Anyway, here's a quick quote of the day from Dumb Jon, regarding the Benefits Cap.
See, that's the penalty of basing your policy platform on appealing to a tiny slither of North London. You really do start to think that an income equivalent to £34K gross is the equivalent of Dickensian poverty.
Meanwhile, that creaking sound is one of the central pillars of the left's platform collapsing into dust. They've spent years telling everyone that the Tories are heartless. Now they've got to explain that by 'heartless' they mean 'opposed to taxing people with jobs so they can give some other people more for watching TV than most of the country earns working full time'.
Quite—it is an utter scandal. As far as I am concerned, this state of affairs simply isn't defensible in any way. And it seems that, according to Liberal Voice of the Year (by a massive margin) Mark Littlewood, the majority of the country agrees...
Only around 10% of the electorate oppose the principle of an annual cap on benefits. Approximately 80% support the cap being no more than £26,000 and about 60% think Iain Duncan Smith’s policies are, if anything, too generous.
However, I also think that the Tories are shying away from the most necessary reform—we must cease paying for the unemployed to have children.
If you would like to be kind about it—we don't want retrospective taxes, etc.—then you announce, very publicly, that nine months from now there will be no child benefit of any sort.
Obviously, the unelected and utterly irrelevant Bishops will kick up a stink but fuck 'em, frankly. We cannot afford to keep paying those who will not work to have children (preventing many of them working for another 18 years) who will then also not work—but who will beget yet more offspring who will also not work, and so on and so forth.
Stop all Child Benefits now (or in nine months)! You know it makes sense.
In the meantime, the massive piece of software that your humble Devil has been working on has just been through it's first alpha testing phase—and received an average score (from actual customers) of 4.5 out of 5. Needless to say, we are very happy!
We are now moving into beta and we should be finished, a little behind schedule, in mid-February. And then comes the challenge of the full release...
In addition to this, I have been inveigled into taking part in another Barnes Charity Players production—this time playing the irrepressible, and slightly sociopathic, Frank in George Bernard Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession. This is already proving to be fun but, with the run starting on 20th of February (until the 25th), life is a little full right now!
Anyway, your humble Devil hopes to be a little more active around mid-February, although I shall attempt to post a little more frequently in between now and then.
Even should I fail to do so, I hope all of you have lots of fun in the meantime!
UPDATE: A Very British Dude opines on the Coalition's tactics here, and then finishes up with the kind of sentiment that the vast majority of the people in this country agree with.
The idea that an income equivalent to a salary of £34,000 "will thrust families into poverty" is absolutely abhorrent to the people who are forced, by the threat of expropriation and violence, to pay for it, people who are sneered at as "middle class". I would not be surprised if the Government quietly persuaded enough of its supporters in the Lords to stay away from yesterday's vote, to ensure a right royal battle on ground on which it is absolutely certain of the public's support.
Good luck, lefties, trying to persuade anyone that an income equivalent £34,000 a year salary is going to thrust anyone into "poverty". I suspect the Government is absolutely delighted to have this in the news for a few more weeks. "Labour wants to pay its voters more than you earn".