Austerity, Mike? I see no Austerity. Sitting in central London, I see north of the Thames a forest of cranes building horrendously expensive office blocks to replace 20-year-old horrendously expensive office blocks; on the south bank I see acres of luxury flats going up, and the occasional planned patch of 'affordable housing' that the locals can't afford; between them, the site of the 'Garden Bridge', a vanity project that has already swallowed millions of pounds of public money, as well as, I notice, a promised £20 million from the Sainsbury family's Monument Trust - whose main function seems to be to support Arts and Heritage projects - so that's £20 million that the sort of causes that subscribers to Britarch might support will never see.
Some people seem to be doing very well out of this so-called 'austerity'.
Austerity, Mike? Some of us on this list will remember Austerity. It meant ration books. It meant adverts in the Meccano magazine for Dinky Toys that weren't available in the shops because all the production was reserved 'for export only'. It meant getting your passport stamped with the amount of money you were taking out of the country, and the amount marked off when you came back. It meant devaluation of 'the pound in your pocket'. It meant 'fair shares for all'. It meant a siege economy.
Admittedly a siege economy would be much easier to impose if we left the EU - but can you really imagine a government that seems to believe that 'austerity' means simply cutting public expenditure on essential services, closing libraries and museums, keeping interest rates artificially low, and selling off public utilities to their mates at knockdown prices, could ever entertain such a thought?
Voting on the EU issue? I look around, and see the sort of people who are advising me to vote to 'remain', and then I see those (even on Britarch - no names) advising me to vote to 'leave'. There's no contest - sentimental, I know, but I recognise the people I'd feel happier in company with. I'll be voting to 'remain'.