For as long as I can remember, The Conservatives have always battled against the ‘posh boy’ stigma. You know the one. ‘Tories are all privileged, private schooled toffs who don’t really know how the world works for actual, normal, working people.’ Well, if you had any doubts, the spending review cemented that theory.
As the chancellor went about outlining his small state utopia, the classist battle lines were clearly drawn. Osborne is well on his way to setting up a society that works for the rich, all at the expense of the rest. The chancellor set about how he wanted to cut the state from around the 50% of GDP in 2010, to 35% in 2020. That’s all well and good if you live in a nice house, have a well-paid job (maybe even a bonus here or there), you wont ever have to come into contact with the poverty and deprivation that such a downscale creates.
The government’s record of building new houses has been unremarkably vacant. The Conservatives championed their 2014 record of 141,000 homes built, way short of the 250,000 figures that is needed. Therefore, the chancellor’s announcement to build 400,000 new homes was met with cheers from the commons. However, Osborne’s world of building homes is plunging the UK housing market into chaos. The Tories encouragement of private development has meant ‘affordable’ houses are being sold off to be remodelled as ‘luxury accommodation’, leading to ever growing prices, which are pricing out all but the super wealthy. This latest plan will be placing £4 billion of public money into the private sector to build said homes. Expect more astronomically priced houses, and a small select group of people making a fuck ton (yes, that is a valid numeric measurement) out of public money.
The chancellor then proclaimed cuts to the likes of the department of Health (25% cut), Energy (22% cut), Transport (37% cut), further evidence to the descaling of government. If you have private health care and a series of nicely growing investments, then none of this should be of any worry…. If you’re everybody else, think again.
An overriding theme of this spending review was the principle of ‘more for less’. As the Evening Standard put it, “this involves aggressive public-service reform to squeeze higher levels of performance, customer service and value for money from the institutions of the state”. Or in other words, the chancellor wants to get better performances from less money. This should come as no surprise; the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently proclaimed that cuts should encourage Brits to ‘work as hard as the Chinese’. The same dehumanising, barbaric and human rights abusing work the Chinese state imposes on it’s people, is that what you mean Jeremy? On his recent visit to China, Osborne was commended by the Chinese for ‘not stressing human rights’. How big of him. The chancellor wants us to do more for less, and we better do it with a smile on our face.
The backpedalling on the cutting of tax credits should be seen as a victory for everyone who opposed them. However, the cutting of housing benefit, all encompassed in the further 12 BILLION of welfare cuts to be made, makes me shudder at the thought of where the Chancellor will make up for his failed tax credits plan.
In the minutes that followed Osborne’s attack on the working people of Britain, the Chancellor outlined his dedication to cutting tax for big business, and a stronger defence budget. Recent events have shown the necessity for defence to be high on the profile, but when your own people are starving, it does seem highly illogical. Don’t worry though George, I’m sure you can find someway to change the way we measure the amount of starving people.
The link between armed resistance and election success is well documented, take mother Tory herself, Margaret Thatcher.
The year is 1982. Confidence in the would-be queen of Thatcherism is at an all time low, with bets being placed on whether she’ll last the year. Enter the Falklands war. The ‘victory’ prompted an almighty patriotism surge, a revival in Thatcher’s premiership, leading to the biggest election success since 1945, just one year later.
Fast forward to now, it’s fairly common knowledge that David Cameron will not be Prime Minister by the 2020 election, as allegedly, he plans to step down before it. Enter George Osborne. This spending review was full to the brim with good ol’ British patriotism, with rises in the budgets for defence/counter terrorism, all rounded up nicely by the Syrian air strikes-cherry on top. Is Osborne prepping himself for the top job by riding the wave of British military intervention? Whilst he cuts away at welfare/education/health/transport, is Osborne funding the most expensive election campaign in history?
In this spending review, our Chancellor proclaimed how proud he was of the ‘growth’ our economy has had under Tory rule, how big business is booming, and how all in all, her majesties realm is thriving. In the same speech, Osborne proclaimed how further cuts were needed to the most vulnerable people in our society.
And you still don’t think Austerity is a scam?