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Tuesday 25th March 2014
“Yeah…. I think it’s gonna be great, innit?” - the words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Second Lord of the Treasury.
ITV has the video in all its glory here.
Tuesday 25th March 2014
First Beaker, now Kermit.
Yes, the green frog has come out against Scottish independence in an interview with the Big Issue to the delight of the Better Together campaign.
Of course, the nats might suggest Kermit isn't the first Muppet to oppose independence and after the combined efforts of George Osborne, Ed Balls, Danny Alexander, Jose Manuel Barroso and David Bowie all failed to significantly boost the anti-independence campaign, Alex Salmond and co may not be too worried about the latest endorsement for the union.
Thursday 20th March 2014
Not one to be willingly outdone by George Osborne, Boris Johnson has been out and about in a hi-vis jacket of his own today.
With the storm over Grant Shapps’ none-too-popular bingo poster still raging, the responses from two of the rumoured next Tory leadership candidates were quite instructive.
Where Osborne played with a straight bat; Boris was rather more blunt.
When confronted with the poster by a reporter, he began loyally:
“It seems to be celebrating the fact that we’re cutting tax on bingo and beer and that is the right thing to do. This is a Budget for everybody and I think it’s completely the right thing to do.”
Then he cracked:
“I didn’t write the blooming thing. We’re trying to get across the message that this is a Budget for everybody, as far as I understand.”
Wednesday 19th March 2014
It was once the case that betting on the Budget consisted of no more than guessing which phrases would come up in the Chancellor’s speech. No more.
A mini industry has sprung up around the statement, with everything from the number of sips of water taken to how much the price of cigarettes will increase after today up for grabs.
Here are some of the best markets:
Ed Balls to be directly reprimanded by the Speaker: 25/1
First cliché: Economy/economic 5/2; Government 4/1; Growth 7/1 (full range of options here)
Osborne to refer to ‘food banks’: 20/1
Number of times the Speaker will need to call the House to order: 2
Colour of the Chancellor’s tie: Blue 10/11; Purple 5/2; Green 4/1
Number of sips of water: 2 or fewer: 5/4; 3 or more: 4/7
And Dot’s favourite, Osborne to say ‘lazy single people’: 100/1
Place your bets now.
Thursday 13th March 2014
Westminster’s best, brightest and the rest were out in force for a Macmillan Cancer Support fundraiser last night.
Among the acts were Jesse Norman playing the blues, John Hemming on the piano, MP4, and some sort of unclassifiable performance by recently-sacked ministers featuring Michael Fabricant wearing a wig and pink shorts. Obviously. The Daily Politics has clips in their full glory.
The evening managed to raise £100,000 for the charity, but could it yet have consequences in the House of Commons? Fabricant, who has previous on PMQs fancy dress, has revealed he’s been dared to “sit there demurely in Prime Minister’s Questions with that wig on”.
The wig may be unlikely, but Macmillan did get a good offer for an opening/headlining act next year. Stanley Johnson, sounding someone who had struggled manfully to get through the number in the past only to have the microphone cut off, said: “I’d like to sing Hey Jude because I’ve never yet got to the end of Hey Jude.”
If musical talent runs in the family, it could be a long night.