Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Oh what a beautiful morning

Morning all. Big day today: Cynical Ben is paying the West Midlands the compliment of a visit, so I'm taking the afternoon off. I need to spend those hours choosing an outfit which won't attract his razor-sharp wit.

I went for a pint with Em and Mark last night. The Dark Place is never the most salubrious of venues, but all the social tribes were out this time, from the local football fans (2-1 victory over mighty Southend - they must be so proud) to the 16-year olds celebrating their GCSE results with cheap cider and the shortest of skirts.

In the wider world, James Bond has been found dead in a sports bag, and the Tory Scum budget, far from being 'progressive' as its Baronet designer called it, will actually make the poor poorer, according to some very serious research by a neutral body. So much for the Liberal Democrats taming the worst excesses of Tory evil.

The IFS said the poorest 10% of families would lose over 5% of their income as a result of the budget compared with a loss of less than 1% for non-pensioner households without children in the richest 10% of households. It added that the budget contrasted with the "progressive" plans for 2010-14 inherited from Labour, under which the richest 10% of households bore the brunt of the cuts.

Certainly the over-60s I meet as they speed past me in the swimming pool aren't happy. One of Labour's health initiatives was to institute free swimming for the young and the old, and the take-up was huge. Now it's been withdrawn, they'll either stop swimming and burden the NHS with fitness-related illnesses, costing it more than the swimming concession, or spend more of their meagre pensions on exercise. It's a bad move politically as well: the old are morel likely to vote, and more likely to vote Tory (presumably because dementia clouds the judgement and because the Tories have always been careful to bribe the old). If they get angry, they'll sway the next election.

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