Spending Review Review
Despite an overly confident manner, its not easy to warm to George Osbourne, not least due to his cold, calculating villainous eyes. However it would be churlish to base this reviewers review on a man’s physical appearance, not least because its a terrifying lizard like one, so instead it shall be based on where this show really fails to win over any new fans ie the content. Cleverly taking the stance of pretending that we are going to be in safe hands, Osbourne has mastered the art of using such hollow phrases as ‘Today is the day Britain steps back from the brink’, before deceivingly hinting later that behind Britain is a Tory kneeling over waiting for him to fall backwards so that he can take its wallet and run away.
How does the coalition government aim to win the British public over? Well with such lovely promises as increase in the budget for school education and a protection of the current NHS budget. Great stuff. We can all rest at ease knowing two key areas, the children and our welfare should be fine. It is only later when you realise that the university budget has been hugely cut, meaning well educated teenagers will reach 18 and unable to afford further education will be frustrated and trapped in their choice of career, and that the NHS budget increased by such tiny increments mean all the money will probably get sucked up into rising costs and interest rates anyway, leaving it at the same state of debit it was currently in. Not only that but with proposals to hand over hospital budgets to GP’s, we can fully expect people with severe injuries to met with a Doctor idly flicking through a book before handing over some anti-biotics to treat a broken arm. This reviewer can only hope this leads to a society educated enough to know who to blame for the fact that not enough people can train to be doctors and save themselves.
Where the show was really let down was in the mention of the pension age rising to 66. This is of course assuming, with all the proposed unemployment that anyone will have work to retire from. Let alone worry about the rail fares when they won’t be commuting anywhere in the first place, especially as they won’t even have to head to the job centre with the possibility of qualifying for benefits being hugely reduced. If you are lucky enough to be working, chances are you will be working so hard that by the time people of my age need to retire, the pension age will have increased so much you’ll probably be dead first. This does of course mean the DWP will have less work to do and consequently will allow them to reach their proposed cuts of savings from the £200bn benefit bill.
The Ministry of Justice budget being cut gives the distinct fear that it will lead to strict changes in the prisons and sentencing rules, which combined with the cuts to police that guarantee less police on the streets and I am led to believe that I should buy a shotgun to cope with the Mad Max like world of streets roaming with hungry, jobless criminals all fighting for survival. All whilst the rich bankers sit in their high rise towers watching the violence below, rather than the bland minimalistic BBC output on TV, limited by the frozen licence fees, cackling as they know that the £900 million used to target tax evasion will probably not be enough to round up the £40bn of corporate tax that they’ve helped avoid. Yes cuts do need to be made to fill the deficit, but I can’t help but feel the wrong people are being made to pay for the mistakes of those that can afford to spare a little more towards the financial black hole.
Ok so maybe I’ve taken this idea of dystopian future a tad too far, but watching Osbourne one cannot help but picture a bleaker, harsher future. Of course, were this a satirical theatre piece or a one man monologue, this effect might be perfectly acceptable as a satirical take on Britain’s current government, with Osbourne’s performance as an alien from V, being extremely well portrayed. However, as a stand-alone serious piece its not remotely entertaining, or rewarding, merely depressing. I can only hope next year he returns with something more palatable for the middle and working classes, though I can’t see this happening.
Reviewed By Timran Dobjab
I’m off to the march today at 6pm. I hope you are too. Sometimes I wish we were more like France, willing to actually protest rather than lie back and get dicked on by our government. A poll in London yesterday of 1004 idiots said people were ok with public sector and welfare cuts and only annoyed about transport rises. As stated above, I think their minds may change when they have nowhere to travel to on a daily basis. It distinctly reminds me of speaking to a girl after the G20 protests who told me she would never go on such things and couldn’t understand why ‘crusties’ and ‘horrible people’ feel the need to shout about ‘all of that’. She then went on to tell me she’d been made unemployed due to cuts at work and was quite sad about it. I couldn’t have any sympathy for her if she wasn’t willing to empathises with those trying to save people from losing their jobs.