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Astonishing, innit?

Second, the folly of austerity is ever more apparent. Osborne, Hammond and others should have been repairing the UK whilst the interest rate sun shone. They did not. They favoured tax cuts instead. The folly of that is now ever more apparent.

Tax as a %ge of GDP is higher now than then. So what sodding tax cuts?

42 thoughts on “Astonishing, innit?”

  1. UK national debt when the Tories slithered into office: 74% of GDP

    UK national debt after 13 years of Tory ‘austerity’: 100.5% of GDP

    But the little turd is going to ban fags.

  2. Martin Near The M25

    Banning fags would be a decisive sort of action that would be out of character. He’s going to wish them out of existence over a long period of time.

    Luckily, our borders are so secure that there is no chance anybody will be smuggling them in.

  3. Martin – tobacco duty brings in over £10Bn to His Majesty’s Revenue every year, and saves the taxpayer a fortune in NHS and care costs.

    If these people were smart, they’d encourage smoking.

  4. Martin Near The M25

    Not arguing with the Lion Tamer General. I didn’t mean that it was a good idea, just that he hasn’t got the bottle to ban them outright.

  5. From the same post

    Do you wonder why I want to spend the day birdwatching?

    No but Ideally you’d do that full time rather than post nonsense.

    Steve – please don’t tell me he’s following the NZ policy?

  6. Martin – Not arguing with the Lion Tamer General


    VP – it’s exactly the New Zealand plan.

    He’s also threatening to take vapes off teenagers, because it’s important the kids aren’t allowed to enjoy life either. They’ll be too busy working to pay for HS2, Net Zero and our illiterate, rapey dinghy pals.

  7. Steve

    Just googled it – what a bunch of absolute fucking cunts. I gave up a decade ago but if they seriously try this I’d consider restarting. I’d almost have greater regard for Richard Murphy than these imbeciles – and if you bear in mind he is arguably the most evil commentator extant in cyberspace today then that is saying something

  8. Excluding COVID government spending per GDP is one of the highest levels since the war.
    I keep hearing about Austerity but I don’t see it in action. I wish I did.

  9. BiND – you just can’t trust a man without normal male vices.

    Hitler was a teetotaling environmentalist vegetarian who hated smoking and didn’t seem to like shagging either, and look how that turned out (poorly).

  10. Btw – sometimes I wonder if the point of the story about the wedding at Cana was to reassure us that God also likes a drink.

    What a dismal and frightening universe it would be if it was created by David Cameron’s Nudge Unit.

  11. Steve

    Normally Moscow based or not you’re the source of much (and much needed )hilarity

    I didn’t realise you were also the Reincarnation of Rod Serling (based on the last sentence)

  12. “David Cameron’s Nudge Unit.”

    Are responsible for HMRC letters which start:

    ‘Unlike most taxpayers, you haven’t sent in your tax return yet’
    ‘The tax you owe could help keep hospitals open’
    ‘Yes, we’re a bunch of incompetent twats who spunk your money up the wall on our latest vanity projects or fritter it away on inefficiencies but pay up now or we send in the goons’

  13. Steve: “They’ll be too busy working to pay for HS2, Net Zero and our illiterate, rapey dinghy pals.”

    Well one less thing to work for, since HS2 got cancelled officially, it seems..

  14. Not exactly cancelled. However it will be less than half the planned length, while costing around twice the original budget.

    Finally, it won’t actually go anywhere near central London which was the whole fecking point in the first place.

  15. Worse than that … it WILL still go to central London: “‌He confirmed that the line would terminate at Euston in central London”.

    It wasn’t in the original plans, but with the Elizabeth Line open, it will be quicker to get to the varied destinations in London from Old Oak Common than it will be from Euston. There’s no longer any need for the insane disruption and sums of money needed to reach and convert Euston.

  16. I can see the benefit of the Heathrow Express having a route into Euston so all the mancs, scousers, glaswegians and cumbrians can get out of London faster, but not HS2.
    And the same benefit to north west travellers could surely be achieved with another runway at Heathrow and more regional flights.
    Ah, that’s legally bindingly impossible now due to zit nero.

  17. I always thought austerity was just a catchphrase to keep the markets happy in order to keep interest rates low. As long as rates were low you didn’t need to practice austerity.

  18. Problem: Lots of kids being stabbed to death on London streets.
    Solution: Make it illegal to stab youths to death of London streets.

    Problem; Heroin, cocaine and other drugs.
    Soltion: Ban them.

    Problem: Cigarettte smokers supplying £10bn in tax revenue every year, while removing themselves from NHS waiting lists.
    Solution: Ban cigarette sales (though gradually, ‘cos we are too frit to ban them overnight).
    Sorted. Oh, no wait a moment. What’s all this smuggling? And where’s our tobacco revenue?

    Just when you think the politicians have reached Peak Stupid, they amaze you, by going even further.
    Prohibition: Funding crime since 1920. Ideas so good, even Satan gives you credit.

  19. TtC, oh yes, these educated people who all have degrees in something or other have obviously never heard of ‘Prohibition’, that period in the United States when alcohol was banned ensuring lots of violence, lots of corruption and lots of bootlegging (plus more). They learned the hard way that banning it did more harm than good so eventually* made the only sensible choice.

    Fuck me, after decades (and millions of pounds wasted) of being unable to ban people growing / smoking weed, to the point where we have campaigners arguing for it to be legalised, we now have our intelligent masters going in the other direction for fags. They. Are. Insane.

    *Reminding me of the Churchill quote** “The Americans always do the right thing. After all other possibilities have been exhuasted”.

