SKETCH: The Ghost of Coulson Reaches Treasury Questions

Treasury questions began with the single most depressing sentence that can fall on Labour ears. The fact is, Osborne declared, we are experiencing the fastest growth in employment since records began.

What a terrible time to fight an election from the left – its ideology is being cut to ribbons by events.

In a time of public sector cuts, employment is unaccountably soaring.

Tax cuts are perversely producing higher tax revenues.

Austerity refuses to stifle growth even though anyone who is anyone knows it must.

And while the Right keeps talking about its long term economic plan (14 mentions today), the Left has neither a long term communications strategy – or even a short term one (their Leader’s Welfare reforms from last week: 0 mentions).

Ed Balls looked like the stuffing had been knocked out of him. That’s a lot of stuffing.

But wait. At Topical questions the energy flooded back into him. His power and purpose returned. What could have invigorated him – a bank failure? The closure of a car plant? The collapse of the global economy? The fatal struggle of his leader with a trouser press?

No, he rose to inform the House that Andy Coulson had just been found guilty of phone hacking. Would the Chancellor now accept –

The Speaker rose, a little embarrassed at having to interrupt his old friend. He pointed out apologetically that Andy Coulson didn’t have any immediate particular obvious connection with the British economy or the Treasury. And if there had been a relevant connection it would surely have emerged by now? Or wouldn’t it? Oh, go on then, have another go.

Balls had another go. Hadn’t Osborne brought the Treasury into disrepute by hiring Andy Coulson? Tory rage, a biting reference to Damian McBride, cries of “Disgraceful!” from all sides.

Eyes bulging, voice booming, rage blossoming. It was good to see Ed Balls’ spirits restored.

Poor fellow, he fears with sick dread that tomorrow will heap more disaster on his head: more employment, higher growth, lower inflation. They might even not put up interest rates and he would have to admit that everything he’s ever believed was wrong.


REMAIN TAKES PROJECT FEAR TO CHURCH REMAIN TAKES PROJECT FEAR TO CHURCH
SOUBRY’S BIG NISSAN-DERSTANDING SOUBRY’S BIG NISSAN-DERSTANDING
JIM SHANNON ORDERED TO REPAY £14,000 EXPENSES JIM SHANNON ORDERED TO REPAY £14,000 EXPENSES
PAY “ONLY REAL RED LINE” FOR BMA JUNIOR DOCTOR LEADERSHIP PAY “ONLY REAL RED LINE” FOR BMA JUNIOR DOCTOR LEADERSHIP
NET MIGRATION UP 20,000 TO 333,000 NET MIGRATION UP 20,000 TO 333,000
POLICE INVESTIGATING TESSA MUNT ELECTION EXPENSES POLICE INVESTIGATING TESSA MUNT ELECTION EXPENSES
LEAVE.EU ON HOOK FOR £500,000 BREXIT GIG LEAVE.EU ON HOOK FOR £500,000 BREXIT GIG
TRUMP SINGS “WE’RE GONNA BUILD A WALL” TRUMP SINGS “WE’RE GONNA BUILD A WALL”
OZBOT VERSUS ANDROGENOID OZBOT VERSUS ANDROGENOID
EDDIE IZZARD’S HOTEL BILLS NOT LAWFULLY DECLARED EDDIE IZZARD’S HOTEL BILLS NOT LAWFULLY DECLARED
POLITICAL PARTY RICHLIST POLITICAL PARTY RICHLIST
EU PLOTS TAX ID NUMBERS FOR EVERY EUROPEAN CITIZEN EU PLOTS TAX ID NUMBERS FOR EVERY EUROPEAN CITIZEN
MUNT ADMITS SHE DIDN’T DECLARE LOCAL CAMPAIGN TRANSPORT MUNT ADMITS SHE DIDN’T DECLARE LOCAL CAMPAIGN TRANSPORT
OZBOT VERSUS ANDROGENOID OZBOT VERSUS ANDROGENOID
“Fat Cats For EU” “Fat Cats For EU”
“CHEATED” LIBDEM PICTURED CAMPAIGNING ON BATTLE BUS “CHEATED” LIBDEM PICTURED CAMPAIGNING ON BATTLE BUS
CHRISTINE HAMILTON HIRED ON THE PUBLIC PAYROLL CHRISTINE HAMILTON HIRED ON THE PUBLIC PAYROLL
CONSERVATIVES IN: SPOT THE DIFFERENCE CONSERVATIVES IN: SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
HULL UNIVERSITY THIRD TO DISAFFILIATE FROM NUS HULL UNIVERSITY THIRD TO DISAFFILIATE FROM NUS
CAMERON’S AIRFARE FABLE CAMERON’S AIRFARE FABLE
TELEGRAPH BLOODBATH: NEW JOBS CULL UNDERWAY TELEGRAPH BLOODBATH: NEW JOBS CULL UNDERWAY
CCHQ FREEZE MPS AND ASSOCIATIONS OUT OF VOTE SOURCE CCHQ FREEZE MPS AND ASSOCIATIONS OUT OF VOTE SOURCE
OSBORNE MISSED BORROWING TARGET BY EVEN MORE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT OSBORNE MISSED BORROWING TARGET BY EVEN MORE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
POLICE INVESTIGATING SHADOW MINISTER OVER ELECTION EXPENSES POLICE INVESTIGATING SHADOW MINISTER OVER ELECTION EXPENSES
TOOTING BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF IN BATTERSEA TOOTING BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF IN BATTERSEA
ELECTORAL COMMISSION ON JOCK-‘COPTER CAMPAIGN ELECTORAL COMMISSION ON JOCK-‘COPTER CAMPAIGN
STURGEON DUCKS CHOPPER QUESTION STURGEON DUCKS CHOPPER QUESTION
NUS CHIEF EXECUTIVE PAID FIVE TIMES AVERAGE GRADUATE NUS CHIEF EXECUTIVE PAID FIVE TIMES AVERAGE GRADUATE
CORBYN CLAPPED COMMIE LEADER FOR REFUSING TO TOAST THE QUEEN CORBYN CLAPPED COMMIE LEADER FOR REFUSING TO TOAST THE QUEEN
SNP CHOPPER NOT DECLARED PROPERLY SNP CHOPPER NOT DECLARED PROPERLY