Tuesday, October 06, 2009

George Osborne

(Since its first publication, I have substantially rewritten this post, for no purpose other than to satisfy the demands of my sometimes timelocked, sometimes deadlocked, sense of Christian charity.)
The Bullingdon Club boor George Osborne has stated his intention to raise the retirement age for men from 65 to 66. What right does this scion of a dynasty of soft furnishings salesmen have to believe he will withhold from me what I have paid for other men when my time comes?
It says much for his unsurprising lack of creativity that he should focus upon those upon whom he feels are too weak to oppose him, rather than practicing what he preaches and removing himself and his own family out of their multigenerational cycle of welfare dependency. A guid Tory to the last - welfare for me, but not for thee.
British governments have historically paid no heed to the will of the people, the most glaring recent example being Parliament proceeding with what turned out out to be the rape of Iraq in the face of enormous public opposition. Osborne voted in favour of that calamity, of course - aren't all those shots from cameras on smartbombs just as they're about to hit their targets so thrilling?- yet one wonders whether that little exercise in wielding absolutely unaccountable power must have gone to his head.
Yet doing physical violence to the citizens of another sovereign state and proposing to do economic violence to the citizens of your own state are two entirely different ball games. There is no crisis in the United Kingdom's public finances, none at all. There is only an atmosphere of crisis concocted to keep the people fearful; for it is better for those who wield power that we be fearful of them rather than that they be fearful of us, even when they have nothing to be fearful of.
Over the past 30 years, heavy manufacturing has been dismantled for no good reason other than that those who worked in it would sometimes flex their muscles. As opponents of oligarchy, they had to go. The coal industry was dismantled - those who worked in it would sometimes flex their muscles, and so they had to go. Trade unionism has been castrated - theories about the importance of having a flexible labour market were more important than the concept of the dignity of labour. Next thing you know, they'll have the cleaners in the public toilets having to set up themselves up as limited companies for the purposes of tax management, and employing Ernst & Young as their auditors.
And now, what Osborne thinks is the coup de grace - an attack on the old age pension. The anticipation of this moment has had them on the point of soiling themselves for years, and now they think their time has arrived.
Well, Sonny Boy, you're on to plums. If you think that you are going to take away from me what I have paid for others when the time comes for it to become payable to me, you will get sent away from the ballot box, if not with a kick up the backside, then certainly with a stiff cuff round the ear. The British Establishment's historic collective fear, rage and nausea at the sight of the British public organising themselves will once again take a grip, days in the political sun being recorded in your, probably unreadable, diaries as The Time of Prozac and Alka-Seltzer. The marches against your reforms will be so large that they will make the antiwar demonstrations of 2003 look like Saga walking tours. You are a lightweight and a pipsqueak. Get over it, deal with it, do as you're told, less of your nonsense and don't ever forget who pays your wages - or, indeed, your own pension, the universal deferment of which for all Members of Parliament until the age of 75 is a measure I'm sure you'll be more than willing to include in your welfare reforms.

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