Monthly Archives: March 2012
THE GENERAL SYNOPSIS AT FIVE TO MIDNIGHT
Visibility decreasing, outlook hysterical
Affluent, backing Tory
Effluent, deepening rapidly
Dogger, Fisher, German Bite
Clapham Common, Grimsby, Sauerkraut, intermittently Merkel
Soggy, wind 5 or 6, decreasing later
Poor, veering left
Turning Galloway, becoming bonkers
You want political hot potatoes? I’ve got political hot potatoes. Well, I can supply them no problem, but I’m afraid they’ll now cost an extra 20% in VAT courtesy of the
completely cretinous highly-revered Chancellor of the Exchequer’s latest budget. Unless, that is, you don’t mind political hot potatoes which have cooled down from the oven somewhat, thereby becoming political lukewarm potatoes. Which are tax exempt.
Confused??? So are you.
Let me explain.
HOW TO MAKE A BOLOGNAISE
One sausage roll or Cornish pastie
One smug, self-satisfied, sneering millionaire toff with a trust fund
The most important job in Government
A couple of freeze-dried brain cells
1. Prepare self-satisfied, sneering millionaire toff with a trust fund by marinading in Magdalen College, Oxford for years
2. Insert into 11 Downing Street
3. Sprinkle with some fiscal ideas and half-bake
4. Discard any residue of common sense
5. Present bolognaise on a sterling silver platter to media for grilling, and electorate for roasting.
And the result is? Well, it leaves quite a nasty, if not bitter, taste in your mouth, to be honest.
For those of you not up to date with the latest British political news, here’s a summary:-
George Osborne, the well-known
twat Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, presented his Budget to the House of Commons the other day. This is always a bit of a toughie at the best of times, but currently we’re going through the worst of times (hadn’t realized Charles Dickens had written A Tale of Two Cities about the kind of London the Tories inhabit, and the one in which the rest of us reside), and George had to come up with something that delivered for his coterie of millionaire friends, whilst clobbering the hell out of the rest of us to pay for it. And so he lowered the top rate of income tax from 50p in the £ to 45p in the £ (and subsequently lamented to the press that, sadly, despite owning a £4m house in the best part of London, which he lets out, and having a stake in the upmarket family decorating firm, Osborne & Little – not to mention that trust fund – he isn’t wealthy enough to pay the top rate himself. Which, of course, we somehow mystically knew).
But in addition to this, he also announced that in future VAT would be charged on previously exempt hot takeaway food. (In an instant, thirty million quid was wiped off Gregg’s, the country’s biggest supplier of heart attacks, er, sausage rolls). However, it’s not quite as simple as that…
…for hot snacks – that is, those that are warmer than the ambient air temperature – will be liable for the tax, whilst cooler fare, Mr Osborne states – those of a temperature equal to that of the air temperature or lower – will not be liable. Thus, if you hang around for a while after the new batch of tasty goodies has come out of the oven, and wait for them to cool before purchasing, you won’t have to hand over the extra dosh. However, it’s not quite as simple as that…
…for in summer the ambient air temperature is warmer than in winter, meaning a lukewarm snack in the summer months will not be liable for the 20% levy – as a pastie which has cooled from the oven will be in the vicinity of the temperature on a warm day – whilst in the winter, a warm pastie will still be hotter than the surrounding cold air, and thus can be considered ‘hot’, in the sense that it is warmer than the ambient temperature and, accordingly, hotter than a lukewarm summer pastie.
You can just imagine the glee of the ever-diminishing number of hard-pressed Revenue and Customs officers (though to be fair, they’ve recently been alleviated from going through the accounts of the top echelon of the country’s political and financial elite, since they naturally don’t pay tax) as they are issued with various thermometers to measure both the ambient air temperature in assorted takeaway establishments, together with the insides of a yummy Sausage and Bean Melt, in order to ascertain whether or not VAT is liable for Tom, at the back of the queue, as well as Dick, at the front of the queue. (Harry quite sensibly opted to go to the pub to drown his sorrows at what Britain has become, having given up the Empire and instead devoted itself to lecturing condescendingly on the meaning of democracy to myriad countries the world over, the inhabitants of some of them having never even heard of a deep fried Mars Bar, let alone possessing the wit to imagine a young Right Honorable member of the notorious Oxford Dining Society, the Bullingdon Club, drinking to excess and smashing up top expensive restaurants and country houses willy nilly with his nauseatingly rich friends whilst wearing white tie and tails. Never mind guessing that his real name is Gideon. Tosser.)
