Rob Gilroy

In conversation with Jerry Bucham: part 2

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This week, George Osborne announced his plans for the 2015 Budget.

Budget Day is a big moment in the political calendar; a day when new strategies are announced and new visions are put forward; a day where people’s futures hang in the balance. Then life plods on as usual with poor people feeling woefully underappreciated and wealthy people doing whatever they please.

It’s the political equivalent of a fire alarm test –seemingly important, but ultimately it has no lasting effect on your life.

While I didn’t follow the Budget this year, I know a man who has: protest singer and freelance activist, Jerry Bucham. Continuing our series of informal chats about politics, democracy and the impending elections, Jerry opens up about his vision of the future. It is not just an attempt to use up column space when I’m struggling for ideas.

Jerry has, for a long time, been pushing back against the corrupt forces in power; standing up for what is right and true. If anyone has any meaningful insights on the Budget, it will be him.

So Jerry, did you watch the Budget announcement?


Oh. I thought you would do.

So did I. That’s the funny thing; I always have the intention of watching it but never do. It’s like Lost. I still haven’t seen that but I’m hoping no one spoils the ending.

I’m a bit surprised that you didn’t think to watch it.

I will do. I’ve got it on my Sky+ box – but the problem is; when you set a ‘series link’ for News 24, it’s really hard to catch up with it.

So bearing in mind that you have no clue what was announced; do you think the Budget will change things for the UK?

Most definitely. I think it signals an important change in how this country thrives in the future.

Despite the fact that we’re in more debt now than when the Coalition first gained power?

Well, obviously that’s not the ideal result. Most things are better when they’re bigger – houses, cash prizes, McDonalds meals; but one thing you don’t want to be bigger is the national debt. This government can continue to supersize it all they like, but it won’t make it more appealing.

But the main thing is; they’re doing what they can to change the country for the better. It’s that old saying – you have to menstruate to remunerate.

So do you think the Coalition are actually making a difference?

Definitely. They’re like a barber with Parkinson’s – making cuts all over the place. They’ve reduced funding to the NHS, they’re stamping down on people with benefits, they’re making sure people don’t use more of their pension than necessary and they’ve pretty much completely dissolved the arts.

And do you approve of Arts funding cuts?

I won’t lie; when they got rid of Orange Wednesdays it hurt.

What about David Cameron?

What about him?

What do you think of him?

Look, I don’t agree with his policies, but as a person, I can relate to him.

Really? You don’t think he’s out of touch with the public?

Not at all! Did you see that video he did with One Direction? Great stuff. He’s clearly game for a laugh, if you watch him during debates in parliament he’s always chuckling away to himself while the other guys speak. It looks like a fun club to be in.

Like the Bullingdon Club?

I don’t condone that. I feel highly suspicious of any university club that requires members to wear tuxedos. When I was at uni, I bought most of my clothes from Primark, especially if it was a fancy dress night. Still, fair play to them: it’s hard to look good when you’re crippled with university debts; the fact he and Boris Johnson managed it is testament to their thriftiness. I bet they had Saturday jobs at HMV.

Are you concerned about Student Debts?

Absolutely, I’m a protest singer for crying out loud! That’s not a steady income. There’s no way I’m paying off my student loan anytime soon.

Do you think students will struggle to vote this time around?

Very much so. I mean, it requires a lot of organisation just to make your lectures on time; I doubt any of them will be able to find a voting booth. I won’t lie – I was at university during the last election and I didn’t have a clue where my polling station was. Turns out it was in a church hall, next to the Londis where I bought scratch cards.

At least you found it though.

Yeah, but the day after is too late, apparently.

So you didn’t vote?

Not in the literal sense, but it wasn’t all bad. I won £2 on a scratch card – bought a Grab Bag of Monster Munch and a Double Decker.

Jerry, thank you.

No problemo.