Sunday 20 November 2022

The Sunday Ishmael 20/11/2022: It's Not the Economy, Stupid, it's the Tories


Working 9 to 5, with an unpaid  hour off for lunch, five days a week - that's a 35 hour week. Chance would be a fine thing. 
Making ends meet on 35 hours x £9.50 (the current National Living Wage, not yet implemented by many employers) = £332.50. That's £17,290 a year gross. Tax and National Insurance on that income is  £1926.00, thus leaving £15,364 per year in your pay packet or £295.50 per week. 
Average UK Weekly Expenditure:
Food = £53.00 ( the average adult male spends around £35 on groceries and £18 on pre-prepped food (e.g. Tesco's £3.00 lunch meal deal, comprising a sandwich, a bottle of juice and a packet of crisps, now costing £3.40, a fish supper from your local chippie now £8.50 at the Happy Haddock)
Rent = £110. 50. 
Electricity & gas per week = £52. 
Commute to work = £37 (based on a daily return journey of 31miles)
 Clothes and shoes per week= £11
So - income =£295.50, expenditure = £263.50. That leaves £32 per week for savings and frivolities: TV, Insurances, soap, haircuts, cleaning products, phone, internet, finding a mate. Should you be sexually successful, then the bills really ramp up:  £234 per week on average for full time childcare.
I used to do this all the time when preparing Social Inquiry Reports or Pre-Sentence Reports for the Birmingham and Solihull Magistrates courts - a little table of Income and Expenditure, so that the Magistrates  knew what level of fine repayments to impose on the latest poor sod standing in the dock. Everyone knowing it was all just a game, as there simply wasn't any spare income available to pay a fine; everyone going through the motions, knowing that sooner or later the defendant would be back in the Fines Court and heading off to Winson Green, where the costs of his detention would far exceed any fine he had defaulted on.
This simple arithmetic demonstrates why people are working two jobs, or claiming state benefits whilst in employment. Why we're on the verge of a General Strike.  Politicians - at least the ones who sit in the Cabinet - and senior civil servants, simply have no idea about the conditions that the majority of the people in the United Kingdom live in. Nor do they care. Like the Polish and Ukrainian war gamers, casually killing a couple of farmers in a neutral country - minnows sacrificed to draw in the big NATO fish. Doesn't matter. Collateral damage. Oops. Accident.
Back to my theme.
Jeremy Cunt's Autumn Statement fits sweetly into the traditional Tory loathing for the annoying, but necessary, working people of the United Kingdom. Clearly on the side of those benefiting from Truss' economic crisis,  Cunty has started the ball rolling on a new Austerity Game, with his own rules. Here we go again, with public services slashed, stealth taxes on wages, real wages shrinking year on year, whilst banks report leaping profits from high interest rates, record bonuses in the City and profiteering energy companies, according to Treasury estimates, making £170 billion
in “excess profits” in two years. The wealth of UK billionaires grew by 22% over the pandemic. And the Labour Party has swallowed Cunty's line, accepting the basis for austerity and inevitable cuts to public services.
Cunty has invented the concept of the fiscal hole, which he wants to fill in. This hole is the amount his Treasury thinks it will need in extra tax income or spending cuts each year in order for debt to fall as  a share of GDP by 2027/8.   Why 2027? No reason.  Cunty could choose 2029/30, say, or change the target entirely. He's not going to fill in his hole by meddling with banks, bankers' bonuses or financial investment rules - perish the thought. No, he is going to:
 “deliver public finances markets expect”, basing his spending and tax plans on what he thinks financial markets want, running scared after the markets flexed their muscles after the Kwarteng debacle. But Austerity is not a recipe for growth, which is needed to get us out of the recession. Simply hoping it will be shallow and short is not enough, I fear. Anyway, The Tories liked the Autumn Statement, and Cunty sat down to a round of pats.
Do you ever get the idea they don't really know what they are doing? Oh, we tried that and it didn't work, so let's try this. 
Round and around we go. Has it occurred to anyone that in order to let some take big slices of pie, others must have slivers? And it is a finite pie - infinite growth is impossible, despite what the growthers tell you.  
Time for a quick rubdown with a housebrick -


Ishmael Smith 26/11/2011

The OECD, a respected economic forecaster, whatever one of those is, and where have they been this past fifteen years, has reported that after Christmas the UK will be in double-dip recession, due to, well, due to everything being shit  and being run by an international kleptocracy.

The OECD has also said that in order to make matters no worse than they inevitably will be due to the Euro and all that nonsense, the UK must develop a Plan B, including a drastic slowing of public sector cutbacks.  The chancellor, below  and his economic team consisting of the foxtrotting, elderly  nitwit Vince  Cable and the former skis monitor in the Cairngorms National Park, Master Danny Alexander, have all said that there is no alternative to what they are doing.  That's what they were elected for. Even though they weren't.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. George Osbo, prepares his Autumn Statement.

