Another gorgeous day. I haven’t switched on the radio yet because I can’t quite bear to hear what less than gorgeous George is doing to the economic climate of the country. Is this going to be a fair budget. Or even a sane budget. Is it hell.
Since early morning the sun has been beaming into the back garden. On days like this Edinburgh could be much further south. But there’s an eery feeling in the air that the chancellor will deepen his freeze on the future of the young today.
On Saturday I had a reminder why Edinburgh feels such a long way from Westminster. Scotland truly is a different country when it comes to politics.
Rory Bremner has changed the tone of dinner party debates for ever ( I find it hard to rant with a glass in my hand without hearing myself sound unnervingly like Pauline McLynn and John Bird is right beside me). Even so, the evening’s conversation about the pending cuts perhaps indicates why the LibDems lost so many Edinburgh seats in the last general election. And why there is only one Tory MP in Scotland.
Of the teachers, lawyers, third sector employees, journalists, business men and social workers, most of the people in the room were probably among the UK’s higher paid earners ( bearing in mind if you are earning more than £45,000 per year you are in the top ten per cent) and whatever Osborne may say its the lower paid that will be worst hit today.
Not one person round the table had voted Tory. Only one poor soul had voted LibDem and he was mighty disillusioned – “I doubt if the LibDems will still be around to vote for in five years time.” The rest of us – however reluctantly – voted Labour and for a slower (though still recklessly fast) reduction of the national debt.
Let’s put that another way. Not one person in the room had voted for the unnecessary cuts George Osborne is about to inflict on the UK.
I wander round the garden, deadheading summer blooms disconsolately. A mile or so down the road I know of voluntary organisations who could give Osborne a short sharp lesson in belt tightening – they are running marathons, recycling phones and generally working all hours to raise money rather than reduce services.
Further south turkeys seem to be voting for Christmas. Today’s Guardian reports a poll showing 59% cautiously support the idea of cuts. David Blanchflower’s blog provides cautionary sanity. Blanchflower was the only member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee who foresaw the credit crunch and disagreed with the policy of the rest of the MPC. It looks horribly as if he will be able to say I told you so once again.