Kwarteng's free cash for the rich, Hunt's middle-class mugging – why can't we just tax the poor?

By Abigail Pennson, our reasonable, plain-speaking middle-class columnist slightly to the right of Hitler

TWO months ago, Kwarteng announced free cash for the rich. Tomorrow Jeremy Hunt will demand money with menaces from the middle-classes. But what about the poor? 

Every time the Tories throw out the tax net, they slip through like sardines. The big bluefish lose their fins while we striving salmon are filleted to within an inch of our lives. The poor? Swimming free.

Even now, with inflation still rising, with interest rates punishing the aspirational, with public services collapsing, there’s no attempt to tax those who buy most food. Who save the least. Who disproportionately use and degrade those public services.

Let me tell you a little secret about the poor: there’s millions of them. More than one in five of the UK population are in poverty, and there are plenty more on the way.

They far outstrip the middle-classes. All those hedge-fund managers Labour are so keen to tax? There’s a mere handful of them. However much profit Amazon might make, there’s still only one.

But the poor? They litter this country, from their bedsits above London shops to whole estates, towns and even cities if you’ve had the misfortune to visit the north-east. And after 12 years of Conservative government there’s more of them than ever.

They’re so numerous – and oh Lord, do they breed – that you wouldn’t need to take a lot. Just a few pennies from each and we’d soon fill that fiscal black hole.

And would they miss it? Not like we do. The drop from M&S Food to Sainsbury’s is palpable and shaming for a middle-class family. The shame of an Aga you can’t afford to run is with you every day.

If you’re poor? You’re already on Aldi’s own-brand crisps. You’re already on the bus in Primark clothes. A little bit of tax won’t make any difference to your wretched lifestyle.

So rather than donning that hair shirt and attacking your own, Jeremy, do something truly bold. Tax the poor. Hit them hard. See how they bloody well like it.

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Five dangers of having sex sober

NEVER do anything in the bedroom you’re not comfortable with, especially if it’s having sex lucid. Not only will it happen, but you’ll remember it for years to come. 

Traditional lovemaking is best accomplished, whether a married couple on date night or a young lovers on a one-night stand, blind hammered. Sex sober is risky. These are the dangers of squaring up to aroused genitals without a few sharpeners first:

You’ll be self-conscious

The great thing about drinking is it makes you so unconscious of your body you walk into doorframes. It’s far easier to be accepting of your bodily flaws when the room’s spinning, and to blame seeing double for your thunderous thighs.

And it’s not just your body that will be thrust into the spotlight of sobriety but your fuckbuddy’s meatsuit as well: nothing will send you running into the arms of soft-focus pornography quicker than the whiteheads on your husband’s arse.

You’ll have no excuses

Men: can’t get it up? That’s on you for once, not the booze. Women: if he’s had his face in your fanny for 40 minutes and you’re still miles from climax, you can’t blame the vodka like you usually do.

Nor do you have any good reason for not trying new adventurous positions like being bothered to turn over or stand up. And your go-to reason for drifting off to sleep before your partner’s climaxed is snatched away. It’s all veritas and no fucking vino.

You’ll have razor-sharp senses

No Frenchman would brave the consumption of a soft-ripened camembert without sloshing down a pint of red wine first. The same principle applies to your husband’s balls. And sixty-nining cannot be accomplished sober, just as it can’t be accomplished too pissed. Find your happy place. Usually it’s upward of ten units.

You’ll have reduced deniability

Say you get caught up in the moment and admit your foot fetish. Or climax while shouting the name of the plumber who was so attentive to your misfiring boiler. Sober? There’s no coming back because there’s no gin and tonic to blame it on.

Safer to make sure you’re pissed enough to claim Gary the plumber’s muscular forearms were only in your head because the Tanqueray put them there. And for your husband to be pissed enough to choose to believe you.

You’ll form a more meaningful connection

Above all, having sex with a loved one sober brings with it the risk of actually sharing a moment of connection which, if undertaken when irresponsibly conscious and lucid, could not only be meaningful but make you closer for weeks or even years to come.

You could end up spending long evenings on the sofa sharing confidences, touching hands, and gazing into each others eyes when you’ve got box-sets to watch. So you’d be wise to knock back white wine straight from the fridge door on the way to bed tonight just in case.