(No, ‘Tosser’ isn’t his name, Gideon is. Wanker. No, ‘Wanker’…you know what, don’t bother).
Meanwhile, David Cameron hurridly announced a minimum price for alcohol to divert attention away from another controversial proclamation in Gideon’s Budget Bible concerning a ‘granny tax’ (not sure if you can tax her for six months at a time, and as for where to put the sticker…). Ensuring several lawsuits will ensue, since the measure (ha!) flies in the face of EU law, and is not very popular with the distilleries, for some reason.
Whilst at the same time, the Co-Treasurer of the Conservative Party was kebabed on camera in a sting by newspaper journalists selling Meals for Deals: donate £250,000, and dinner with the Prime Minister and his lovely wife in their private flat in Downing Street is yours.
What do you suppose you get for a dinner worth a quarter of a million quid? A sausage pastie and half a glass of White Stripe? Or is that expecting a little too much these days?
A store, somewhere in southwest London.
Hello, I’d like to make a payment on my account, please.
Certainly, madam. Do you have your storecard?
No, but I have my statement.
HANDS STATEMENT OVER
Hmm. I’m afraid I need the card.
Er, why? All the details of the account are on the statement. And on the handy payment slip you’ve helpfully attached to it.
Not the card expiry date.
Why do you need that? I don’t want to buy anything, I want to pay you money. In cash.
WAVES CURRENCY IN THE AIR IN MANNER OF LABOUR MP’S LIMBS AFTER ENJOYING A FEW BARRELS OF RED WINE IN HOUSE OF COMMONS BAR.
It’s the system. I need to have the expiry date of the card in order to accept payment.
But if I went into a bank to make this payment, they wouldn’t want to see my card, would they? They only need the payment slip. The payment slip your store has sent me. Are you seriously telling me that if the Sultan of Brunei came in here to make a payment, you wouldn’t accept it because he didn’t have the expiry date of the card?
Right. Just as well he’s not likely to suffer the embarrassment then, isn’t it? Can I see the customer services manager, please?
There isn’t one, madam. But I can ask the floor manager to come over.
FLOOR MANAGER APPEARS, A CROSS BETWEEN DEPUTY DAWG AND DAME EDNA EVERAGE’S BRIDESMAID, MADGE. ONLY WITHOUT THE JOIE DE VIVRE.
I suggest you go home and call the main customer services number, madam. We can’t accept payment on this account.
But I got on the train to come here specially. I don’t live in this area. And if I can’t pay this today, they will charge me a late payment fee. And I don’t want to incur interest on the amount. AND I’m not going to call a premium rate number to sort this out.
A FEW MINUTES OF SILENCE ENSUES. MADAM PLAINLY ISN’T GOING TO GO AWAY.
Would you like me to call the main customer services number for you, madam?
Yes, I would.
DEPUTY MADGE SLINKS AWAY, SEEMINGLY NOT MOVING ANY PART OF HIS BODY. AFTER TEN MINUTES, MADAM IS CALLED OVER TO THE PHONE.
Would you mind speaking to the customer services representative, madam?
MADAM TAKES THE PHONE.
Can you answer a few security questions, please?
Why? I want to give you money.
It’s the system. Can you tell me which month you were born in?
MADAM TELLS HIM.
And what’s your phone number?
Well, I have a new one now, but the one you have is 09999 999999. (Just imagine the scene when they call madam up to tell madam somebody wants to make a payment into her account…’No! They’re not me! Don’t let them!’)
And what’s your password for this account?
I haven’t the faintest idea. Nobody’s asked me that for years.
I see. Can you tell me what the credit limit is on the card.
Certainly. I’ll read it out to you. It’s written very clearly on the statement I’m holding in my hand. Why do you need to know these things when I only want to hand over money. How much security does it take to pay you cash?
