Osborne: Carry On Regardless!

‘Carry On’ films are a genre in their own right! British humor at its best between 1958 and 1992. Slapstick, innuendo, dirty smirks and cackles. Low-budget too! For those of us that are either too young to have heard anything about them…or for those that live in places where (thankfully) the low-budget series of films all entitled ‘Carry On this’ and ‘Carry On that’ (my favorite must be ‘Carry On Regardless’ (1961)) they are a low-budget series of situational comedy sketches that had absolutely no plot. Hang on a moment! Isn’t that the film that is running right now in the UK, starring none other than George Osborne, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer? Sounds very much the same to me! Low budget, situational comedy, no plot!

Just days after the International Monetary Fund told the UK to lay off the austerity and start investing more as the cuts were posing ‘headwinds to growth’, he has just carried on regardless. Even if the recovery signs in the economy are more tepid than the British summers, Osborne has turned a deaf ear to the advice of the IMF. Although, honestly, who could blame him, with the latter being directed by the ‘assisted witness’, Christine Lagarde (all money and scandal in the Adidas-Crédit Lyonnais affair)? Headwinds to growth? Lots of wind, not lots of growth, me thinks.

Mr. Osborne is set on singing ‘I’m doing it my way’. He is a Broadway musical all to himself, it seems at the moment. Ed Balls (Member of the Opposition, Labour MP) said that George Osborne was putting his pride before the national interest, in being dead set on pulling this off. But, it will all come to no good. ‘Carry On’ films stopped making people laugh when we needed something better than just a bit of slapstick to crack a smile. Osborne hasn’t been making the British taxpayer laugh for quite a while now.

He announced today that seven government departments have already agreed to cut their spending by sometimes up to 10%. This is all part of the final figure of the £11.5-billion ($17.38 billion) cut in UK budgetary expenses by 2015-2016. He added that he had 20% of that figure already and that he was doing better than (even he) had expected. Are we supposed to laugh here? Please: canned laughter.

Experts have predicted that he will find the rest by cutting deep into the budgets of the Home Office, Justice, Local Government and also the Environment. The Communities Department will be moving in to office-share and downsize with the Home Office and they will be all cutting down on paper. Does that mean there will be more electronic versions of the minutes, reports and decisions…so that they can be intercepted as they get transmitted across the web?

Yes, of course, cuts can be made and there certainly needs to be some streamlining in some areas. But, Mr. Osborne has suggested that he will not cut spending on terrorism and will only marginally cut spending on Defense. Of course, those are the areas that are the most likely to help the average British Joe, aren’t they? If the British don’t have jobs and they don’t have a healthy and stable economy, then there’s hardly any point in defending it against anyone, is there?

The next general election in the UK will take place in 2015. So, the question is: will Osborne bring the smile back to the faces of the British public before that date. Before, yes, because there’s little point in saying (as usual) that it’s coming if you can’t see anything in the distance. Crying wolf is not going to make people believe you. Apparently, health is protected and pensions won’t get cuts. But, the deficit has been estimated to hit well over the £90 billion ($135 billion) mark by 2015, primarily because there has been little action concerning growth and new-job creation.

Oh, nearly forget to mention. One attribute of the ‘Carry on’ series of films was that the cast got notoriously bad pay. Is that also true of Mr. Osborne? I guess it must be, having to scrape by on just $134, 565 ($203, 269) as Chancellor with the 15% stake he has in his family business (worth £4 million, or $6.04 million) and renting out his secluded Notting-Hill home while living at Downing Street. Carry-On Regardless, Mr. Osborne we might just laugh the last laugh!

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tothetick

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