Daily catch-up: Is this Nessie? Can today’s Budget save the election for the Tories?

Plus another stupid question about a flagpole, and the end of a bit of computer history

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The Independent Online

1. The answer is still no. “Could this amazing new footage captured by a tourist be Nessie?” One of the most durable QTWTAIN, asked this time by the Daily Record. Thanks to Gerry Braiden.

2. It is Budget day. We have a scoop by Andrew Grice in The Independent today that George Osborne will abolish income tax on savings for basic rate taxpayers. Which is odd, because 20 per cent of not much is not much, yet it would erode the tax base for the future.

Elsewhere there is a bit of pre-Budget fluff about the end of “the hated annual tax return” (top journalese marks to the Daily Mail), which makes even less sense. If it takes an average of 40 minutes to fill in an online tax return now, I doubt that this can be cut to 10 minutes, and it would not be the “end” of anything.

George Osborne’s main problem today is that people still think of the Conservatives as the rich people’s party. His error in cutting the top rate of income tax in 2013 looms large over this election. The extent to which he offsets it today is the main measure of this Budget. 

3. “You’re falling from a height above the tallest building in your town, and you don’t have a parachute. But wait! Partway down the side of that skyscraper there’s a flagpole sticking out, sans flag! You angle your descent and grab the pole just long enough to swing around so that when you let go you’re now heading back up toward the sky. As gravity slows you and brings you to a halt, you reach the top of the skyscraper, where you reach out and pull yourself to safety. What’s the likelihood this could happen?” Rex Ungericht asks What If? a question. Spoiler: it doesn’t end well.  

4. I expect the geeks knew this, but Microsoft is going to ditch the Internet Explorer name according to the Financial Times. Its replacement is currently known as Spartan. Thus another chapter of computer history is closed.

5. Thought for the Day. Penelope Lively:

“We open our mouths and out flow words whose ancestries we do not even know. We are walking lexicons. In a single sentence of idle chatter we preserve Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse: we carry a museum inside our heads, each day we commemorate peoples of whom we have never heard.”

6. Yes, it’s Moose Allain again:

“The Royal Fusilliers are in charge of the Queen’s pasta.”

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