His words not mine. Wait, I think he said tax avoidance was morally repugnant. I’m not sure, it was difficult to hear over all the MPs whooping, whistling and applauding one another. “YEAH GO OSBOURNE!”
The context of this afternoons budget speech seemed to be drowned out by the political duel and ape like roars. Perhaps we can say that it’s good to see MPs awake in the Commons, after all that is somewhat of a rarity. I couldn’t help but think of Banksy’s portrait above when I watched the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour monkeys squabbling about taxing the rich. Ed Miliband claimed in his oscar-winning speech that it was just “the same old tories”. True as that may be, the whole fiasco felt like the same old Commons. Everyone shouting about nothing and repeatedly missing the point.
We were all on tenterhooks to see if they’d scrap the higher-rate child benefit, lower the 50p tax or (god forbid) charge us more for alcohol. We were so gripped by the soap-opera of it all that we’ve almost forgotten about the coaliations most offensive acts, the ones that passed by without a hint of democratic discussion. Anyone remember that NHS bill that everyone hated? You know, the one that passed through the final steps despite endless campaigns and aversion from senior NHS staff and, well, the rest of the population. Remember that one? Or what about the outrageous rise in University fees and the condemnation of a generation to a lifetime of debt?
While Osborne and his chimps were dealing out blows for pensioners in bite-size, jargon-filled speeches, I momentarily forgot that we have virtually no democratic say in what Parliament do. We’re allowed to elect the same old monkeys to fling the same poo. With a Coalition government that were not voted to have the legion of power that they do, it is no suprise that the Government unveiled a budget that was of benefit to none other than themselves.
Maybe it wasn’t as bad news as we’d expected, perhaps we were relieved that “Wallace and Gromit are here to stay”, it all seems a touch irrelevant when you understand that no amount of scrutiny, objection or educated opinions would have made the blindest bit of difference to a Government that have absolutely no mandate and can still do whatever they want.
What a wonderfully democratic country we live in. Not only is it time for a new party, it is high-time for a whole new system.
More on the budget here.