Indeed, after yesterday’s Budget, which tinkered around the edges with such trivialities as taking a penny a pint off beer duty - you’d have to spend an awful lot of time at the bar, visiting the toilet, sleeping it off, or a combination of all three to get a free scoop - to read the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, one might think that some kind of miracle had been performed, that our Chancellor of the Exchequer had superhuman powers.
Alas, the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the Seventeenth Baronet, possesses nothing of the sort, and no amount of low-rent cheerleading from Rupe’s downmarket troops will alter that fact. Economic growth in the North of England is advancing at a greater rate than for the South? Whoopee-do: it’s coming from a rather lower base. A hundred per cent of bugger all is still, to no surprise, bugger all.
Wages are rising at a faster rate than headline inflation? I refer the Hon Questioner to the answer I gave earlier: those wages still haven’t made up the ground lost since the financial crash. There’s good news for savers? Er, hello Murdoch poodles, how do you think we get the economy moving? Clue: you don’t achieve that by getting the population to squirrel away their dosh. You need to get them spending it.
That the picture painted by today’s Sun - quite apart from the bizarre suggestion that Osborne may be involved in some kind of transvestite activity - is utterly bogus is not hard to demonstrate. We know this because of the previous day’s front page story in a newspaper called, er, well, the Sun, actually. “Payday Loans Hell … WE LIVE IN A FORD FOCUS … Couple lose home after debts spiral” shrieked the headline.
Giving the less well off a tax break means only that they are marginally less badly off: it does not instantly alleviate their situation. But from the Sun’s shameless propaganda today, one might believe all poverty had been eradicated, all economic ills cured. When Owen Jones muses “The Sun is basically now Tory press releases meets Carry On isn't it”, he’s being unduly lenient. The Carry Ons were more highbrow, and actually funny.