In my kitchen I have a PC made from bits of other, now dead, computers. It’s a sort of Millennium Falcon machine: looks crap; runs fast. Partly this is because it’s running Linux of course, but I haven’t had time to tweak the installation properly so it does have one or two wrinkles. One of these wrinkles, as I discovered today while watching the Budget on the BBC Website, is that Real Player doesn’t work properly (though this is of course something many Windows machines have a problem with).
As a result I turned on the stream just in time to hear Gordon Brown reveal his promise to cut 2p off the basic rate of income tax. Whatever else you think about Brown, this was political genius. It will be one of the smallest results of this decision—but one tomorrow’s papers will obsess about—that it completely buggered up David Cameron’s chances of scoring any kind of hit with his I-used-to-use-this-joke-at-the-Union reply. Sadly I didn’t get to see his face or that of any of the other Tories when Brown struck the killer blow because my kitchen computer’s RealPlayer window was a black rectangle. But, after some brief and vastly out-of-sync video of a Dimbleby and assorted talking heads in the BBC studio, this appeared:
Which was nice.
At the point I left Cameron’s speech he was saying something like, “You see, the Chancellor has finally had to accept that you can increase spending and cut taxes,” and talking about investment ratio statistics being “hidden away” on p237 of the Red Book.