In a nutshell, Mr Osborne’s Autumn Statement goes something like this:
“Last year I told you everything was awful, but I was wrong. It was much worse than that, and the much worse-ness isn’t my fault, just like the original awfulness wasn’t my fault. The latter was Labour’s fault, and the former is the Eurozone’s fault. In order to deal with the thing that was Labour’s fault, I had to cause a lot of people to be sacked, and those that weren’t sacked I had to cause to get a lot poorer by freezing their wages and increasing their taxes whilst at the same time I said to the Bank of England that it was OK to let inflation rip. This has worked wonderfully, with the small exception that no-one has now got any money, and so they can’t buy stuff, and also a lot of them no longer pay any taxes because I got rid of their jobs. Consequently they have now started scrounging on the state even more which is pretty thoughtless of them, but my mate Iain Duncan-Smith is doing his best to make scrounging more difficult, and I’m grateful to him for that. But despite his best efforts, the upshot has been that it’s costing me a lot more to keep all these idle people fed, whilst at the same time I’m not getting as much dosh into the coffers because of that tax problem I told you about. I fixed that by making people pay more VAT, but then the ungrateful bastards started buying even less stuff than before, and that’s caused a lot of my richer mates to have to get rid of their workers, and that’s added even more to the problem of idle people living off the state. So as I was saying, things are a lot worse now than when I started out on this thing.
“But I’d hate you to think I was a quitter, and more than that I’ve gone and kind of promised a lot of very rich people that they can lend me money quite safely, and so they’ve been doing me a bit of a cut price offer on their loans. If I don’t keep those promises it’s all going to get rather unpleasant and stuff, so I really need to keep them on board. To do that I’m going to have to get rid of a lot more jobs, probably up to about 700,000 instead of the 200,000 which was the number I first thought of, and I’m really sorry and all that, but what can I do? If those rich people cut up rough we’re all going to be in the doo-dah, but especially me because a lot of them are my old school mates, and their mums and dads know me, and they know my mum and dad, and you know, it’s all rather embarrassing when I’m down at the club.
“Don’t think I haven’t noticed that if I add a further 500,000 to the dole queue it’s going to mean I get less in in the way of taxes, and I’m also going to have a lot more idle people to support, and people aren’t going to be able to buy stuff, and then more people are going to be idle, expecting me to pay for them, and, er, well, I know it looks a bit strange, but I’m really sure that a bit more of what’s made it all go so horribly wrong will make it go all right in the future.
“But just in case it doesn’t, and this is where I think you’ll find I’ve been particularly clever, I’ve decided to get out of some of my future commitments by changing the pension rules mid-game, and although it seems to have pissed a couple of million people off today, they’ll soon get over it, and by the time it really hits home I’ll have retired and to be honest I won’t really care that much anyway.
“And if that doesn’t work either, I’ve arranged for a massive distraction by my secret chums in the Eurozone, who will help me out a lot of they really fuck that all up and then I’ll be able to point at them and say that there was nothing I could have done anyway.
“And so I commend this statement to the House, and I hope it finds you as it leaves me, and now I’m off to Brussels to see how that Eurozone fuck-up’s going, and see if I can’t make it all a bit more difficult for them. Toodle-pip. Love, George”