Ignorant Cu ts

I despair sometimes, I really do.
I think yesterday’s Sun had something in it about ‘painful cuts’ to public spending and how awful it was going to have to be. I was (very uncharacteristically) waving the paper around at work remarking how it wasn’t going to be painful at all for me, and I wasn’t sure what the big deal was.

“Cuts to wages!” they said. “Not our wages,” I said. “Civil Servants, Public Sector workers. We work in the private sector,” I said. “Our wages have already been cut.”

“Cuts in pensions!” They cried. “Not OUR pensions,” I said. “Public Sector Workers Pensions. Besides which, the Brown Gorgon already fleeced OUR pensions.”

It just wasn’t sinking in. People -and these are otherwise intelligent people, some very so- just do not seem to grasp the concept that the money the government spends is their money that’s been taken away from them. They fully believe that it’s magic money that will be taken out of the economy by cuts in government spending. Even when I said that sacking all the civil servants and putting them on the dole would still be cheaper because you’re giving them less money for doing the same job (boom boom!) all I got was blank faces. Crazy.

What high-falutin’ libertarian types like the Samizdatistas would call the ‘meta-context’ is well and truly sewn up by the Keynesian left. Regular, credulous people the country up and down (and I know that this isn’t a scientific survey, but I bet you’d find the same story in tearooms everywhere) are totally bought into the notion that government spending is essential to the economy and the idea that the government and civil service are actually parasitic on the economy is totally alien to them.

What doesn’t help of course is supposedly highbrow programmes like BBC Breakfast (yes, I know) constantly pushing this line. Whether this is by design or just a symptom of the organisation being run by people who are also totally bought into the same idea I’ll leave for another time. This very morning they were discussing Cleggerton’s idea of following the Canadian model and both ‘sides’ of the ‘debate’ were worried that instead of a few hundred thousand people possibly being out of work (like in Canadia) we had several million public sector employees (the figure I think they quoted was 20% of the workforce) and cutting all their wages and/or jobs would be bad for the economy. Nobody saw fit to mention that 20% is an absurdly high figure to start with, nobody saw fit to mention that most of those employees are doing jobs that don’t really need doing (or are in fact completely undesirable for anybody to be doing full stop) and yet again nobody saw fit to mention that paying them JSA instead of £40,000 p.a. would be a hell of a lot cheaper anyway and most importantly nobody saw fit to mention that if they were not doing non-jobs at the other 80% of the populations expense they would be more likely to find work doing actual useful jobs, making products or providing services that other people were willing to pay for. And this from a programme that supposedly ‘well-informed’ people watch. Sheesh.

I feel completely despondent.

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I Wish It Could Be Election, Every Daaay

The kids might not be singing and the band might not be beginning to play, but it’s already better than christmas!

Why? Well, although there’s been a few pictures of polling stations on BBC Breakfast the ugly mugs of Brown, Cameron and Compo have been completely absent.

Heaven.

Will It Make Any Difference?

Ok so I’m on the Twitter and so far it seems quite good. It appraised me of the whole #bigotedwoman thing a whole hour before I saw it on the news. But will it make a jot of difference?

So Brown committed a faux pas and its all over the television, but so what? Just because it’s news today doesn’t mean it’s going to be news tomorrow. Remember the volcano? It was there every day, but as soon as the planes started flying it was dropped. I don’t even know if it’s still erupting- it might be, but who cares? It’s not on the telly anymore. Remember the Papal Abortion Clinic Memo? Big news on Sunday, all but forgotten now.
Don’t Mention The Unilateral Disarmament Notes?
“I Agree With Nick?”
Lord Ashcroft?
MP’s Expenses?

All gone down the memory hole. Added to the gestalt of distrust for ugly men and women in suits in Westminster for sure, but most people just don’t care and won’t remember come next Thursday, unless the MSM run and run with it.

Besides which, there are two major opinions people could come away from this story with: either A) they agree with Brown, that she IS a bigot, in which case this story will not affect their voting strategy in the least or B) they agree with the lady that there are too many immigrants in which case they are unlikely to vote for Brown’s brand of One World Socialism in any case. The story’s not the story, the gaffe is the story and it’s probably not going to amount to a hell of beans.

I Was With Him Till He Mentioned Gordon

This morning the news was all about the frankly hilarious Papal Visit Memo story, and tonight it hasn’t been mentioned once. What a difference a day makes!
Instead, we are once again being treated to the horror story (and a horror movie!) of what terrible things will be in store for us us if we, the Great British Electorate, give the wrong answer on Polling Day: not exclusively giving one of the three wise monkeys the keys to the door and the family silver.
George Osborne was quoted as saying:

“A vote for the Hung Parliament party is a vote for politics behind closed doors; indecision and weak government; a paralysed economy; yet another election; and very possibly, waking up on the 7th of May to find out that Gordon Brown is still in Downing Street”.

Politics behind closed doors. And we don’t have that now?

Indecision and a weak government. Yes please! I think we can safely say that the government we have at present is making far too many strong decisions.

A paralysed economy: See ‘politics behind closed doors.’ Besides which, I hardly see how the economy can do anything but improve without a bunch of prodnoses in Downing Street moving the goalposts every five minutes.

Yet another election: Why? Keep them all arguing over who’s in charge as long as possible. Hell, lock em in! As a taxpayer I’d be happy to pay for that.

