Golden moments in UK politics today as Chancellor George Osborne announced from one side of his mouth that Britain and Europe must become "more competitive" with China and India, while proclaiming from the other that bonuses at RBS can't be touched.
Or, in a shorter version - your wages, your employment guarantees and your social security need to be drastically reduced, while bankers will continue to take home bonuses of up to 200% of their annual salaries.
This is a fantastic example of political honesty in an era of smarmy spin, and one that I'd like to see becoming far more prevalent.
Now some might say, pish and tush - Osborne doesn't mean "deliberately screwing most of the populace" - he means that we need to slash unemployment benefits to work-shy scrounging Romanian dole-sucking junkies with fifteen children, who doubtless get knocked up to get their filthy, oven-chip-stained hands on plush council houses and so on.
To which I would respond that you are surely honking a packed-out crackpipe like an angry Dyson, sir/madam, for truly - axing the entire budget for housing and feeding Britain's unemployed wouldn't even put a dent in the disparity that Osborne is talking about. Not even a nibble, as it happens.
Nope, if we're going to compete with the world's great sweatshops, somebody is going to have to take a major hit in their standard of living, and by "somebody", I mean you.
After all, the great advantages China and India have over the EU is that they have a near-inexhaustible supply of what the average Briton would regard as basically slave labour, usually working in conditions that every one of us would recoil from as inhumane at best, or fire hazards and deathtraps at worst.
Still, I welcome this newfound frankness and suggest that the Tories take it to the populace at the next General Election. This could work in two ways, as I see it:
1) EITHER Osborne and Cameron could politely inform the nation that at they will "make us competitive with China and India" by intentionally inflicting vicious damage upon the living and working standards of anywhere between 50 and 75% of the populace, while also guaranteeing vast rewards for the finance sector, OR
2) Osborne and Cameron could call for volunteers for the partial Sinofication of the UK economy. The Tory voters of Britain, being the hard-headed patriots that they are, would surely flock to accept, say, a ninety percent reduction in their salaries, the near-obliteration of their employment rights, mass-dumping of arsenic and heavy metals into their water supply, and all those other fun things that make e.g. China such a wonderful place to work.
I'd take either, but the former sounds more feasible to me. It's not that I don't have confidence that Tory Britain will volunteer in their millions to beshit their own beds, so much as that they seem to enjoy beshitting everyone else's so very much, and having to share even a fraction of the misery would probably spoil the spite.
Anyway, have at it, I say. Let the people decide on this bright new toxic waste-tasting future of "competitiveness", and with none of the old 80s nonsense about "streamlining industry" and so on that we're usually insulted by.
A chicken stuffed with lead in every pot! Every man, woman and child, a resource! Every workplace, a blaze of creativity and a potential blaze of actual burning human beings!
This could be a Great Leap Forward for all of us.