Eastbourne Life with Graham Walker: One Red Arrow doesn’t make a summer

Graham Walker
Graham Walker

I try not to do politics in this column but the shameless hypocrisy of George Osborne this week has really got my goat.

Apparently, the Chancellor was quoted as being “shocked” by evidence that many wealthy people avoid making a fair contribution to the country in which they live in, and to which they often claim ultra loyal allegiance.

Is this the same man, the son of a baronet and a lady, who has a personal fortune estimated at about £4 million? The same man who is the beneficiary of a trust that owns 15% of Osborne and Little, the posh wallpaper firm that his father co-founded? Is this the man who despite his obvious wealth, good breeding and apparent love of his country admitted just a few weeks ago that he has not been paying the highest 50% rate of tax?

George Osborne probably hasn’t broken any laws. But what he, or his accountant on his behalf, has been doing is morally wrong and a terrible example to the wealthy, who to be frank don’t need much encouragement to shy away from their responsibilities to the rest of us (sorry to remind you George but we are the boring ordinary people who go to work and pay our taxes and contribute to the communities we live in). As for his being shocked by the behaviour of the super rich is either extreme naivety or rank hypocrisy. Who do you think you are kidding Mr Osborne?”

I wonder if our Chancellor will change his austerity rhetoric of “we are all in this together” to “all of us, of course excluding me and my super rich pals who do everything we can to avoid paying tax, are in this together”. Mr Chancellor, take it from me, not a single hard working person in Britain will be the least bit shocked that the super rich do everything they can to avoid paying their taxes.

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One Red Arrow display doesn’t make a summer. Nor does the bandstand or the Wish Tower Restaurant. It’s the good people of Eastbourne, the sunshine and our wonderful coastline that make us all love living here and four million people visit every year.

There will be plenty of other display teams to amaze us at Airborne, other venues including the magnificent new Birley Centre at which we can enjoy live music and of course the fantastic new temporary ‘Uh Oh’ pods on the Western Lawns!

Seriously, I wonder if I am the only person who loved the artist’s impression of what the temporary café and surrounding buildings might look like? My suggestion is that we call them “T-Pods”. If they look as good as the pictures in the Herald, I guarantee tourists will come to town just to see them!

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Has anyone else seen the hand made “Toads crossing the road” sign in Littlington? We passed it in the car yesterday and it was soon followed along

the A259 by a warning sign that simply says “Badgers”. “What will the next sign say?” I asked the boys. Quick as a flash and before the boys could speak my wife said ‘Beware, the whole cast of The Wind in The Willows is hiding around the next corner!”

Email me at grahamcwalker@googlemail.com

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