Waking up on the 7th of May to find out that Gordon Brown is still in Downing Street.

Ah.

Mixed Bag

Bit of a mixed bag this morning in the news… the BBC’s Reporters appeared on the box with a segment on the Finnish education system and how wonderful it is. Apparently they don’t start school until the age of seven and there is an emphasis on home education (as well as, not instead of). There was no mention of Gordon’s promise to keep our children in school earlier and longer the other night though. I vaguely seem to remember hearing something about choice and funding in the Finnish education system as well, but a quick Scroogle didn’t reveal anything and I don’t have time to really look…

Plenty about the volcano (natch) and some ‘lifestyle’ stories (and one about George Washington!) but one other thing that stood out was Cameron’s back-footed attack on the Limp Dems: “A vote for the Lib-Dems is a vote for a European Superstate!
My word, this from the party of the ‘cast-iron’ guarantee. Seems the leader’s debate had more effect than any of us envisioned… At least the debate is a three-way now, but will the voting be? This could be a good thing or a bad thing… Including the Lib-Dems as a credible choice may well defuse some of the public’s exasperation with the other two wings of The Party and damage the chances of smaller, independent parties.

Speaking of which, why do the EDP get a campaign launch story on the BBC website?

Marmite: The New Smoking (Updated)

I’ve just seen the new Marmite advert. You’ve probably seen it (I can’t currently find it on YouTube)(you can see the adverts here, H/T David Davis at the LA Blog)- it takes the form of a party political broadcast for the ‘Hate Party’ with ‘manifesto’ promises regarding Marmite.

It says a lot about how far we’ve come. Bans -and restricting activities to certain areas- seem to have become so accepted into the national consciousness that food manufacturers are now comfortable spoofing them for an advert. “Get them out of the workplace and schools!” shouts the actor while the scene cuts to a bunch of desperate-looking people standing outside behind a velvet rope munching on marmite. The parallels are obvious but I wonder how many people will see it in a negative light? It’s obviously meant as Just A Bit Of Fun but it leaves a slightly sick feeling in the pit of the stomach as you can actually see it happening at some time in the not-too-distant future.

I will wait to see the corresponding advert (for the ‘Love Party?’) to see if it suggests making Marmite-eating compulsory. I’m guessing it will, as making things either banned or compusory seems to be the order of the day and popular culture is either catching up or normalising the idea, depending on how your foil hat fits today.

And I’m not even going to mention the two-choices-only way it paints the electoral process. Oh wait, I just did. Still, at least if it were real there would actually be a difference between parties.

Update: The Love advert doesn’t actually suggest making Marmite compulsory, now that I’ve seen it (thanks David) but it does, as Man Widdicombe points out in the comments at the LA post sport a red rosette and champion ‘spreading freedom to other countries.’ Can’t think where I’ve heard that before..?

I’ve also complained to the ASA as David Davis suggested.

Fat, Sugar and Salt. Oh My!

I really should stop watching BBC Breakfast, I’m sure it sets me up for indigestion for the rest of the day.
This morning they are interviewing Dr. David A. Kessler, author of a book entitled “The End Of Overeating. His contention (and he may well be right) is that processed foods filled with fat, sugar and salt stimulate reward centres in our brains and act as some sorts of drug.
Initially, he says, the food industry discovered that processing foods and adding these ingredients increased shelf lives and allowed them to ship foods further, cheaper and safer. This is, surely A Good Thing. Those eeeevil food companies also, however, discovered the compulsive, obsessive effects of their foods and (and I quote) “[put] those foods on every street corner and made them available 24/7.”

Oh dear! Now I can’t walk down the street without being compelled to eat a double cheeseburger with three Mars Bars for dessert. Or maybe three double cheeseburgers… You don’t have to chew so much you see, so your brain makes you want MOOOORE. It’s “Adult baby food.” Except I won’t.

You see, I have this amazing super-power called ‘Self Control.’ I might be ‘bombarded’ with images of processed foods all day long and maybe they do have some sort of effect on my brainwaves (I’m currently not believing in Wh00psian Exceptionalism) but I’m still not going to eat three double cheeseburgers because I know it isn’t good for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy processed foods (and occasionally I do eat three double cheeseburgers for lunch) but I don’t eat them all the time. There’s no point in blaming advertising and availability for fat people gorging themselves on unhealthy foods, the fault lies in the fat people themselves, a fact that seems to have escaped the good doctor, who “has an empathy for people who can’t control their eating habits” since he did “all his research.”

Take it back to the drug-like effects. In the same way I might fancy a gram of whizz this morning and then a few fat doobies tonight to wind down again. I used to do it all the time, so my brain’s been affected. I don’t any more though, because I have Self Control. See how it works? If the brain is clever enough to control its urges with proper drugs (and there’s plenty of people who’ve even gotten themselves of the really hard drugs who can attest to that) then I’m sure it can manage to eat less cheeseburgers. We used to catch mammoths for tea and avoid sabre-tooths having us for tea, for Christ’s sake.

To be fair to the doctor, he wasn’t suggesting we ban anything, and the nub of his gist seemed to be that people need to change their eating habits. I still don’t agree. If you want to gorge yourself on litres and litres of Ice-Cream, it’s no business of mine. If you can’t control your urges then that’s your problem. Buy his book if you like.

Just don’t expect me to pay for it. I’ve already paid for the 20-minute advert this morning.