Thursday, 22 December 2011

Osborne's 2012 Financial Forecast Keeps Mentioning ‘The Road’

Chancellor George Osborne’s official report detailing Britain’s financial future through 2012 has come under scrutiny due to the unusual frequency with which it mentions the John Hillcoat directed film The Road

Though the 2009 film, adapted from the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, has no obvious ties to the coalition government or any of the Government plans to reduce debt, ease the recession and tackle fiscal problems in the Eurozone Mr Osborne has included thirty seven extracts from the film into his report including movie stills, notable quotes and links to scenes that can be viewed on Youtube in a move described by many as ‘puzzling’, ‘unprescidented’ and ‘a portentiously dark omen’

The report- ‘We carry the Fire, Don’t we Poppa?’: British Fiscal Outlook and Predictions 2012- has been picked apart by opposition MPs for its position on economic growth forecasts based on a changeable global monetary landscape, however the inclusion of pictures of Viggo Mortinsen stealing a man’s boots at gunpoint while his son cries on a ruined, gray bridge have been the features of the report to draw the most attention.

Labour MP Brett Hart is one of the many to question the inclusion of so much content from the post apocalyptic film, stating: “I think there’s a lot to discuss here. The PM’s recent position in Europe has left us isolated from a trade perspective and there are several contentious pieces that proceed from a false premise of private sector growth. But mostly I get caught up in asking why the haunted eyes of The Man are featured so often in an official budgetary report.”

An extract of the whole document is available online where people can read for themselves the Chancellor’s fiscal strategies and his propensity for bleak quotes from the film:

"Though Public Sector pension freezes (per graph 1.22) this will do little to offset the fact that the national GDP ratio will remain 4%- the highest deficit ratio since 1990.
The Man: Each day is more gray than the one before. It is cold and growing colder as the world slowly dies. No animals have survived, and all the crops are long gone. Someday all the trees in the world will fall. The roads are peopled by refugees towing carts, and gangs carrying weapons, looking for fuel and food."

Referring to the extract, Hart has argued: “I mean, that last bit seems a bit unnecessary, doesn’t it? and it just cuts straight back to deficit figures after that. He could at least comment on them. What’s he trying to tell us?”

Though Osborn has yet to comment on his unusual report the largest criticism has come from his choice to end the report with a quoted conversation between Robert Duvall’s character and Viggo Mortinsen’s:

Old Man: God wouldn't know what... God wouldn't know what he knows. If there is a God up there, he would have turned his back on us by now. And whoever made humanity will find no humanity here. No, sir. No, sir. So beware. Beware.
The Man: Do you ever wish you would die?
Old Man: No. It's foolish to ask for luxuries in times like these.

Many have taken this last note as a comment on Britain’s probabilities of trade growth, though sources close to the Chancellor have brushed the inclusions off as merely reflective of Mr. Osborne’s well documented love of cinema.

It is thought that the issue will be raised at Prime inister’s question time, however the move has left many questioning Britain’s debt in the coming year and whether this leaked report is some way of preparing us for a future where we push a trolley on deserted roads, avoid cannibals then die on a beach


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