Asked to imagine in 2011 what Britain might look like in ten years' time, the historian Andrew Roberts predicted a solid decade of austere Tory rule. Now that 2021 has arrived, we wish to reassure a beleagured nation as to Britain's prosperous future.
Contrary to Roberts's forecast in Prospect magazine, David Cameron's unpopular spending cuts returned Labour to power in 2013. Prime Minister Ed Miliband's immediate raising of the corporate tax rate to 76 per cent produced the anticipated windfall. From all over the globe, companies flocked to the UK in an eagerness to "do their fair share". Telecoms magnate Steve Doshgrubber opines: "We'd originally built our plants in Malaysia and based our central office in Dubai. But when we heard about the opportunity to make a serious contribution to Merry Olde England, we moved all our operations to Newcastle. What this company cares about is supporting the British government, and that's how our shareholders feel too." Indeed, business leaders have been pressing for the corporate tax rate to exceed 80 per cent, but the PM is said to be resisting a furtherance of private sector "bragging rights". The only downside: these patriotically profitless companies cannot afford employees.
Now that the top income-tax bracket is 92 per cent, wealthy individuals, too, have made a bee-line for British shores. "Sure it's expensive," a London-based sheikh concedes, "but it's worth it for the weather. Besides, with all the delays and engineering works, I get a marvellous amount of reading done on British trains." North Sea oil heiress Sally Lockness-Jones is apologetic about departing her homeland to work as a barista in a New Jersey Starbucks: "See, with the new 37 per cent National Insurance levy for top earners, I'm actually in the 129 per cent tax bracket, and the extra money has to come from somewhere."
Meanwhile, restoring the maximum annual housing benefit to £104,000 per family and boosting other benefits to above pre-Tory levels has failed to produce the dependency and social malaise that Conservative naysayers predicted. "It's true, I could collect twice the money I earn working if I went on benefits," father-of-12 Bleu Cholera from Croydon noted. "But I'd rather have my dignity. All my neighbours feel the same."