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Darling, you bodged it

Keeping her clothes on for a change, former City Girl, Alice, lays bare the Government's 2009 Budget
Commercial awareness
Politics and economics

Dear Alice,

What did you think of the budget announced by Alistair Darling on Thursday?

Happy belated Easter,

Alex

Studying English at UCL

Alex,

Happy Easter indeed. No currant buns for me, which is a shame because I love currant buns.

What buns I had were hot and cross after I had listened to that buffoon Alistair Darling announce how he is going to mess up our economy even more than he has already.

As he stood at the dispatch box in the House of Commons looking like a big grey goose it was obvious to see how clueless he was. He might as well have worn his pants outside his trousers or his socks on his arms.

Let's not mince words. The April 2009 Budget presented by Alistair Darling was an unmitigated disaster. Not just for Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown, but for all of us - and for Britain.

It was a possibly the worst Budget ever.

It's true that The Labour Government was faced with a difficult situation but the right solution was obvious to everyone but itself. And the mess it found itself in was, to a large extent, of its own making.

The central problem in our economy is that the state sector is spending more than the Government is collecting in taxes. This is creating a budget deficit which is adding to our National Debt.

The simple answer to this is to cut state spending back below the level of tax receipts. In this way, the budget would be in surplus and the National Debt would start to be repaid.

An idea like this requires a toughness of mind. It would mean making civil servants redundant, cutting social services and cause a huge public outcry. But it would have been the right thing to do.

But Darling, Brown and the Labour Party could not do it. They are dyed-in-the-wool tax and spend politicians. Their only policy is to spend - never to save.

Now it will take a general election and a new government to make the tough choices required to get our economy on track.

I guess sometimes the right choice is hard to make, even if it's the right choice.

For example, a choice between men. There are lots of men. They are available at work, in bars, in clubs. Men are cheap. You can even get them on the internet these days. Most of them are mediocre. They say the same things. They do what you expect them to do. They are birds flying in formation, afraid to fly higher on their own.

Where is the originality? Where is the passion? Something new, something ardent, something maverick.

Why do these men behave this way and why do us girls let them get away with it?

Because sometimes just drifting along is comfortable. It does not require any effort. Even if something is not working, if it's comfortable and you are used to it, it is often easier to keep doing it than summon up the energy to do the new right thing.

This was the situation facing our Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling last Thursday on Budget Day as he surveyed the UK economy. He flew for the cover of accepted dogma.

When it gets tough and cold, geese fly away in a predictable formation. Darling was a goose.

We needed a Maverick. We needed a hero.


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