I think we would all like to thank George Osborne from the bottom of our hearts for the generosity he has shown in this week’s budget. That he would even spare a thought for us, lowly and humble proles is enough to bring even the most left-wing liberal close to tears.
For those of you who haven’t yet heard the joyous news, our kind and gracious leader’s right-wing man, ehem, right hand man has made it cheaper for us to enjoy our two favourite things, gambling and drinking! But this is of course only for the ‘hardworking people’, those who, ‘make, do, and save’.
Is this yet another of the ways that the Conservative party is trying to win over the support of the disillusioned working class in order to secure seats after the next elections? One says working class, but perhaps we should now be referring to them as the Hardworking People Of Britain™. Perhaps Orwell really was right when he wrote, ‘beer, and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult…’, encouraging them to distract themselves from the real politics of the country.
I think this was, to one extent, successful. The Sun’s front page yesterday held the ‘headline’, ‘Win-Go’. This witty portmanteau of the words win and bingo, expresses the sheer and genuine joy with the new budget, rather than responding to anything more important. (Is there not something going on in Russia…?!)
This much is obvious, however. This gesture is so clearly tokenistic that it doesn’t hold up under any kind of scrutiny. What this might well achieve, however, is increasing the divide between the classes. Two years ago David Cameron told us that Britain was a country for ‘strivers’, and that those out of work are ‘skiving’: they don’t contribute to society, and they are the evil. Sadly the public was receptive, with polls showing that people massively overestimate the number of recipients claiming benefits fraudulently, for example.
It is my reckoning that this advertising campaign will increase the social dysfunctionality of our country. With the rich believing the poor are alcoholic gamblers and even the poor distrusting each other. And of course, when our population is blaming each other for our failings, those in power can continue unchecked….