Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Budget Night

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
Winston Churchill

Budget Night 2010. The secrecy. The announceables. The speech. The packages of measures. Landmark Reforms. In the National Interest. For all "Orstrayans".

Think of the small army of public servants who wrestle with big numbers into the wee hours, and overnight on occasion, rounding up the zeros under the glare of the fluorescent lights and by the soft glow of the computer terminal.  Fuelled by instant coffee and ordered-in Turkish or Thai.

Wandering out when the job is done, for another day/night, to empty car parks, save for a few other stray vehicles there in the dark, surrounded by fog, windscreens frozen, dew on the bonnet. 

Home to chill, silent houses where children squirm under covers and snuffle gently. Padding inside, jacket rustling, when a voice murmurs from the bedroom, "Is that you?"

And you are not entirely sure because your head is full of tables and columns holding aloft the fiscal strategy and outlook like a Jenga tower. 

It's pure wizardry.  At a keystroke, some will gain and others lose, but we'll "all be better off".

Cartoons by Tiedemann  and Nicholson


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