The smart way to make cutbacks

Turn Old Trafford into an allotment and rebrand ‘The One Show’ as ‘The Half Show’. That’s how to save the country money

By Simon Round, March 11, 2010

Both politicians and economists are currently wrestling with the problem of how to reduce Britain's enormous overdraft.

We have been getting nasty letters from global bank managers threatening to downgrade our credit rating and maybe even to repossess the Isle of Wight or Guernsey.

Labour reckons the best way to reduce the deficit is to carry on spending money that we don't have (which is also my instinct in times of crisis). The Conservatives boringly say we should make cuts and be prudent.

Maybe they are right. After all, we have had a sign from on high that cuts are necessary. Someone up there has decided that the celestial boiler should be turned off for the duration - hence the lowest winter temperatures for decades and no sign that the great thermostat in the sky will be adjusted for spring.

Despite this, you may be impressed to hear that I have managed to cut my own heating bill in half. It was quite easy really - all I needed was a sharp pair of scissors. However, like everyone else, I am feeling the pinch and wish to help the economy recover, so here are a few suggestions.

I cut my heating bill in half — all I needed was a pair of scissors

We can certainly take some lessons from the last recession when the DHSS was cut by 25 per cent to become the DSS. Now we are in a similar situation, I propose we get rid of a further letter so that it becomes the DS. Transforming a great department of state into a pocket-sized games console could save the country upwards of £1

We can all save money and help the environment by doing what they did in the Second World War and growing more of our own vegetables. Even in our big cities there are wide open spaces which are rarely used. Why not turn Old Trafford, the Emirates Stadium, White Hart Lane and Upton Park into allotments - it would be more profitable than the Premiership has become recently, and it would also be the first time in a while that anything home-grown has come out of Arsenal.

It has also been suggested that the BBC make some judicious cuts - it has proposed that 6 Music could be axed, as could parts of the website. But perhaps the cuts could be more subtle. The One Show could become The Half Show, we could lose one of the Hairy Bikers, EastEnders could be EastEnder, and if Top Gear became Second Gear, we could cut back on petrol. Meanwhile, programmes that save money, like Bargain Hunt and Cash in the Attic, could be elevated to peak viewing time.

There are parts of Britain which could easily be cut back. Do we really need two Newcastles and two Stratfords? Surely it would make sense to incorporate Shakespeare's birthplace into the Olympic site - then we could flog Stratford-upon-Avon to the Americans like we did London Bridge.

And in view of the billions we are owed by Iceland, after the collapse of Icesave and other banks, perhaps we should send our trawlers and the Royal Navy over there to pinch some of their cod - or did we already try that?

We could even try to persuade the United, Reform and Masorti to patch up their differences and get together so we could have one synagogue in each area and save money by pooling resources.

Hmm, I'm beginning to get ridiculous now.

Last updated: 4:35pm, June 3 2010


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