There’s a saying - generally attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time”.
There is an equally well-known variant - substituting the word please for fool - and as the recent budget has proved beyond all shadow of a doubt, you cannot please all of the people all of the time, or even some of the people some of the time!
It is rare for me to sympathise with any politician - regardless of their persuasion - but I have to admit to actually feeling quite sorry for David Cameron and his merry men.
In his attempts to solve our dire economic problems, he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t - especially by the opposition benches, his coalition partners and the BBC, which really should start reporting the news instead of trying to make it.
But whatever your political leanings, one thing is for sure, if you are a politician you can and frequently do confuse all of the people all of the time!
By the time the Chancellor had finished giving with one hand and taking it back with the other, I suspect most of us mere mortals were thoroughly confused dot com.
I doubt many will be any the wiser for all the post budget analyses or better off in spite of the spin.
As for the probability of being worse off - well we knew that was coming didn’t we?
But my generation has lived through hard times before and lived to tell the tale. So my message to you younger folk who haven’t, and all those whingers out there who are jumping on the bandwagon of discontent is, put up, shut up, tighten the belt even further and help get this country going again.
Never fear, the good times will return. Indeed, midst all the prevailing gloom and doom, is that the odd word or two of encouraging news I see hidden in the small print? I do think so but don’t tell anyone, we might frighten it away!
Winston Churchill once said “Political skill is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And then to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.” How True!
It’s also true to say political paradox is just as rife in local government. Having recently negotiated the junction of the A1 south and the A43 - which has been receiving so much publicity - I can now fully appreciate the growing concerns expressed by readers in recent weeks – as evidenced by the numbers of people who have signed Mercury coupons and the local petition.
How on earth can the highways team and Cambridgeshire constabulary say “changes are not necessary” when clearly hundreds of local drivers disagree? The word obduracy comes readily to mind.