‘Share the pain,’ say the Tories and the country thrills. De Sade would have been impressed

From the Observer
Britain has just had the most extreme budget in its recent history. It is not hysterical to imagine that we will soon be a miserable and angry country as a result. At a minimum, we are entering a future in which police officers will be fired and criminals left free to proceed unmolested; fire stations will close so the chances of your home going up in smoke will rise; teachers, university and teaching assistants will go, leaving the young more in danger of spending their lives in ignorance than they already are; housing, rail and road projects will be cancelled; regiments disbanded; and the sick, handicapped and old left to suffer. To top it all, everyone’s taxes will rise as well.

Foreigners are looking at the government inflicting the suffering with some amazement. As the New York Times noted on Friday: “No reputable economic theory justifies this bleeding.” By going beyond the already stringent austerity programme Labour had planned “in pursuit of a pointless structural budget surplus”, the Tories and Liberals risk pushing Britain into “years of stagnation”.

Yet the British seem to be enjoying themselves. The sun shines for weeks on end, the pubs and the cafes heave and warm feelings of approval engulf the new administration. George Osborne feared he would become the most hated man in the country. Last week, a Mori poll reported that he was not only popular, but the most popular Conservative chancellor since its records began in the 1970s. Meanwhile, all surveys show that the voters regard David Cameron and Nick Clegg as decent men trying their hardest, rather than dangerous ideologues or blithering idiots.
Carry on reading

6 thoughts on “‘Share the pain,’ say the Tories and the country thrills. De Sade would have been impressed

  1. The point about the theory and practice of austerity is a salient one. On radio and television, a number of features I came across, about what some people were doing or starting to do during the trouble, had knitting and buying shopping from cheaper supermarkets as remedies. It sounded like most were enjoying it. Meanwhile, Will Hutton would be repeatedly out of breath after his few minutes on current affairs programmes from trying to get it across that there was nothing short-term about this economic mess.
    Is there a touch of irony about it when even those who can make money out of periods of austerity are feeling the pinch? Not so long ago, from a bookshop, I bought the hardback of the popular history book Austerity Britain for a third of its proper price. Poor man.

  2. Like a libretto, if this piece was set to music it would have to be to the Nut Cracker.
    (Apologies, it’s late).

  3. Remember near the end of The Great Escape when Gordon Jackson is wished good luck by a German soldier and he mistakenly replies in English.
    Well, I hope it doesn’t get to the point where a Public Sector worker out for a social evening gets asked “What do you do?” and they have to be careful how they answer.

  4. Mr Cohen
    What is your point.
    1. Are the measures too harsh or shortsighted.
    2. We should stop moaning when they are introduced by your mate , the Thatcherite Gove.

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