Gordon Brown has sought to establish his green credentials as he announced fuel and air duty increases in his 10th and possibly final pre-Budget report.
Ha! What do you want to bet that the fucker is angling for PM and Chancellor simultaneously? Anyway, you can bet that, if the devious cunt becomes PM, his Chancellor will be little more than a Brownite mouthpiece, the Gobblin' King's glyph burned onto the back of the greedy fucker's neck.
He also said stamp duty on some "carbon neutral" new homes could be scrapped.
I see. And would the Chancellor like to explain to me, precisely, how a house can be carbon neutral? Is he ignoring the energy used to build it? Or is he assuming that, for every house built, there are going to be a load of trees planted? Why does anyone listen to this fuckwit?
The chancellor said economic growth of 2.75% had beaten forecasts and outlined plans for future large scale investment in schools and colleges.
Well, yes, growth has beaten forecasts. But then, last year growth was half what you forecast, wasn't it, Gordo? You weren't going to get caught out by that one again, were you?
The Tories said Mr Brown was moving the UK in the "wrong direction" and mocked his claim to be "green".
What? In what way can the Tories mock anything that Brown says? Brown may well be "moving the UK in the "wrong direction"" but I haven't seen them advocating any tax-cuts recently. The only thing that the Tories have proposed is yet more green taxes.
It's pretty bad news when Brown proposes a budget based on tax increases justified by "green issues" and the Tories mock his claims to be green, isn't it? How are they going to be "greener": by raising taxes even more? Well, from what we have seen of the Tories so far, the answer would appear to be, "yes".
Let us be clear about this; the Tories are not in a position to mock any of Brown's policies. They themselves have announced precisely fuck-all specifically—which puts them on dodgy ground to start with—and nothing that they have proposed differs substantially from NuLabour.
The Tories are a fucking irrelevance at present—a useless opposition to this high-tax, mendacious, statist government, since they hold precisely the same fucking positions—and the sooner that they work this out, shut up and fuck off the better.
Although fuel duty is going up 1.25p per litre from midnight and air passenger duty from £5 to £10 for most flights, Mr Brown rejected demands to re-link petrol prices to inflation.
Ah, so the actual petrol increase will be £1.25 per litre plus 17.5% VAT, which is £1.47 per litre. What a fucking bargain, eh? Well, neither of these increases were a surprise. Petrol always goes up anyway and one of Brown's very first measures as Chancellor was to double air passenger duty. It was due a good robbing again. Besides, if you accept Pigouvian taxes on air fares there is a fair enough scope for a slight increase (asuming that you accept Stern's valuation of the carbon derivatives externality cost).
Mr Brown, who is widely expected to take over as prime minister next year, told MPs the UK was performing better than its major competitors, apart from the US.
Yeah, but this doesn't alter the fact that, despite the higher than average growth in the economy, that public borrowing is higher than ever. Which is why, of course, I'll bet my life that the net effect of this budget will be higher taxes.
Much of his speech, in the House of Commons, focused on investment in schools and training which he said was vital if the UK was to compete in the future with countries such as China and India.
Well, yes, education is vital. But the government doesn't have a very good record on that, does it? I'd give it an F-, frankly.
Former director general of the CBI, Sir Digby Jones, has been made the government's skills envoy, said Mr Brown.
And there would be new cash for children who had fallen behind at school and more basic skills training for adults.
Well, OK. But how will this money actually be spent? Does anyone other than me think that the vast majority of it will be, as usual, pissed up the wall? Let us not forget that this government has spent millions attempting to set up online universities, skills programmes and other such novelties and they have all collapsed, mired in scandal and often without taking on more than mere tens of students.
Call me cynical, but I am less than impressed.
There would also be an increase in the number of apprenticeships on offer for young people, he said.
Really? How? Apprenticeships are instigated by private companies, aren't they? So what is Gordo going to do: make it compulsory for every company to take on at least one apprentice? Actually, he probably fucking will do, the fat, statist fuck.
With all eyes on next summer's Comprehensive Spending Review, Mr Brown held off from making major policy announcements.
Yup; he wouldn't want to scupper his chances now, eh?
But he unveiled further details of planned capital investments in schools in England. Separate announcements will be made for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In other words, they will be getting some more Barnett money in order to keep their voters sweet.
He pledged to increase annual spending to £10bn by 2010, which he said would match spending per-pupil on buildings and equipment in the state sector to that in the private sector.
