Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Tuesday 06/01/09

Remember my comment about the folly of spending 50 million quid on a Titian in times of economic depression. Glasgow MP, Ian Davidson, has come out with a corker. He said, "It is difficult to argue that this is part of Britain's cultural heritage when it's a picture by a long dead Venetian - it's not as if it's Jock McTitian. Very few people will ever have heard of Titian, many will have thought he was an Italian football player.” Never heard of Ian Davidson before, but I like the man.

Still no word on the Oldborough Retreat.

Hay reported that the water pipes had burst in the crèche at work, resulting in hordes of kids sitting on their parents’ laps at work. You can imagine the conversations. “And this is how you allocate a £2m funding proposal dear – no, don’t press that button. Oh dear, it’s gone to the wrong people!”

My God it was cold last night. I woke to find the water pipes frozen in the caravan and couldn’t have a shower. The heating had just about managed to unfreeze them by the time I left for work.

Cameron has come up with an interesting wheeze – abolishing taxation on savings interest for those on the basic rate of tax. Now that’s going to save someone with £15k in the bank something like £90 a year, assuming 3% interest rates. The problem is that most people on the basic income tax rate don’t have savings and are deeply in debt – how many people do you know with £15k in the bank? Added to this, savings rates are soon to hit 0%, meaning Cameron’s plan is going to return bugger all.

Now if anyone (not just those on basic rate tax) spends £4k on vatable goods (not hard to do), they’re going to save more than Cameron’s £90 a year due to the 2.5% reduction in VAT – the very reduction Cameron derided as facile a few weeks ago. The Conservatives just don’t have a clue at the moment and are desperately scrabbling around for something that puts clear water between them and Labour. The only clear water I see is that Labour has plans and the Conservatives don’t – or if they do, they’re not all that good.

Hay came up with a new expression last night. She was watching some reality TV programme about a 23 year old munter who was undergoing something called a living autopsy. The programme focussed on a junk-food obsessed, binge driking female smoker with a weight problem (surprise, surprise) who had a body that was 10 years older than her chronological age. Why anyone would want to show themselves up on TV in this manner is a mystery, but as a biochemist Hay was vaguely interested in the pathology. I wanted to watch a programme on another channel about science and Islam. I told her I was going to go to bed and read, upon which she accused me of ‘statement beddies’, which was later refined to ‘harrumph beddies’.

I’m not even going to comment on this news story.

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