Christmas shoppers on Market Street in Manchester City Centre - right in the midst of the den of festive capitalist iniquity - got a whiff of the true Tory Government this afternoon, as performers from Manchester People's Assembly took to a soapbox to ask for pre-budget suggestions.
'Theresa May' and 'Philip Hammond' screeched through a loud speaker, with cheerleading from the 'Queen' and 'Bono', to goad passers-by with some novel ideas for new taxes and tax cuts...
"Rain will be taxed" insisted 'Theresa' "We all know that it never rains down south; we're all fine, but you northerners will need to pay for it, why should you get all the rain and not be taxed?
"While I will pay to not get old" she added "All of you, when you are old...well, it's your own fault! We're also very aware that if you are wearing hats and jumpers it means you are not using your heating at home...so, we are taxing those. We are also taxing cuddling up and caring thoughts..."
In the background were Theresa's 'magic money tree' and a signpost to Paradise Papers havens, as 'Hammond' decided that flights to the Cayman Islands, Jersey and the Isle of Man would not be taxed. And champagne would now be the subject of tax relief...
"We believe it's an essential part of everyone's diet, so at our conference next year we'll be having a lot more champagne that will allow us to get a lot more merry, especially the interns" he slurped "We get excited by the idea that they will get very drunk... unfortunately to pay for that we're going to have to tax other things..."
Suggestions included taxing young children, cute puppies and kittens, daylight and... Santa...
"...We cannot have foreign people coming into our country and giving gifts to the British people without being taxed" he decided. Wrapping presents with Scotch tape will also be taxed as... "Obviously it comes from Scotland and they are all deviants... we want everyone to go back to using English Sellotape..."
The agitprop style Bodge The Budget street show drew laughter and applause from shoppers, and helped to publicise a bigger and more serious Eve of Budget protest at 6:30pm this Tuesday 21st November on the steps of GMex to Shine A Light On Tory Failure.
"The Tories have come out of the election and meekly said that austerity is over; we want them to show their hand and really prove it with the budget, which we don't think they're going to do" explained John Graham from the People's Assembly "It's a lie and we want to draw attention to that.
"Today we were collecting Tory ideas for the budget, like taxing daylight and clouds, while reducing tax on flights to the Cayman Islands; things that benefit rich people" he added "The public response has been great."
Manchester People's Assembly
Eve of Budget Rally to Shine a Light On Tory Failure
Tuesday 21st November 6:30pm
Outside GMex (Manchester Central Convention Centre)
Julie Hesmondhalgh will join councillors, trade unionists and campaigners at the scene of this year's Tory Party Conference, with performances by Tom Long and Kieran King. People are being asked to bring glo sticks and torches, and non-perishable items for the Big Winter food bank collection.
For more details see the Facebook event page – click here and the Manchester People's Assembly Facebook page – click here