Wednesday, 21 July 2010

ConDem, confused

Our exciting new government, formed by the ConDems, as we affectionately refer to the coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, leaves me perplexed and confused.

I mean, the idea of the huge cuts in public services that the government has announced is to save us from the kind of fate now being suffered in those ghastly Mediterranean economies, where people have too much sun, wine and olive oil, and not enough of our sterling qualities of earnestness, hard work and probity.

The PIIGS, as these Mediterranean nations are collectively known – Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, and of course Ireland, which is Mediterranean by religion – are in desperate trouble. They were spendthrift and foolhardy and look where it’s got them. Why Greece is having to make public spending cuts of 40% or even 50% just to try to avoid bankruptcy. We don’t want to share their fate.

So to avoid it, we’re making huge cuts in public spending. Health and international development are being spared, though ‘efficiency savings’ look like leading to tens of thousands of redundancies in the health service anyway. Imagine how awful it would have been if healthcare weren’t being especially protected.

Other Departments are expected to make cuts of 40%. Some, such as Culture – but who cares about Culture for God’s sake? – look like they’re going to have to cut 50%.

Now hang on a minute. Those figures look familiar. Am I missing something here? Are we trying to avoid the fate of Greece? Or to do exactly the same?

I merely seek clarification.

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