Good old Michael Caine, he's nothing if not consistent. Not content with trotting out the same old 'cockney bleeder' routine for forty years, he also makes sure that every time he opens his mouth away from the film set he says something graceless and idiotic.
Just last week he was telling everybody that his parents thought he was gay when he expressed a desire to go into acting. In Michael's charming words: “That’s what we thought actors were - all poofs. And sometimes we were right.” Wonder if he's on Sir Ian McKellen's Christmas card list?
This time, the topic is tax rates. That 50% rate on Britain's highest earning 1% of the population is the final straw. Michael's had enough and he's threatening to leave. Furthermore, he reckons that other top talents will follow, making him some kind of shouty, one-note Pied Piper of Hamlyn. Here's hoping he'll take Michael Winner and Jim Davidson with him.
The choice quote in all of this is: "We've got three-and-a-half million layabouts laying about on benefits and I'm 76 getting up at six o'clock in the morning to go to work to keep them."
I'm sure the 600,000 people predicted to lose their jobs in 2009 would be delighted to know that they've already been pre-judged as layabouts, even as they're still clinging desperately to gainful employment. I think in the US they call this compassionate conservatism. Warms the heart, doesn't it?