Robot Osborne’s catchphrase Budget


Which of his go-to phrases will the chancellor wheel out for his speech?

Osborne Robot

THE LONG TERM ECONOMIC PLAN IS LURKING. Image via Twitter user @Chis_Allen

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

Northern Powerhouse

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.