There's about three - or maybe a hundred and three - strands here on whateverwecall it, the shitstorm, the impertinent volte face of the kleptocracy, no longer promising us even a share of the fruits of our own labour, not even a fragment of ownership of our own resources,  hooting at us, scorning our natural kindnesses. It's all our own fault that they've been shitting in our faces all these years, we have left them no option and now  our only hope is to crouch back under the latrine, our faces upturned, our mouths open.

survival differentials and the power of money

The advances we have seen, real advances, in health care, in  longevity, and in women's and workers' and children's rights,  these have all come from the people we are now told to hate, from the unions, from the NHS, from the Old Labour Party, from people we are now told by the likes of Danial Hannan* are unproductive, 

Hannan,  the worthless, overdressed, overpaid overgobbed - you know the rest, fucking shit-eating bastard, moonlighting as an MEP, but really a paid propagandist for Money -  journalists, bloggers and broadcasters, they call themselves, patting their lips with Andrex.  These advances have come in the teeth of opposition from the likes of Hannan and Heffer and Cameron and Lansley; yet they insist that they will protect them for us by hacking them to pieces, by slandering the impotent poor, ennobling the rancid rich.

Those who screech hysterically that you cannot possibly do without profit are the direct descendants of those who burnt Wycliff and Tyndall,  of the people who insisted that slavery was sent from God,  that feudalism was irreplaceable and that the minimum wage was ruinous.  These people are not only bad, they're fucking stupid.

*Daniel John Hannan, Baron Hannan of Kingsclere wrote in March 2011, criticizing anti-austerity protesters, stating they "have decided to indulge their penchant for empty, futile, self-righteous indignation". Writing on the 30th September 2022,in support of the Truss/Kwarteng budget, he wrote: "The current trend is to insist that any change in tax policy should be primarily designed to help the poor. That assumption is flawed." Not changed your spots, then, Dan?

I came across this exchange, somewhen in the Comments:
call me ishmael said...
How can you say such things, ms agatha? What have I done, that you would consign me thus, to skymadeupnewsandfilth?

Agatha said...
I was thinking more in terms of a book, dear sir: The collected insights of Ishmael and his good friend Stanislav, with occasional contributions from Buster.

Twelve years later, thanks to editor mr. verge, there are now three books of the collected works of ishmael smith:
Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack  and Ishmael’s Blues all available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box.  Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover :
Link for Paperback :
At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage.  If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.  
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.



Mike said...

Didn't see this line item in Cunty's exercise book.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, mr mike, the article is behind a paywall, and I'm damned if I'll subscribe to the Telegraph.Being a Spectator reader is shame enough. Can you summarise the accounting trick?
And did you notice that Cunty has stuck it to the incoming Labour Government, with measures delayed for a coupla years?

Mike said...

First 2 sentences is all you need:

"Taxpayers have been saddled with a £133bn bill after an accounting trick introduced by George Osborne in the wake of the financial crisis backfired. 

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned that the Treasury will be on the hook to cover losses on the stockpile of government debt amassed by the Bank of England during the financial crisis and Covid pandemic."

mrs ishmael said...

Thanks, mr mike - they really don't know what they're doing, do they? Just want to look the part and hang onto their jobs. If we had Ginger Growler in the top job, instead, couldn't be any worse and she might be a refreshing change - like the attack dog they've voted into the top job in Italy.

Mike said...

Maybe the Ginger Growler would be a good choice? When she makes the obligatory pilgrimage to Kiev to do the required arse licking she would literally boost the standing of the pygmy president.

verge said...

Possibly not quite what you had in mind, mr mike, but you may be on to something there - what better incentive could there be, more fully to engage the electorate, than a lottery whereby 25 voters in each constituency would win an arse-licking visit from their MP? Voters who are also paid-up party-members might be allowed to choose whether or not to bother washing before their appointment (and this could be spun as the greener choice, saving water and so forth.) And since this would probably only work with a compulsory voting system, and a digital one to boot, the Ring of Power Draw would be a bold way to grease the wheels of electoral modernisation. (Just have to hope mrs ishmael's speculation about Growler's piercing is misplaced, I suppose.)

mrs ishmael said...

Gentlemen, your scatological invention surpasses itself. You'd suppose the electorate would be praying not to have a visit from Gnasher Sturgeon, however, as she cannot be trusted in intimate regions at the best of times, and this is not the best of times for Madam Fish, now that the Supreme Court has spat on her ambitions. What, said the Judgement, Are You Mad?