Christmas 2012 will be a miserable time for many families in Britain because of the government programme of cutting workers' pay, pensions, benefits and essential services.
The conservative coalition plucks figures out of the air to show that the richest will pay proportionately more than the poorest.
It's part of their sloganeering offensive to convince us that we're all in it together and that government policies are based on fairness.
Cleaners and porters at Edinburgh's Napier University might not see it as fair that their Christmas bonus should amount to £79.66 when their principal will collect £1,000.
The fairness claims also run into the buffers when the truth is revealed about rising public transport costs, which hit working people hardest.
Average train fares have risen by 26 per cent since the current recession hit. How many workers have seen their pay boosted by a similar amount?
No wonder trade unionists and rail passenger campaigners were out in force today leafleting at over 50 railway stations, informing the public about the government plan for more fare rises, ticket office closures, staff cuts, delays and disruption to services.
Unlamented former Tory prime minister John Major justified rail privatisation on the basis of the lie that private companies could run it more efficiently than the public sector.
This dangerous and wasteful experiment, to which Tories, Liberal Democrats and new Labour remain committed, costs taxpayers £1.3 billion a year and lumbers us with the highest rail fares in Europe.
Transport for London was a success story under Ken Livingstone, despite the machinations of Gordon Brown and John Prescott who refused to cede responsibility for running the Tube to him until it had been transferred to privateers Metronet and Tube Lines.
Both companies went belly-up and were bailed out at great cost to the taxpayer.
Boris Johnson - the man who called his £250,000-a-year salary as a columnist for the Telegraph "chicken feed" - is, in contrast to Livingstone's administration, imposing inflation-plus fare rises every year.
Johnson is a gung-ho supporter of the government austerity agenda, but he always seems able to find cash to pay huge salaries to mayoral "advisers," such as his latest capture at just £127,200 a year, the former Standard Chartered Bank chief economist Gerard Lyons.
Given that Standard Chartered have just been fined $340 million by the New York bank regulator for hiding billions of pounds of transactions, we can only hope that Lyons is free from his former employer's dodgy habits.
But isn't it noteworthy that, when banks commit fraud - think Standard Chartered, payment protection insurance misselling or fiddling the Libor rate - they are permitted to continue operating after paying penance?
George Osborne announced today that over £280bn is tied up in private finance initiative (PFI) debts and that only £40bn has been paid off.
This was the scheme introduced in Britain by Major's Tory government and then grabbed with both hands by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as new Labour's preferred means of funding public projects instead of taking the cheapest option of Treasury loans.
PFI has been a bonanza for the banks and an albatross round the neck of working people who bear the brunt of taxation.
Bankers and train operating companies have shown that they cannot be trusted to run their industries. Both should be taken into public ownership.
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