Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Random musings from the early morning

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask rather how you can discombobulate, confuse and confound your country while denying it the chance to have a voice.
First among Equals?
A thought struck me yesterday as I watched the evening news and saw Dunky McNeil, the great Wendibles most able lieutenant, being pursued down the MSP walkway at Holyrood. The Labour party holds its group meetings in the chamber press conference room, the SNP holds its group meetings in a committee room.

Holding a meeting in a committee room means that everyone sits around the table - all are equal. The press conference room, however, has a top table and serried rows of chairs for the audience, indicating a hierarchy. The question is whether the strict hierarchical nature of the Labour group is a result of this or whether this is a symptom of that.
Routemap to Confusion
I have been asked how long it took me to photoshop the roundabout that appeared on yesterday's posting. I didn't - that is an actual photograph of a road junction in Swindon called the Magic Roundabout. The thing came to me via an intermediary from a Green chappie - I therefore consider it to be a devilishly fiendish Green plot to force us all out of our cars. Here's the roadsign before the junction:Who's budging on the budget?
While I'm meandering through pointlessness here, let's have a look at the budget. Darling's decision to start handing out tenners here and there is interesting for a couple of reasons:

1. He's borrowing the money, this breaks one of the golden rules - only borrow to invest.
2. Raising the tax threshold means that everyone who earns up to about £41k a year will be better off - those who used to pay the 22% rate of tax (like me) are, of course, better off again.
Does it really help the poorly paid? Well, Darling said 600,000 would be taken out of the tax system altogether. Let me phrase that the other way round - 600,000 across the UK earn between £5,435 and £6,035 a year - a maximum of around £116 a week. What happened to the great Labour campaign against poverty?I appreciate a few extra quid in my pocket, I need it with the way Labour's policies are forcing prices up but me and several others who are earning up to £41k a year can afford to tighten the belt a tad. It's poverty that needs addressed, not the concerns of comfortably-off voters in a by-election that Labour would be in no danger of losing if Brown had just governed adequately.

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