn't TELL you we were going to do all these things. Oh wait, I didn't."