Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Fear of Budgets Past

This might be a false memory, I am not sure. I remember viewing the budget with dismay as a small boy. Not because any threat to pocket money but because of TV. The coverage of the budget in 1973 was not exactly snappy, but my grievance was that it meant no children's programes that day. BBC1 needed the space for grey talk about money. At that stage if ITV had any children's programes they weren't an acceptable alternative. At that stage everything on BBC 2 involved two or more men in glasses droning on regardless of the topic. It was the era when the announcer would tell you if a programe was going to be in colour. In case you didn't realise.  So while parents got to fret about money, 6 year olds arrived home from school to find Jackanory and Deputy Dog had been stolen from us.
I have never really ever fully forgiven the budget for being a dull disagreeable intrusion on my pleasant daily  routine. This became a more tangible resentment when I took up tobacco. 47p for 10 JPS! I only had 50p dinner money. Chancellor's are a little more creative these days. It did feel in the 80's that it was just a debate about how much fags booze and petrol were going up. Or that might just reflect my concerns at the time. I have a more middle aged view of these things now. The Budget remains a dull intrusion on my pleasant routine, however I now value that dullness. I can't think of anything as frightening now  as an 'exciting' budget.