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Saturday, 17 August 2013 00:00

The Con-Dem grave-robbers

by Paddy mcGuffin

This column has always been of the opinion that this coalition would steal the eyes out of your head given half the chance and this week we've had proof positive they'll even pocket your money after you're dead.

Yes, the Tories and Lib Dems were forced into an embarrassing climbdown after it turned out they'd trousered hundreds of thousands of pounds of money which they weren't entitled to from the will of a deceased pensioner.

The two parties split £520,000 bequeathed to "the government of the day" by former nurse Joan Edwards but were forced to backpedal on their pilfering and return the money to the Treasury.

Clegg and Cameron - the Burke and Hare of coalition politics - both claimed they had accepted the money in good faith, which would have been a first for either of them to be frank.

Still at least they stuck to the traditions of this unholy alliance in that the Tories bullied the Lib Dems out of the lion's share and left them with the scraps.

As with so many things with this coalition it all came down to interpretation or, more accurately, willful distortion.

They see soaring youth unemployment and interpret it as the green shoots of recovery.

They wipe genuine claimants off disability benefits with brutal Atos assessments and hail it as tackling the scroungers and shirkers.

They're like the anti-Jesus. Give us your poor, your lame and suffering and we'll make them worse.

Thus it was no surprise that they chose to "interpret" the terms of the will as meaning "fill yer boots."

They rob us blind while we're alive so why not posthumously as well.

After all you wouldn't want your hard earned cash going towards archaic institutions like the NHS and education when you could be paying, post mortem, for more shiny posters of David Cameron's smug par-boiled baby face to be slapped on lamp posts across the country scaring small children and pensioners come the next election.

Get your priorities right!

Talking of getting your priorities right it emerged this week that in these straitened financial times the Bank of England felt the best use of its - and therefore our - resources was to hold not just one but three leaving bashes for outgoing chief Mervyn King.

The shindigs cost an estimated £13,000 including £1,500 on flowers and invites. You'd think he was getting married not retiring.

Most people just get a carriage clock with which to count off the hours until they shuffle off this mortal coil.

He was also presented with a copy of a truly preposterous portrait of himself, a silver napkin ring costing almost £600 and - perhaps most randomly - a bust of Goethe costing two and a half grand. Although that may have been a reference to Faustian pacts with the devil and as King is a banker would therefore be entirely appropriate.

The portrait was reportedly valued at £10,000 which is a bit odd because as any rapacious capitalist will repeatedly tell you an item is only worth what the market will bear (particularly if they happen to be buying it from you) and who the hell else would want a whacking great picture of Mervyn bloody King on their wall?

Its no wonder the country's going to hell in a handcart.

And speaking of countries going to hell, all of this, mildly embarrassing as it was, provided a convenient distraction from the fact that at this very moment regimes in the Middle East are using British flogged arms to crack down on dissent and slaughter civilians.

The Egyptian military killed hundreds of Morsi supporters at a protest camp in Cairo, while the world wrung its hands yet continued to bankroll and arm them to the teeth.

While the despots in Bahrain - much praised last week by a certain David Cameron - continue to pass ever more draconian laws against dissent and jail and torture anyone who opposes them while ensuring Britain's silence by dangling the carrot of a multi-billion pound Eurofighter deal in front of them.

That's the real scandal, pity none of our elected representatives seems to have noticed.

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