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UK Budget 2010
Darling Targets Election Victory with Safe Budget
By Shane Clarke
London Correspondent
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling

Yes, it’s that time again. Budget time is here in the UK, and you can tell there’s an election looming because Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, has produced a plan to hit the rich and help the poor. In keeping with tradition, the Government in power has produced a budget predictable in its intent. Just as predictable was David “please like me” Cameron’s reaction. He slammed the budget and the government’s track record, focussing on the country’s financial deficit in his usual desperate attempt to scrounge every vote he can. He accused the government of making “a complete mess of the economy,” and then later taunted Prime Minister Gordon Brown, saying, “The biggest risk to the recovery is five more years of this Prime Minister.”

So, as the people who run the UK made a noise like a few hundred sheep in a barn, Alistair Darling made his speech. One of the main items in this was axing stamp duty on homes for first time buyers on houses under £250,000. This is yet another example of the fact that the members of Parliament in the UK are so busy raping the country for everything they can get that they don’t know what’s actually happening in the real world. This announcement is akin to taking a starving man to the base of a hundred foot tower with no way to climb it, then placing a three-course gourmet meal at the top and saying, “You can eat all of that if you can get it.” It’s common knowledge that the housing market over here is so difficult that even doctors and teachers are struggling to get on the ladder. Perhaps if our MPs took their noses out of the troughs long enough, they might realise this and start building more houses instead.

In a budget aimed at dragging tax revenues out of the highest earners – at least until after the election – for me the funniest part was his proud boast on the deficit. It’s only going to be £167 billion this year instead of the previously predicted £178 billion. So, crack open the Champagne people! Our economic car may be a write-off, but hey, the horn still works.

Speaking of cars, Darling also announced that the petrol price rise planned for next month will now be staggered over the next year. So, just a little rise before the election, with the bulk coming afterwards. This way, if the Tories win, Labour can attack them on the fuel price rises, but if Labour retains power, they’re safe for another five years, so they can do what they like.

One of these is forcing state banks to lend more. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t banks lending too much what got us in this mess in the first place?

Following the recent scandal of Lords avoiding tax through offshore accounts, the Chancellor announced measures to combat tax evasion through agreements with the governments of Dominica, Grenada and Belize. So, the richest people in the land will just have to find new ways to hide their money .

There’s going to be a tax hike on strong cider. Great! Because when we watch television and see those teenagers falling about in the streets, fighting, destroying property and throwing up all over the place, that’s what they’ve been drinking – not the two-for-the-price-of-one shots, or the cheap alcopops and beer. Again, if MPs would look at where the problems lie instead of where they can find the next scam, they would know this.

Darling also announced a growth package to increase employment. Shouldn’t the government already be doing this?

There are going to be bank accounts for all citizens. Fantastic! That means more money for banks and more potential for debt problems for the lower echelons of our society. Perhaps Darling thinks that if everyone is too busy thinking about their own debt they won’t be able to criticise the government for theirs.

These are only the main items, and I’m sorry for picking flies in all of them, but I’m approaching my fortieth birthday, and what I’ve seen today is more of the same rubbish we get every year, and every time there’s an election on the horizon. The bottom line is that here in the UK, the divide between the rich and the poor is actually widening instead of narrowing. The haves are still raping the have-nots, and the least deserving are still getting huge bonuses which are – in effect – rewarding them for gross incompetence. Worse still, is that they lay off those who can’t afford to lose their jobs to pay for these bonuses.

Over the past year, we have had overwhelming proof that the class system is still alive and well in Great Britain, and that our politicians are as dirty as a pig’s toenails. This can be illustrated by the huge bonuses company directors receive while the lower echelons are suffering pay-cuts and job losses left, right and centre. Then you look at our politicians, and the scandals that have broken in the last year – the expenses scandal, the tax-evasion of certain Lords, and now the scandal over ex-MPs accepting money to lobby and influence policies, plus serving MPs accepting holidays from other governments in return for questions and issues raised in the House of Commons.

So, forgive my cynicism, but I’ve heard this song so many times that I simply can’t dance to it anymore. Nothing really changes; we’re no closer to an equal society than we were fifty years ago. But how can we expect any different? Britain’s is a society built on elitism, racism, sexism and nepotism. A leopard can’t change its spots.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my country. There are many good things about it, and I’m proud to call myself British. It’s just the crooks who run the place that ruin it for me.

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Shane Clarke serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He has been involved in humanitarian work for numerous years. He’s also a freelance management consultant. Having completed an honors degree in Law at Wolverhampton University, he then moved on to an MBA at Warwick Business School. He’s heavily involved in the fight against international parental child abduction to Japan.






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