Huzzah! It’s Budget time again – during which Chancellor George Osborne flabbergasts us with some fancy fiscal footwork while the Prime Minister sneaks behind and pickpockets all our loose change. I’m trying to be all grown up by watching this year’s effort but it can hardly be called ‘event telly’. The whole thing is just so incredibly dull – perhaps the mind numbing drone is a trick in order to tempt us all to sleep, at which point they can hike up the price of cigarettes, booze and petrol with the minimum of complaint.
The whole thing desperately needs a bit of… oh I don’t know… je ne sais quoi. Politicians are renowned for ‘sexing up’ documents when going to war – the least they could do is add some melodramatic hyperbole when discussing how we will all pay for it. Surely a gameshow element to Osborne’s penny punching wouldn’t go amiss. We already have a presentation format that includes winners and losers with huge sums of money involved and there’s no doubt a banker on a phone somewhere trying to tempt the Chancellor into a sell out compromise… it’s pretty much Deal or No Deal already! Where’s Noel Edmonds when you need him ?
Surely someone within the government can organise a game show style line up of people representing a few key demographics – let’s say a housewife, a top hatted Toff, and a chain smoking drunk. They could all face a camera as the financial factoids are dished out, with dramatic pauses and orchestral stings added in order to raise the tension just before the camera zooms on the winner of each round… or the Toff as he’s known.
Alternatively, the BBC and ITV could battle it out on a Saturday night with all new talent shows that promise the winners the opportunity to write and present the next budget.
The BBC would no doubt attempt a relatively highbrow approach to it all – fulfilling their mandate to both educate and entertain, with The Maths, or So You Think You Can Save the Country From Financial Ruin. The judges’ panel on The Maths would be a very worthy mix of politicians, celebrity business people and number genies – how about Gordon Brown, Duncan Bannatyne, Steven Hawking and the reconstructed cyborg head of Einstein (the latter judge would go some way to explain the 22 million pounds spent on the show). These judges would sit in giant egg shaped chairs, looking away from the young Politics A Level students and Maths undergraduates, because “It really doesn’t matter about your face, yeah, as long as you can get the UK economy going again”
ITV, of course, would provide far more crowd pleasing fare with The X + Y = Z Factor – a kind of Britain’s Got Talent for nerds. The ITV panel would be an attention grabbing mix of personalities, most of which would have only a vague connection with numbers – we would end up with Consolidate-your-existing-loan-monkey Carol Vorderman, a Meerkat, the reconstructed cyborg head of Johnny ‘Think of a Number’ Ball… and Amanda Holden. The contestants here would be altogether more eccentric than on The Maths – acts like Fiscal Policy – a boy band that wouldn’t just have healthy figures and perfect heads… they would also have a perfect head for healthy figures. Trying out alongside them would be The Lehman Brothers – a kind of monetary Jedward – adding a potential car crash element to the live proceedings. No 2012 ITV talent output would be complete without Pan Man – a gentleman with a saucepan on his head who could read out the financial state of the nation in the voice of a dalek… which seems fittingly ominous.
Failing the above, we could go the whole hog and give Budget: The Movie a green light. It’s probably not a good idea, however. Much like Disney’s John Carter on Mars – a critically panned film expected to make a staggering loss of two hundred million dollars – Budget: The Movie would also turn out to be a dull couple of hours that ends up haemorrhaging millions. Although this is pretty much the way the budget is performed anyway, with Budget: The Movie we’d also run the risk that George Osborne, like John Carter, would end up doing it all with his top off.
© Nova Amiko and The Has Been Who Never Was 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nova Amiko and The Has Been Who Never Was with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.