    **Or perhaps not.

  20. Knowing how corrupt this lot are, they’ve probably got a deal with some future billionaire fag suppliers…

  21. So, you’re working somewhere and you are going to the shop and the 20 year old asks you to pick up some fags for him. What are you going to do?

    You can see the mentality behind this legislation, that no one gets them, so they never get hooked, but that depends on things being robust and they aren’t. 40% of people start regularly smoking before the age of 16.

  22. As with many stupid laws there is no thought on how to enforce them. Will the youngest “legal” smokers will be required to prove their age to buy fags every time for the rest of their lives?

  23. I do agree with you all. Admittedly I dislike tobacco smoke, so I’m happy with laws that push people to smoke somewhere else, but trying to ban the stuff is just plain stupid.

    Alas Oz seems to be following the same path.

  24. As mentioned previously, an acquaintance makes a killing shipping cigarettes and tobacco from the Philippines to Australia. If customs intercept a package, customer just orders a replacement, more than covered by the price difference between the Philippines and Australia.

    Only the smugglers get wealthy under these sorts of prohibition regimes, the customer, the taxpayer and even the (Australian) Treasury all loose out.

  25. Smoking is bad for people’s health. I like baked goods. Places like leisure centres, bakeries, health shops, fruit and veg shops, and gyms need better business.
    Places like Llandudno, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Penmachno, Pentrefoleas, Betws-y-Coed, Capel Curig, Towyn, Mold, Llangollen, Welshpool, Chester, Wrexham, Holywell, Llanrwst, Bethesda, Caernarfon, and Conwy, need better health in Wales. Cutting smoking is good for health. But I do realise banning drugs can lead to gangsters taking over the trade, which can be a disaster for fighting organised crime.
    It is like the sex trade, and drug trade, if you ban it, it gets taken over by organised crime, which can make it even worse. With serial killers, and illness, taking over these trades.
    Look at the USA in the early 20th Century with the ban on drinking. All that happened was gangsters took over. If you ban drugs, sex, pornography, music, all that happens is gangsters take over. I think a legal, but regulated market for drugs, the sex trade, and pornography is a good idea,

  26. MC Part of Chester is in Wales. Only a ranting, frothing at the mouth, incoherent NAZI would not know that.

  27. MC. Look up the town of Saltney. You have been utterly humiliated, on your home pitch. Humiliated in front of your internet friends. You needed a intellectual good hiding and I have given it to you. Once and for all.
    Need some cream for that burn.

  28. Only a ranting, frothing at the mouth, incoherent NAZI would not know that.

    Almost the entire population of the globe doesn’t know that a few streets of greater Chester have the terrible misfortune to be in Wales. They also have no knowledge that Chester doesn’t need better health in Wales because services there are part of NHS England (also generously provided to fifty thousand Taffs in Deeside).

  29. @Andyf – “Will the youngest “legal” smokers will be required to prove their age to buy fags every time for the rest of their lives?”

    (civil servant reaches into drawer, pulls out a folder and dusts it off, crosses out “Identity Card Policy” from the front, scribbles “Age Verification Scheme” on it in biro)

  30. “Cutting smoking is good for health”

    Depends whose health. The smoker maybe. Everyone else does rather well out of smokers. The taxes smokers pay more than compensate for any demands they may make on healthcare services, and thus other people get better healthcare as a result. Similarly as smokers die younger than non-smokers they draw pensions for shorter periods, make fewer demands on late life social and healthcare, all of which reduces the expenditure of the Exchequer, or makes its expenditures go further for everyone else.

    Smokers are selflessly killing themselves so everyone else can live longer, healthier and wealthier lives . They should be feted really. Given medals, and special places to smoke in public buildings. Smoking lounges with comfy chairs and free drinks and snacks. A national ‘Thanks to the Smokers’ event every year perhaps, where smokers come out of their houses and smoke on their front lawns and are given gifts by grateful neighbours.

  31. What possible reason do these prod noses have for interfering in what substances people partake of? I don’t like Earl Grey tea but I haven’t made it my life’s work to get it banned from sale.

    Of course, the question is rhetorical, I know the answer. They can’t abide to see the plebs doing something they disapprove of (and that the user enjoys).

  32. @PJF – indeed. Apart from a few streets in Saltney, the haunt of lowlives and inbreds, Chester is in England and administered by the English unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester. It is good to know we have extended the charity of the English NHS to the lumpen creatures which inhabit Saltney, thus granting them a few more years than their unfortunate kindred.

    @Tony bach – you make more sense when you are angry; stay raging. You are, however, amiss in describing me as a Nazi. Nothing would ever induce me to support socialism in any form, not even natty Hugo Boss uniforms and saucy Aryan milkmaids.

  33. Anthony Griffiths, you appear new to this parish and the mostly civilised nature of the discourse within (one or two exceptions who get out of their pram on occassion). Treat it as if you were talking to people in the pub (not Spud obviously) where getting offensive could lead to a punch up the throat.

  34. The current troll seems to be the nth reincarnation of one seen before. A certain tone I can’t quite decide if it is a chatbot experiment or someone with SEN.

  35. I quite like this Anthony Griffiths. He could do with being a touch subtler with his trolling but happy to award 7/10 for these first efforts.

  36. This obsession with longevity puzzles me. All life spans are the same. You live until you die. Subjectively, all lives are the same length. It’s not as if you hear dead people complaining “Hey, that’s not fair. I missed out on the last bit.”

  37. I don’t think it’s really about longevity. It’s more about not spending half that length in hospital waiting rooms and waiting anxiously for test results and recovering from operations.

    Living in a country under the boot of the NHS becomes much more tolerable if you can avoid having anything to do with it.

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