Nothing puts a chap off breakfasting on the remains of the previous night's curry like switching on the television to see David Cameron giving a speech to conference: the smug oiliness of his delivery, entitlement oozing out of every pore. The loathing rising inside of me met the slightly stale but dhal-dipped coriander and garlic naan bread on its way down and, strong of stomach though I consider myself, caused a slight acid reflux for which David Cameron is squarely getting the blame.
"Three million apprenticeships! Full employment! The most competitive corporate taxes in the G20! Elimination of the deficit through spending cuts not tax rises!"
If you don't speak Tory, I can translate these promises for you:
"Passing the responsibility and cost of youth employment to the private sector! Fudging of numbers to remove single parents and incapacity claimants from the unemployment statistics! Tax breaks for the rich! Removal of essential services for the needy to raise money for enormous banking corporations!"
Then came his sop for people like me: The Conservatives, if elected, intend to raise the threshold at which subjects start to pay income tax to £12,500. The upshot of which is that if you work a thirty hour week for minimum wage (currently £6.50 an hour) you would pay no income tax. My hourly rate is slightly more than that and I would pay no income tax. Presumably there would still be National Insurance deductions so I wouldn't get the full whack.
You may be shocked to read this, but last tax year, I paid £500 income tax (and about the same in National Insurance). Can David Cameron buy me for £500? That's a lot of money. I could use a new laptop.
Five hundred quid. What do I get for that? My share of all the schools, hospitals, roads, drinking water and Middle Eastern wars must be pretty small.
Five hundred quid. It seems a small amount for our ruler to offer for a stealth disenfranchisement. "Here's your five hundred quid," he seems to be saying, "Now go and spend it (preferably on booze and fags and gambling so that we can get most of it back) while we get on and cut the services that make your lives tolerable."
Five hundred quid? What do I have to do to get the money? "Vote Conservative in 2015." (Vote for another 5 years of austerity for the poor and relief for the wealthy). And when do I get the money? "Er... by 2020."