I learnt from the BBC’s Today programme this morning that Ukraine has a law against collaborators, which in the circumstances is fair enough. Perhaps we ought to have such a law here too. Against collaborators with the Tories (only joking). Later in the programme my bête noire slot--Thought For The Day—an excuse for religious propaganda, featured the Bishop of Birmingham talking about sacrifice, in the context of Thursday’s ‘painful’ statement from the Chancellor revealing how we’re all going to have to tighten our belts. Which means a lot of people will increasingly rely on food banks and/or face hypothermia, etc. The Bishop seemed to think this wasn’t such a bad thing, since the experience could bring us all closer to God. He began his five minute epistle with references to animal sacrifice. He completely failed to grapple with the elephant in the room, viz Thursday’s announcements will all be about political choices, not spiritual nourishment. He made no mention of fairness. He could have done well to visit an online calculator Tax Reform Revenue (arunadvani.com) which allows one to adjust various taxes which would extract more from the wealthy—and more than fill the alleged ‘black hole’ in the public finances. This so-called hole varies depending on who you listen to (which tells you a great deal about the reliability of any guesstimate) but seems to fall between £40 billion and £60 billion. Using the calculator, quite modestly adjusting things like Inheritance tax and National Insurance (e.g. extending it to investment income), and increasing top-rate income taxes, I raised £70.5 billion in extra revenue—very little if any of it from middle income people. There is no nationwide sacrifice necessary. Nor is there any need to further shrink the state. But that’s the name of the game, and the Right Reverend seems to have reverted to type, i.e. the Church of England being the Tory party at prayer.