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Hello, I'm pleased that Now Then has asked me, as Chancellor, to state why the Comprehensive Spending Review will create a hopeful, prosperous Britain. There was a great danger that this country would have been bankrupted like Greece, and like them, been forced to speak a foreign language and eat feta cheese. That was the future Labour had created for us. Instead, we have created a new future, by making difficult decisions such as sacrificing the poor. As the BBC said, "Low income families with children are set to lose the most - about 5% of net income". But poor people generally don't know what 5% is, so it's not a problem. I'm not even sure they feel pain. Like fish. We have got students to pay for their education, much as my parents paid for mine. We have axed the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). One girl said to me, "I need EMA. My mum is on benefits and I am a full-time student at college. Without EMA I can't go to college. I will have to drop out and I don't want to do that." But people who aspire don't need help from big government. Rather than just give her an education or a permanent job, we will force her into unpaid work, four weeks a year, to drive our Big Society. Then, once our reinvigorated, prosperous Britain comes, there will be jobs for all. And if there aren't any jobs she should make one. That's what my family did, and we were only lowly baronets. Then there's the fuss about housing benefits. Being a multi-millionaire, I'm fully in touch with the people, particularly people who want a certain standard of neighbours, not low-lives who can't get on. Given a choice between succeeding or living on an estate with drug addicts and mental cases, people will succeed or become drug addicts and mental cases. It really is that simple. I was very pleased to read Sheffield Council's response to the Comprehensive Spending Review, 'Future Shape'. At first I thought it was one of those games little Lucius plays on his phone, where you get a thousand points each time a heptahedron mates with a triangle. Instead, it is a guide to cutting council services, with inspiring lines like "we will need to spend around £220 million less [a year] by 2014/15". When you think that Sheffield Council spends £440 million a year on staff, the saving could be made simply by letting half of them go and allowing them to stand on their own two feet. Rather than agonising over the details, I suggest they simply use my own, more efficient way of producing a budget - I picked up the last council budget, flicked through it and randomly cut a few services: "Corporate Complaints Service - provides a single access point for customers to comment, compliment or complain." CUT. In our new, hopeful, prosperous, perfect Britain there will be no need to complain. "Co-ordinate Government Inspections - liaise directly with Audit Commission on major Government inspections." CUT. We cut the Audit Commission so Councils won't need to worry about things like liaising or standards. "Premises and Assets - provides property and asset management" CUT. Councils should not own property but sell it to the private sector, which can turn community centres, playgrounds and forests into things people really need, like shops. "Community Services - including the Ranger Service, Sports Services, provision of allotments and heritage services." CUT. The Big Society will take care of all this, because when the Council has stopped all their luncheon clubs, what else are retired people going to do if not look after allotments and old buildings? The Spending Review was necessary because we all know that if a business is in debt, you need to cut costs. Yes, economists say it is more complicated than that, but I drift off and start thinking about Nanny. It might cost the economy nearly as much to pay a Council worker to be on benefits as it does to have them in a job and paying taxes, but that's if they don't find jobs in the private sector. And yes, "more than four unemployed people are chasing every job vacancy across the UK", but that desperation will be the foundation of our hopeful, prosperous Britain. We are all in this together, from those forced to work for their benefits, to those who (like me) are the children of millionaires and have never done a hard day's work in their lives. I say to those who doubt we have everybody's best interests at heart, join us in our task. Join us, campaigners against abolishing the Education Maintenance Allowance (saveema.co.uk). Join us, Facebook campaigners 'False Economy' and 'One Million Against the Cuts'. Join us, demonstrators against public sector cuts (righttowork.org.uk, coalitionofresistance.org.uk). It is the task of this generation, the task of the British people, to be great once again. )

Next article in issue 33

27b/6 The Magic 8 Ball

I sent an email to a friend recently, asking several different questions, and he replied with the single answer "Yes, probably." It was obvi…

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