Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Cameron's 'age of austerity for the many, not the few', says Johnson

Alan Johnson speaks to the Fabians tomorrow morning, as the government reports on progress on health inequalities and the next steps to narrow the gap.

The Guardian has a preview:

"After a long period of political cross-dressing, a real choice is emerging between the two main political parties. We remain committed to tackling health and social inequalities, for using investment and growth to restore prosperity. The Conservatives have chosen a different route."

There is an extended metaphor from the Phantom of the Opera.

"David Cameron has wasted no time in casting himself as 'Erik' – the Phantom of the Opera. Until now he has been playing the tunes that he thinks the British public wants to hear, seeking to soothe their fears with a bit of easy listening that he hoped would erase the memory of previous Conservative governments.

"But now, just as people have started to move towards him, he has switched from Let The Sun Shine In to Don't They Know It's The End Of The World, as the hideous reality of austerity Conservatism materialises. Austerity for the many, not the few. Certainly not for the 3,000 richest estates in the country, which will receive a £200,000 tax break."

Some of that went a bit over my head, though, being married to a musicals fan, I have seen Phantom. But then I am more of a Gershwin than Lloyd Webber fan.

I expect we will have more on this - perhaps on health inequalities rather than the music metaphors - after his speech tomorrow.

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