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Thursday, March 19, 2015 

An epic day in politics.

"I almost spilt my coffee."  Yes, of course you did George.  While the rest of the country was trying to work out how the Sun could possibly have thought ripping off an already dire advert was a good idea, the chancellor was failing to hang on to his latte, his jaw having dropped.  It would be a difficult story to believe even if Osborne wasn't the type of person who strikes you as the kind liable to stand in front of a mirror, imagining himself all rippling muscles and shit-eating grin, a veritable gift to women.  Osborne does after all think calling someone an idiot to be devastating wit, as evidenced by his past braying reaction to Cameron's description of Ed Balls.  More indeed.

You can then see the low base from which Osborne's subsequent remark, of the Sun's genius, came from.  Only the unbelievably easy to please and those tasked with finding something, anything to crow about from yesterday's budget could have presented it as such an unvarnished triumph, let alone an "epic strut".  Do the kids still use the word epic, you imagine the Sun's hacks asking, after high-fiving each other for coming up with the take on the Money Supermarket ad in the first place.  Epic fail!  Guh-ugh-uh.

Osborne does at least if nothing else retain some self-respect.  Whoever came up with the idea for the Liberal Democrats to present their own imaginary budget, complete with hastily painted yellow box, you can but hope they've got an up to date CV.  Danny Alexander, the coalition's answer to a question that was never posed in the first place duly came out of the Treasury, rather than you know, Number 11, holding up his lunch for the approval of the interns sent along on the off chance there's a sliver of space to fill somewhere in tomorrow's paper.

Of all the various attempts at differentiation the Liberal Democrats have tried, this has to rank as both the most absurd and bizarre, and just as strange was why both the speaker and the civil service went along with it.  Alexander's presented figures for how a Liberal Democrat government would manage the public finances were even more of a farce than Osborne's actual ones, not least because his party has stopped pretending it has any chance of winning the election rather than forming another coalition.  When you can no longer deny that inevitability, how can you possibly maintain there's even a cat's chance in hell of the plans forming anything like the basis of the next government's economic strategy?  The only realistic answer to why this was signed off has to be pity for poor old Danny's chances of retaining his seat, with the SNP likely to win in Inverness.  Too bad that concern came at the expense of the rest of us.

Still, it could be worse: we could be Jack Monroe.  I have to admit to getting incredibly tired of the feel my woe school of political journalism, where those getting well remunerated for their writing or other work start out by saying how terrible it is to be abused for simply doing what they do.  All Monroe did was say I'm joining the Green party, and what do you know, the accusations of being a traitor started and the reactionaries came flooding in.  She was looking for importance to be placed on a national health service, public transport, sustainable energy and fair pay for pay work, all values which Labour under Ed Miliband have abandoned.  No, she hasn't left the Labour party, the Labour party has left her.  Vote Green and get Tories they say.  But we get Tories whoever vote for!

Well, yes, it's called democracy.  Oh for PR she writes; except we couldn't even get the alternative vote when the option was given.  Yes, she appeared in a Labour election broadcast and they supported the food bank petition, but so too did the Greens.  That some would launch attacks rather than consider why it is those like Monroe are leaving says all you need to know.  The idea they might be perturbed by how a popular figure with a following publicly abandons a party on the eve of an election on fairly spurious grounds, which are frankly what they are, doesn't seem to have occurred.  With friends like these, who needs enemies, Monroe tweeted.  Quite, Labour will no doubt reflect.

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