I immediately thought of the cartoon character from my youth who was also so rich they named him twice, although this particular golden boy inherited his wealth, while his latterday reverse namesake trousered his £18 million despite being a hopeless banker.
And the fact that the bonus was announced on the day of the budget statement didn’t help. Which brings me to another complete and utter banker – George Osborne, aka Lord Snooty.
His ‘Aspiration Nation’* speech was straight out of The Thick Of It for title, style, content and sleight of hand. I particularly liked the bit where he said that that motorists would be paying 13p a litre less for fuel because he wasn’t putting up the tax. Which is a bit like saying they wouldn’t have to pay for a respray because he hadn’t keyed their car.
Then there was a penny off a pint of beer which is populist and sure to be welcomed, but how does that square with the kite flown last month of putting up the cost of alcohol to deter the harm it can undoubtedly do? Does the right hand know what the left hand is drinking, so to speak.
And if his mortgage incentive scheme isn’t just about providing cheap loans for millionaires as some have claimed, it sounds an awful lot like state-sponsored sub-prime to me.
Finally, why is he subsidising child care for working parents? I’ve nothing against people who choose to place their kids in care while they’re at work, nor those who decide to stay at home, but it seems to me to be flawed logic to pay benefits to people to encourage them to work when there are so many unemployed looking for jobs.
The trouble with most politicians is that when they step foot into the Treasury they start thinking it is simple stuff and spout nonsense, especially when they liken it to running a household budget.
Except countries and economies don’t work like that. There’s more to it than the glorified buying of groceries, paying the mortgage and wondering whether you can afford a family holiday this year.
Not that I know the answers – I’m not an economist. But then neither are they, but at least I’m not too proud to admit it.
* Is it just me or does Aspiration Nation makes us sound like we’re a country of wheezing asthmatics?