Great outcry in all directions over the latest Budget U-turn. After the pasty tax and then some concession over static caravans - I've no idea why we don't use the tax system to drive the ghastly things over the cliffs, personally. I'd rather spend a fortnight in a pasty than a static caravan. Although, to be fair, at least they mostly stay off the road. And now we have the obviously right restoration of the abililty to claim tax relief on charity donations, no matter how large.
Now I have a theory as to how these stupid ideas got into the Budget in the first place, before public ridicule and charitable protests got them removed again.. Go with me on this.
You immediately see in these stupid, rather pointless, annoying kind of tidying-up regulations the hands of Civil Servants. I bet George Osborne has no idea what a static caravan is - anymore than he's ever consumed a cooling pasty. Some flunkey with another 20 years to go before he gets his totally undeserved "K" has come up with these tax schemes as part of the agenda of the Civil Service Committee for Tax Tidying and Paperclip Servicing.
Now let me take you back to the incomparable oeuvre of PG Wodehouse. The gormless master, Eton and Oxford educated and lacking in the chin department, is totally dependent on his manservant (not a butler) Jeeves - intelligent, wise and always right. This tendency (or dependency) is not even confined to Bertie Wooster. Lord Blandings (and an assortment of young men with large reserves of love but impoverished amounts of chin) depend upon the sagacity of Beech the Butler.
So you see what's happpened? George and Dave have been sitting around. Some lower-middle class oik in a suit has come up to them and suggested something about pasties to them they didn't understand. They, presuming it must be Jeeves, have assumed it must be brilliant and put it in the budget - no doubt asking him to whip up one of his "specials", only last night they were at a Bullers' reunion at the Drone Club..
But we know better. That wasn't Jeeves. That was Bernard from the Pasty Tax Office. And now that pasty taxes remain unharmonised with battered cod roe, he's seeking revenge.
Now I know my theory depends on our rulers being blithering upper-class twits who can't tell a valet from a middle-ranking Civil Servant. So can anyone else see anything wrong with it?