Alastair's Blog

Return to:  Blog | Articles | Videos RSS feed

Even at Queen’s, I’m thinking big ideas for George and Danny

Posted on 11 June 2010 | 7:06pm

Dear George and Danny,

Apologies for being a bit late in the day with this but what with the World Cup and a trip to Queen’s to see the big guys fall, sport came ahead of my attempts to help you cut public spending.

However, as luck would have it, and as I am always on the look out for ideas, one came to me whilst I was enjoying a bit of hospitality in between the Murray defeat and the Nadal defeat. I bumped into a billionaire – you know how it is George – and as I hoovered in information about how this particular billionaire gave money to this cause and that, carefully putting down markers for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, I had one of those once in a lifetime brainwaves that only comes when you have a new coalition government casting round desperately for ideas.

It is so so simple and I think the logic will appeal to both of you.

You see, you’ve asked the public to tell you what they want you to cut. You’re hoping that will soften them up so that they don’t go too crazy when you break DC’s pledge not to hit frontline services.

But let us now take this involvement of the public to another stage – and ask them for more money. No, not tax, but donations!

Part of the new Clamberon vision appears to be public services run as and in some cases by charities, so let us extend that spirit to government itself.

Ah, you say, but people feel taxed enough already, and will feel even more so when you put up VAT in the Budget, trotting out our old friend OTIB, (the oldest trick in the book,) aka BWTTB (books worse than thought bullshit). But even if they do feel highly taxed, many continue to give more of their hard-earned cash away. I do my bit for various causes. I’m sure you do. And my billionaire lunch partner certainly does.

Then think how much Ashcroft gave to one of your parties, or tot up how much Danny’s boys in the Lords gave to his, (I am not suggesting a link, far from it) and ask yourself if we couldn’t persuade them to chuck a few more million the Treasury’s way.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if, when doing my tax returns, I decided actually because I support schools and hospitals and all the other things that government has to provide, I should add on a few quid.

The need was never as urgent as you guys now tell us it is, so I never got round to it. 

But if you think the idea has merit, I will happily send a few bob your way.

Maybe you could add a ‘WAITT’ box (we’re all in this together) on the tax return. Every little helps. The man from Tesco said that. And look how well he did.

*** Buy Prelude to Power here at Amazon.

*** Buy The Blair Years and raise cash for Labour

  • Laura

    Absolutely brilliant, I love it!

    I will also be checking my bank statements carefully, just do double check they don’t do that TAPOOEA thing (Taking a pound out of everyone’s account…)

  • Charlie

    @AC “Ah, you say, but people feel taxed enough already, and will feel even more so when you put up VAT in the Budget, trotting out our old friend OTIB, (the oldest trick in the book,) aka BWTTB (books worse than thought bullshit).”

    You really are a very Funny man….. The last 13 years have proved beyond any doubt that Labour cannot be trusted with the Economy.

  • Laura

    LOL I love this suggestion. I’d love it to come into law and then to see the analysis to see who gave what proportion of their income in form of a donation.

    I do get tired of all the griping from people who are basically better off now than they were a couple of years ago, moaning about how hard life is and how bad the recession has been. Obviously some people have been devastated by the credit tightening and consequent economy slowdown but it’s clear to me that if you’re in a stable job that doesn’t rely too much on commission, you’re probably doing fine and lots of life’s most expensive costs (EG mortgages) have been cheaper than they’ve ever been. I’m all for increases in tax (progressive taxes that is) but if it has to be voluntary maybe that tick box on the tax return should have a bit of guilt tripping included.

    “Dear X, you’ve earnt X and paid Y tax but look at what you’ve got left. It’s X percentage more than the average income. Go on, don’t be so greedy. You’ve done well this year. Can’t you give a bit more and maybe not go on that 1/3 holiday of the year?”

    Or something like that!!!

  • kathy

    I am glad that you and the other poster find all this so amusing. When it comes to talking about Millionaires Alistair I am sure you have long ago become part of that club. You are still raking in money from your time with Labour so maybe you would like to be the first to donate some money perhaps to a disabled soldiers charity. Tony Blair is another who could donate a few million to make up for all the chaos he left behind. While you find all this so amusing, ordinary people are struggling to pay their bills, keep a roof over their heads, keep their jobs. In my family alone, four of us became redundant due to the recession. My brother finds himself in the position of now doing temporary work for £5.50 an hour after working all his life and m struggling to pay his mortgage. Despite all the bragging from Labour about helping people through the recession he got no help from the government. It all sounded good but the reality was it did not happen.My husband has been in the Building Trade for 42 years and found himself spending most of last year out of work despite chasing any job available. No Benefits either for the self employed so my little part time job was keeping us just. Luckily we had paid off our mortgage or I don’t know how we would have managed. This year he is getting work here and there but nowhere near the way it used to be and my little job became another redundancy statistic and you know what because I had been previously made redundant two years before they said I didn’t qualify for Job Seekers even though I had worked for 25 years before that. Meanwhile Labour paid millions to feckless people who have never worked a day in their lives. So you will excuse me if I don not think it funny you making jokes about paying a few quid more, people like you will never be affected by Recessions or Downturns or any of the politicians. None of you know what it is like in the real world. So you will continue to make money from books and interviews and defend Labour and wars and Spin and lies when part of the problems we are all facing now are because of Labour spending money that we did not have in the first place.


  • Tim

    George and Danny is ALMOST cockney rhyming slang …. and very fitting it is too.

  • penfrocharlie

    Bit of a laboured suggestion AC,but not without some merit.
    Perhaps you could play on your one-time connections with the likes of David Sainsbury,Lakshmi Mittal,Keith Vaz et alia to help fill the Treasury coffers so scandalously emptied by Messrs Brown and Darling? Then again,how about Lord Fondlebum..he’s well known in wealthy circles,and then there’s your hero Tony who’s reported to have made a bob or two for himself in the name of international diplomacy.
    I’m sure there are many others but I’ll let you work your persuasive magic on these first.Do please let us know how you get on. Good luck.

  • Jack Saunder

    I’ll keep it short and sweet
    AC, please become Labour candidate for next available safe seat, challenge for the leadership a few years later, then become the Labour PM this country finally deserves and needs.

  • Andrew Williams

    That’s actually a great idea (sorry I didn’t mean that to sound surprised). Would work better at a local level where you could more easily see the impact of your donations.

  • Sally

    Interesting idea re tax donations! Taking it one stage further – How about an ethical tax option?
    I often have said that when it comes to choosing between Labour or Tories at elections it’s a question of who you want to benefit from the tax you pay. Vote Tory your Tax helps those better off than yourself, vote Labour your Tax supports those worse off than yourself.
    Now if I could choose who I was helping & what services, I would gladly opt to pay more tax – like an ethical investment in the future of the country.