Basking vicariously in the joys of Britain's continuing Olympic successes, as I hope we all are, the role of Lottery funding is being extolled by media commentators. Sir John Major is being granted plaudits for his prescience in setting up the scheme to create a new funding stream for sport and the arts. Interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme earlier he explained how as Chief Secretary to the Treasury he learned that national budgets for both were never going to survive in a public expenditure squeeze.
Too true, that's because the greedy Tories will never use progressive taxation to fund the public realm, preferring gambling instead. I wonder if the current Chief Secretary to the Treasury will clock that one as the 'fairness' agenda is developed through the latest public expenditure round and the Autumn Statement.
Isn't it time we in the Labour Party were able to lock in sports and the arts into mainstream public expenditure just as we have done for health and education? Better still isn't it time for an honest debate with the electorate about the current NI and income tax system and fairness? That would flush the Tories out and wipe that smugness off their faces.