You too can do your bit to support our gallant boys at The Front by going out immediately and spending every penny you've got on the most useless rubbish you can possibly find, anything to put money in the accounts of businesses so that the thing that works the spring that turns the thingumebob can keep working until the next Big Push. Buy For Victory!
The message from Andrew Darling in today's apparently historic attempt to keep us out of the soup kitchens, with its 2.5% cut in VAT and its promise to fight the next election on a manifesto of tax increases, is basically Let Your Shopping Help Our Shipping, or Combined Operations Includes You. Who knows, perhaps Darling was trying to say that:
this is not the end, or even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.Since the last ten years have been the history of pointless spending, it seemed sensible in these unprecedented times to carry on exactly as before. We are being told by the telly pundits that this 'throws out the rulebook' and other flamboyances, but the solution is still to buy and sell garbage we don't need, only more so, if possible. The opposite of everything which the slogans of the 1940's urged, but then, times change. Capitalism is always making such great strides in these matters. Take The Squander Bug when You Go Shopping!
It is therefore our duty to put our shoulders to the wheel, our backs to The Front and our noses to the grindstone, and bunker down to spend all our money as fast as our entrepreneurial superiors need us to.
As we were told on July 6th 2005, our courage, cheerfulness and resolution will bring us Victory. And then, after the next election, and the one after that, we will still cheerfully and resolutely be paying the price of rescuing capitalism from itself. So that even if the Cameron and Boy Wonder win the next election, they will be saddled with such an ideologically intolerable burden of debt that they might be better off losing, and let Gordon Brown pick up the pieces. If they win, it will only be for one term.
Whatever the intentions of today's desperate Darling Day landings, or how much histrionic adrenalin pumped through George Osbourne's veins while he tried to placate his own back benches from the dispatch box, or whether either tactic are likely to succeed, Osborne is no Nye Bevan, and the tories are now faced with the prospect of offering the electorate a range of public service cuts or more public service cuts in their next manifesto. And there wasn't much else in it to begin with.
There was no mention of any measures to recover some of the money we lent to the banking system last month - by plugging tax loopholes, for instance. Nor any mention of breaking the banker's credit strike. Winston knew what to do with essential workers on strike in a crisis. Perhaps we might even see the employment of Darling Boys; keen young accountants and business studies graduates drafted in to the banks to help maintain productivity. Some might call them blacklegs, but those who live by the blackleg can die by the blackleg.
No doubt the swots at the FT will point out this omission in due course.