CONVERSATION CONTINUES IN THIS VEIN FOR ANOTHER 5 MINUTES. EVENTUALLY THE COMEDIAN ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE ASKS TO SPEAK TO THE COMEDIAN STANDING NEXT TO MADAM IN THE STORE.
Right. I see. OK. Thank you. If you’ll follow me, madam.
On this occasion I can accept payment. But in future please bring in the card with you.
Can you see that this is all nonsense? That it’s not logical to have to tell you my inside leg measurement and provide a letter from the vet confirming my tortoise’s shell rot has cleared up nicely in order to give you twenty-five pounds?
MADGE THE DAWG STARES BLANKLY INTO THE DISTANCE.
MADAM’S EYES MEET THOSE OF THE YOUNG HELPFUL ASSISTANT, WHO SWEETLY KEEPS APOLOGISING. MADAM SECRETES THE RECEIPT FOR HER CASH, THE CASH SHE FOUGHT SO HARD TO HAND OVER, ABOUT HER PERSON.
AND IN THE TRADITION OF ELVIS PRESLEY, MADAM EXITS THE BUILDING.
MADAM ARRIVES HOME TO FIND A FAT ENVELOPE AWAITING HER ON THE MAT. MADAM OPENS IT UP. IT CONTAINS THE BUNDLE OF DIVORCE PAPERS SHE LODGED WITH THE COURT EARLIER IN THE WEEK, TOGETHER WITH A COMPLIMENT SLIP WHICH STATES:
Please find returned your D8 application. ‘Part 2’ has to be completed exactly as it is on the Marriage Certificate.
MADAM LEAFS THROUGH AND SEES THAT THIS REFERS TO THE QUESTION ASKING WHERE THE PETITIONER AND THE RESPONDENT HAD MARRIED. SINCE THE PETITIONER AND THE RESPONDENT HAD MARRIED IN THE REGISTER OFFICE OF BRIGHTON AND HOVE IN THE CITY OF BRIGHTON AND HOVE, MADAM HAD WRITTEN – ON TRIPLICATE FORMS – ‘THE REGISTER OFFICE OF BRIGHTON AND HOVE IN THE CITY OF BRIGHTON AND HOVE’. THE CLERK, WHEN HE VERY KINDLY CHECKED THROUGH MADAM’S FORMS EARLIER IN THE WEEK, HAD POINTED OUT THE INSTRUCTION:
INSERT THE PLACE WHERE THE MARRIAGE WAS FORMED, EXACTLY AS IT APPEARS ON YOUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE.
AND HE GAVE MADAM A PEN IN ORDER FOR HER TO INSERT THE PLACE WHERE THE MARRIAGE WAS FORMED EXACTLY AS IT APPEARS ON THE MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE:
THE REGISTER OFFICE OF BRIGHTON AND HOVE, IN THE CITY OF BRIGHTON AND HOVE, IN THE DISTRICT OF BRIGHTON AND HOVE.
JUST IN CASE OF ANY CONFUSION WITH THE CITY OF BRIGHTON AND HOVE IN THE DISTRICT OF STAVANGER AND TRONDHEIM.
BUT HERE, UNACCOUNTABLY, ARE THE FORMS ONCE AGAIN, BACK IN MADAM’S POSSESSION. (IS THIS NATIONAL NOT ACCEPTING ANYTHING WEEK???) MEANING ANOTHER VISIT WILL HAVE TO BE MADE TO THE COURT, INVOLVING HANDING OVER MADAM’S HANDBAG AT RECEPTION SO THAT ALL THE ZIPS CAN BE OPENED AND THE CONTENTS MAULED BY THE GIANT THUGGISH SECURITY GUARD WITH FAT FINGERS, WALKING THROUGH THE METAL DETECTOR, BEING WANDED AND PATTED DOWN WHEN THE ALARM GOES OFF (AS IT ALWAYS DOES), JUST SO MADAM CAN FILL OUT A NEW SET OF TRIPLICATE FORMS (NOT INCLUDED IN THE ENVELOPE), EXACTLY AS INSTRUCTED BY THE INSTRUCTIONS IN TRIPLICATE ON THE TRIPLICATE FORMS.
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