Which of his go-to phrases will the chancellor wheel out for his speech?
In the book Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, there is a character who believes that he is the only real living human being and that everyone else is a robot sent to earth to kill him.
This deeply deranged character is called Dwayne Hoover, and he is a used car dealer.
It is easy to laugh at Dwayne and his delusions. But when Budget day rolls around, everything changes. It is a struggle to remember that the House of Commons is made up of real humans.
Chancellor George Osborne makes believing he is a human very difficult indeed. He is not a man who wears his non-robotic traits lightly.
Like a character from a 1990s computer game, he delivers the same lines again and again as though they are fresh new sentences, when in fact there is only a limited selection of phrases to select for each situation.
Most of George Osborne’s speeches contain at least one of these rehearsed lines:
Fixing the roof when the sun is shining
The long-term economic plan (is working)
Long-term solutions, not short-term fixes
Clearing up the mess left by Labour
All in this together
Hard working families
Like a glitchy droid presented with a dilemma it has not been programmed to solve, Osborne reverts to the safety of a set pattern of behaviour.
Nonetheless, let’s see how he fares as he delivers his budget.
Yep, he’s already uttered “long term economic plan”
A new catchphrase? “We fix our plans to fit the figures. We don’t fix the figures to fit our plans”, Osborne says.
A second utterance of “long term economic plan”
Klaxon for “All in this together” and immediately followed up by another “long term economic plan”
“Northern Powerhouse”, Osborne says.
***Unlike Osborne’s operating system, this page will be updated.