Remember to budget, Darling

As John Cleese repeats with increasing futility in that great classic Clockwise, ‘This is a historic moment’.

People of Britain, rejoice on your sofas – your garden gnomes are safe – there’s only one more weekend of binge-drinking. Only one more week to spend your Sunday mornings picking out the grease-ridden paper that once housed a drunk’s kebab, and only one more Sunday morning spent undoing the work of the drunken windscreen-wiper fairy, who every Friday and Saturday night works his magic lifting them off your windscreen.

The government had a plan. What with all those Tsar’s and working policy groups, it was inevitable one of them was going to slip through the net and actually make it out into the light of day.

And all it took was 14p. Less than a Cadbury’s finger of Fudge, and every binge-drinker across the land will be turned into a tweed-wearing pipe smoker, sitting around at home in a lounge suit discussing the works of Hemingway. As of Monday, the aisles of supermarkets will ring to the sound of people saying, ‘well, I was going to get drunk, but this extra 14p’s killing me’.

His name may make him seem gentle, but Darling has a ruthless streak. Like the slightly battle-scared school teacher, he is saying ‘You will listen. I’m going to keep raising the price of alcohol until you all stop binging and act your age’. I fear it may take a few detentions before the night-bus crew start to listen.

Whilst binge-drinking’s sorted by the weekend, we have to wait until 2010 for all this talk of climate change and global warming to be brought to an end. Yes, the little seals and dolphins will be doing little tricks off England’s coast (which, by that time, will be a basking 40 degree centigrade), squeeking ‘Darling’s saved us’. £950 road tax will bring to an immediate halt the carbon footprint of a nation. Those men in Saville Row suits will be walking into their Porsche dealers going, ‘yes, £50,000 is an excellent price… hang on… £950 road tax?!? – I’m off to buy a pushbike’.

There is a better answer to these tax tweaks – Let’s use our nation’s dark side to our advantage. Britain trades on it’s images of coal miners with sooty faces. Surely we can adapt these with sooty exhaust fumes. Let’s celebrate our our boosiness.

I propose every major town and city has a new ‘British’ theme park. When you arrive in the car park, every other space will have a 4×4 Chelsea tractor parked over the lines, taking up two spaces. You’ll be greeted at the gate by the rudest customer service in all the land. Once inside, you get visit the exhibits by following a great trail of half-eaten kebabs and discarded chewing gum, with friendly members of staff in pastel-coloured tracksuits with alcopop breath. See the crowds flock to the hourly booze fights in the main arena, with men wearing gold bling and women in clothing two sizes too small beginning every fight with, ‘No Keith. He ain’t worth it…’.

And here’s the clever bit. I think we could ask the tourists to pay £30 entry, with a free return visit included in the price. If you include the added income in hotel and hospitality revenue, that should save the rest of us having to pay higher prices at the pumps (petrol and ale) and solve us all getting a detention from the government just because a few members of the class can’t control their alcopop consumption.

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