Well, that really is very worthy, don't you think, chaps? Ain't you just so fucking proud?
For fuck's sake, Brown, you fucking moron: when will you realise that just lobbing money at things does not make them any better? Have you learned nothing from the NHS? Huge amounts of money will be thrown at these schools, massive amounts will be skimmed off by LEAs and, once again, the vast majority of whatever remains will be flushed down the shitter.
Whatever, despite the increase in funding that will match that in the private sector, the public sector schools will offer none of the benefits of the private sector. There will be no increase in sports, there will be no increase in school hours, there will be no increase in literacy, there will be no increase in the opportunity to be creative outwith the academic curriculum. The majority of the money will probably disappear (as a great deal of the previous increases have) into the pockets of the teachers and administrators—good, bad and fucking shit though they may be.
I predict an increase in standards and literacy (and the fact that anyone in this country leaves school functionally illiterate, let alone the massive percentage that do, should be a source of very personal and gut-wrenching shame to every teacher and politician) of precisely fuck-all.
Other measures include:
- A further 300,000 households to be offered free insulation and free central heating.
Why? Who decides who gets that, precisely? Why should I subsidise it? Free central fucking heating? They'll have it on the whole fucking time, you fuckwit. And since central heating has been implicated in increasing obesity, doesn't this go against the grain of current health policy?
- Consultation on bringing in bursaries worth £2,000 for looked-after children - such as those in local authority care - to go to university.
Is there a consultation on stopping the poor fuckers being buggered senseless by the Care Home staff? I'd consider that a better start; then the poor fuckers can go to university with their cunts and arseholes intact. I know, why don't you hire Margaret Hodge to oversee that one, eh? Oh, and you might want to start a little earlier, Gordon; ensuring that they are able to read and get a few qualifications might be a rather better idea, don't you think?
- Bookstart scheme to be extended so children get free books when they leave primary school.
How about just getting more books in school? We keep hearing how schools are constantly short of books.
- Child Benefit to be paid to pregnant women from 29 weeks from April 2009.
Fucking WHAT?! Will you stop paying people to have children, for fuck's sake! Watch the rate of teenage pregnancies and single mothers rise...
- An extra £600m for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- An extra £84m for intelligence and counter-terrorism.
Probably sensible, although some commenters have suggested that it is too little, too late. He should not have frozen the intelligence service budgets for the first few years, should he?
Mr Brown said trend growth (the assumed rate) of the UK economy will be maintained at 2.75%, while the public finances will be based on a rate of 2.5%
And he forecast economic growth next year of 2.75% to 3.25%.
Blah, blah, blah.
But shadow chancellor George Osborne said Mr Brown had "buried" the fact that he had downgraded his growth forecast for 2008, which would leave the UK with the largest structural deficit of any major European economy.
He also attacked the chancellor for failing to mention rising unemployment and the "crisis" in the NHS.
For which the Tory solution is... erm...
And he mocked Mr Brown's aspiration to become prime minister, saying he was equally responsible for the "failures" of the Blair years, including hospital cuts, failing schools and "destroyed" pensions.
Well, that is certainly true.
"The truth is this - Labour can only be new once and if the public want change they're going to have to vote for change," said Mr Osborne.
Well, thank you for that, Mr Osborne. Can you let us know when a major party decides to adopt some policies that might, in any way, lead to a change that isn't merely one of personnel?
Vincent Cable, for the Liberal Democrats, said Mr Brown's economic figures were impressive "on the surface".
But until they were independently audited, Mr Brown would be like a "clever schoolboy who always gets 10 out of 10 in his tests because he has marked them himself".
He said Mr Brown's legacy as a chancellor would be huge levels of personal debt, a failing education system, widening inequality and green proposals that fell far short of those recommended by the Stern report.
Well, on that last point let's be thankful for small mercies, eh?
He also questioned how Mr Brown could avoid a public sector pay squeeze, with so many commitments to big capital projects such as the Olympics, ID cards and new schools.
Easy: tax more, borrow more, put more on PFI. Easy peasy...
And green groups accused the chancellor of just "fiddling around the edges" instead of taking the "heroic" actions needed to halt the global threat of climate change.
God, I'm so bored of these fucking green taxes and tedious arguments around flawed reports and bad science. Just fuck off, the lot of you...