Wednesday 25th November
In essence, George Osborne’s Spending Review was like one of those ads on the radio. It’s trying to sell you the Orgasma-tron 4000, which promises untold realms of utopian hedonism, and then the voiceover quickly rattles through the smallprint, practically whispering the words: “Pleasure may go up or down. Terms and conditions apply. Batteries not included.”
Certainly, there will be cuts in departmental spending, but police budgets will be maintained, health budgets will be increased, housing budgets will be increased, schools are being given budget breaks, and the headline is that the dreaded Tax Credit cuts will now not happen. Everything seems to be rosier.
But, as ever with Osborne, the devil is in the detail. Those who were going to lose out on Tax Credits will still lose the same amount by the end of the decade with the introduction of Universal Credit. It’s all a question of swinging the axe slower. We wait for the bespectacled analysts to rake through the smallprint.
Nevertheless, that left Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell in an awkward position. Responding to Financial Statements is the hardest job in British politics. You have no advanced sight of the statement, and it’s made all the harder when you have a cough, and your opponent has pulled the rug from under you.
What you shouldn’t do if you are trying to gain public trust on the economy from a far-left position is quote any controversial Communists in support of your assessment. One can imagine the nightmare scenario of McDonnell standing at the despatch box, pulling out a copy of the Little Red Book and quoting Chairman Mao.
Well, there’s no need to imagine. You can watch McDonnell's Mao McNuggets now on YouTube. Again and again.
Frequent readers have often thought that some of my inventions are real, or sometimes that something I have reported is a conjuring from my imagination. After witnessing that, even I’m not sure where the line is anymore.
More NbyNW content is available, including this story on The Labour Moderates' Secret Code to Bring Down Corbyn:
Follow North by North Westminster on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NByNWestminster
Like our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/northbynorthwestminster?fref=nf
Follow us on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/north-by-north-westminster