...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Day 2071: The Conservatories, sponsored by JCB – Shovelling Dirt since the Seventeenth Century


Guess who's off on another jolly?

Yes, like many a young HIPPY, Mr Balloon has joined the flip-flop trail to INDIA in order to get his hands on some of their fantastic po… policy ideas.

You can even read about it, in "his own" words, as he has written his "what I did on my holiday" diary:

"Tonight I'll arrive in India for the first time in seven years, and I’m sure it's going to be a fantastic trip."

That is refreshingly honest. They do say that the first step is admitting that you have a PROBLEM!

Of course, I say: "written in his own words" but it is remarkable how our RELAXED and SPONTANEOUS leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition used almost exactly the SAME words when being interviewed on the Today Programme. Imagine being able to be that spontaneous TWICE!

"I'm going for a simple reason…" Mr Balloon continues.

Yes! It is to open a new TRACTOR FACTORY for his CHUM, Sir Anthony Bamford.

Sir Anthony is SO MUCH Mr Balloon's chum that he has loaned him a helicopter and had him visit his wife's farm shop. Plus the small matter of giving the Conservatories a MILLION POUNDS.

But Sir Anthony is also MODEST! That is no doubt why he has been linked to an ANONYMOUS syndicate called the Midlands Industrial Council who have been QUIETLY bunging donating the odd few pounds here and there to Mr Balloon. Almost another MILLION, in fact.

Isn't that generous!

(Mr Balloon is not alone in receiving Sir Anthony's LARGESSE; Mr Vague, the Shadow Minister for Caravan Holidays, is on a modest retainer of £50,000 a year from JCB to be their representative – that is almost as much as he gets paid to represent his constituents; I wonder how Mr Vague divides his time?)

I am sure that the people of Britain will be proud to hear that the Conservatories are good people to have as your friends. And that that friendship can be BOUGHT for only a few thousands of pounds.

How very different from the BAD OLD DAYS of "Cash for Questions". Now it is "Cash for Appearances", and no questions asked!

It was a SHAME of the Today Programme to spoil Mr Balloon's holiday, but they had been talking to Mr John "Nanu Nanu" Deadwood, of the Redwood Stage.

Mr Deadwood had told them how it was vitally important that the Conservatories should put TAX CUTS first.

"And my Treen Warriors will conquer all of Venus!" he added in an unguarded moment.

Ms Sarah Montague had wanted to know if Mr Deadwood agreed with Mr Oily Letwin of the Conservatories' Public-service Improvement Group (or PIG).

Only last week Mr Oily was saying that Conservatories need to learn to say that public spending is not always bad and private spending is not always good.

"I agree," disagreed Mr Deadwood, "and I would go further – we need to learn to say that public spending IS always bad and private spending IS always good!"

So they had to phone up Mr Balloon to ask which of his colleagues was right. Mr Balloon was diplomatic and said that they both were. Or neither of them. Whichever you prefer.

When it was pointed out that they flatly contradicted each other, he was able to say that that was the wonderful thing about the new and inclusive Conservatories. And isn’t the JCB factory NICE.

Asked if this meant that the Conservatories would definitely be promising tax cuts he said: yes, maybe they definitely would. Or maybe not. Stability had to come first, and then tax cuts; or tax cuts should come first in order to get stability. It really is a VERY nice JCB factory.

Mr Balloon continues to try to keep everyone guessing happy about taxes and spending by saying that he wants to share out the GROWTH in the economy between spending and tax cuts.

But this is CONFUSING because you need to know what he means by GROWTH.

Soft-toy Level Mathematics follows:

[R: he means, beware of the gross oversimplification!]

Most of the Government's money comes from income tax and sales tax (VAT). About the same amount comes from each, and together they make about three-quarters of the government's income.

Mr Balloon knows that even if you do not do ANYTHING, the amount of cash coming in will go UP as people's wages go up (wage inflation) and the cost of shopping goes up (retail price inflation). That is a good measure of "growth".

BUT, the Government's COSTS will also go up. And because rather a lot of those costs are the WAGES of people like doctors and nurses, teachers, policemen or firemen, and rather a lot of the rest of the costs are things like expensive drugs on the NHS which get more expensive more quickly than tee-shirts from M&S, then the COSTS have a habit of going up MORE QUICKLY than the incomes.

(Think about it, most of your costs increase at the rate of wages, but only half of your income increases at the rate of wages. This is bound to lead to trouble!)

Or to put it another way, if you want to give people a tax CUT, then you will have to make some of those costs grow LESS – that means that either public service salaries have to fall behind private ones or you have to buy fewer expensive drugs. (That's fewer expensive drugs, Mr Balloon.) In either case, that is a "real terms" CUT.

By sticking to his line of "we will share the benefits of growth between spending and tax cuts", Mr Balloon's policy is all over the road.

At this point, it would be in VERY bad taste to make any jokes about Mr Balloon's vehicle going OUT OF CONTROL and knocking down an innocent by-stander!

I hope she recovers.

And when that young flipper-ti-gibbet, Mr Balloon, comes down from his trip to India, I hope that he has some proper answers!

PS, Mr Balloon

Do not think I didn't notice you SNUBBING the offer of a ride from an elephant!

Chauffeur driven cars are all right, but an elephant not good enough for you, eh?

Elephants do not forget!

1 comment:

Paul Evans said...

Anthony Bamford clearly has more than sense. It was he after all who lent Jeffrey Archer over £100k with which to buy those Aquablast shares in the 70s...