The word ‘Austerity’ crept up without me noticing and is now everywhere. It’s the government approved term for the economic strategy being followed. David Cameron used it first in a speech in 2009, with his ‘Age of Austerity’. Webster’s made it word of the year in 2010. It seems to be used uncritically by all sides now, strangely. It absolutely is a tad creepy and Orwellian, in the way it can be a bad thing when it needs to be and a good thing when it needs to be. It screws opponents of the economic strategy – the anti-austerity marchers and ‘End Austerity Now’ campaigners. What do they want instead? Indulgence? I can’t remember anything as crafty as that in politics before.
Then in the run up to the election Cameron got the name of the football team he supports wrong. He was talking about the economy or something, about how football support brings in so much revenue, and he’s saying he encourages support for all teams across the country, then adds jovially- ‘But of course I’d rather it was for West Ham’, at which point his face froze for a brief second as he remembered it was Aston Villa he’s been claiming to support for years.
I mean, that’s fucking dreadful. I wonder are people out there as thick as he and his advisers obviously imagine them to be? Whatever the case, both of the above make me think there’s something quite cold and insulting going on. The austerity thing suggests a commitment to and knack for manipulation, and the football thing speaks for itself- the idiots must be humoured.
Jeremy’s ”Fuck You Bush’ poem from Peep Show sums up my mood (awful recording but whatever):