|Pete North: The great sage at work|
Amid an anticipatory atmosphere, the house listened in awe as George Osborne delivered the speech of his career that will seal his position as the future leader of the Tories. (to the few remaining members who had not dozed off). Ordinary members listened intently for anything that was not on their "leaked" pre-budget briefing. It was a truly seismic political event (in that postal district that day.)
But what does this mean for you the voter?
Unsurprisingly, some stuff you buy has gone up a bit. Some stuff you don't buy has gone down a bit. Some people who aren't you pay a bit more tax, and some people who aren't you pay a bit less. Some people will have their lifestyle choices subsidised a bit more, some a little less, depending on which is the most marginal electoral constituency.
The Telegraph praised Osborne for his courageous tinkering by budging something or other down by 1p, while the Guardian criticised his rampant neoliberal agenda by "savagely cutting" something nondescript by tuppence ha'penny.
Airtime was filled on the BBC. Andrew Neil Tweeted something and there were many retweets. Ukippers left many comments on the Telegraph saying there was no difference between the LibLabCon, and I got four Facebook "likes" for this blog post. The Guardian featured a special budget day recipe blog featuring Jack Monroe.
As a result of Osborne's visionary stewardship of the economy, this time next year we will only be borrowing twenty billion or so over £100bn a year, and only a trillion (and a bit) in debt. Nobody will be filling their tanks with petrol as usual, alcoholics will have to settle for entry-level Blossom Hill, and some middle-class 40 year olds might finally have a foot on the housing ladder - by purchasing a dilapidated shed in Hounslow through "help-to-buy".
Roughly 46% of your income will still be travelling in the direction of government and we will still be spending £80bn on a train-set so people can go to that mythical place outside the M25, for reasons known only to them. "Praise be to the fiscal prudence of the Tories who have balanced the books after the scourge of Blairite socialism. We are now truly a nation in full recovery!" said Peter Oborne as he nursed his erection.
Meanwhile, I bunked off work and watched Murder She Wrote and made a cheese toastie.