So much of what the Fourth Estate churns out depends on its readership having a limited attention span: in this, as with so much else, the press both insults and underestimates its customers. But still they churn on, and today’s Daily Mail headline, proclaiming “George’s Stamp Duty Bonanza”, is a superb example, as the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre dutifully falls into line with the Tories.
Only the other week, the Vagina Monologue and his obedient attack doggies were railing against Labour’s Mansion Tax proposals, cheering on Z-lister Myleene Klass as she ranted at Mil The Younger on ITV late evening show The Agenda. It was Klass War! The dastardly rotten lefties were up to their old tricks, wanting to soak the rich for being, er, rich. Today it’s all so different.
Because, while Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the seventeenth Baronet, has indeed reduced stamp duty on many properties, what he is giving with one hand is being taken back with the other. Those buying homes worth around half a million notes will find it less expensive to buy, but all those bracing themselves for the Mansion Tax now know that selling will cost a lot more.
It might take the edge off the market for properties worth more than £2.1 million – but the same could be said of the Mansion Tax. And the increased stamp duty will have to be paid by purchasers, as Young Dave is fond of saying, no ifs, no buts. There will be no chance of deferring this cost. But whereas Labour’s Mansion Tax is A Very Bad Thing, the Mail ignores the Coalition tax increase completely.
Instead, there is gushing praise for Osborne’s supposed desire to take public sector spending back to a level last seen in the 1930s, which, although the Mail manages not to mention this either, was a time of poor health – except for the well-off – because there was no NHS and most people had to pay to see the doctor. This, for the Mail, is all part of their warped view called “aspiration”.
This is supported by Simon “Enoch was right” Heffer, now falling into line with “George Osborne didn’t just deliver his autumn financial statement yesterday. He launched his party’s campaign for the general election in just five months’ time — and, given the constraints he was under, he did a pretty good job ... his statements of intent were unequivocal, as those from a Tory Chancellor should be”.
Daily Mail Comment, the authentic voice of the Vagina Monologue, asserts “This was the day George Osborne set the Conservative election campaign off to a morale-boosting start, with a well judged Autumn Statement that was faithful to the principles of his party and the aspirational families it has traditionally aimed to help”. Or, freely translated, forget the hypocrisy, vote Tory, and give me my Gong.
Meanwhile, the rest of the population – most of it – is disregarded. No change there.