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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Cuts All Round

Well, he was going to say the C-word someday, and today Pa Broon veritably went overboard at the annual TUC bash in Liverpool. Several times he said “cuts”. So there are to be some cuts, somewhere, but not to “front line services”, which begs the question of how those services are defined: very probably by those specifying the cuts.

But it’s not really news. Rather, it’s an attempt by Brown and his trusty (for now) sidekick Baron Mandelson of Indeterminate Guacamole to see off the Tory jibes that suggest Pa Broon has some kind of blockage about saying that small word. Well, if there was a blockage, it’s been cleared in the interim.

So now all three main parties are talking cuts. Vince Cable, the World’s Most Agreeable Politician (tm) already has a menu of variously painful measures, including two items I’d put in the bin without prompting: ID cards and Trident replacement. We don’t need to just keep on gathering more information in order to keep the country secure – all that is needed is for the various agencies to work coherently together.

And no way do we need a vanity nuclear deterrent, which is all that Trident replacement is: it’s a delusional remnant of the now bankrupt idea that the UK is still a great power (the idea that we should pull out of the EU and somehow stand gloriously alone is another).

So what of the Tories? The shadow chancellor, Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the seventeenth Baronet, is in typically dismissive mode, but what’s on his hit list? Granted, Cable can more easily afford to play Fantasy Budget Cuts, given that he’s unlikely to be in 11 Downing Street this time next year, but voices in the City are muttering less than total satisfaction with what they know so far about Osborne.

Given the current state of the polls, we’ll find out soon enough what he’s for cutting. As to whether he’s up to the job, well, by the time we find out, it’ll be too late for second thoughts.

Such is politics in the UK.

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