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Plan B: Ill Manors

Ben Drew, aka Plan BI’ve done it. After a year of gentle sucking at the teat of Britain’s Best Bank*, I’ve finally been accepted as a fully-fledged, fully-paid-up Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize judge.

None of my recommendations so far have received nominations in the 2012 awards, just over two tantalising weeks away, but I have been allowed to cast my vote at the upcoming quarterly board meeting at Barclays HQ.

And I’ll tell you what I won’t be recommending for the Album Of The Year prize. Nor even for our lesser-known award, Album Of The Financial Year.

No, I certainly won’t be recommending Plan B’s shortlisted third album Ill Manors for anything more than an NSPCC charity bag.

Actually, a charity bag would be quite appropriate. Those things usually end up in the hands of feral youths anyway, right? This is exactly the audience I imagine the east London rapper was going for when he wrote the title track to this record, a damning critique of David Cameron’s era of austerity.

But what choice does our prime minister have, Ben Drew? If that is indeed your real name. What choice does a government have but to cut the welfare budget, the health budget, the education budget, the transport budget, the arts and culture budget; when the economy is up shit’s creek?

They certainly wouldn’t dare levy any sort of financial transactions tax on the UK banking sector like 11 other European countries have agreed to do.

Certainly not the sort that could raise £20billion each year, anyway. You can’t just take that sort of money away from banks like Barclays and expect there to not be any repercussions.

For starters, we’d have to slash our annual bonuses, which would totally demotivate our workforce to the point where they won’t even bother wearing suits to the office anymore. Christ.

And do you think we’d have any spare cash whatsoever to be funding little niche music prizes like this one? Well think again.

Without the cuts and without low corporation tax the Barclaycard Mercury Prize would be being held in a squat in Wandsworth. And that’s now illegal. So it’d actually have to be held in Wandsworth Prison.

Instead, why don’t we just take a second to stop being selfish and think about some of the great British banks we have in this country and how they should be insulated from any tax rises or anything silly people like Ben bloody Drew are proposing through the medium of rap music.


Plan B indeed. Ha. You know I really wish people would stop going on about Plan B. It’s not the solution. Plan A is the solution. If we could all just lay off George Osborne for five minutes and give him another two-and-a-half-years to implement it I’m sure it will start working eventually.

*According to the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) prior to June 2012


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