Everyone on a major poll high! Ginseng tea and bran muffins all round this morning and not much work done. In the end Jed had to call in Mr Maude to calm us all down. FM said 16 points ahead was ‘nothing to get excited about’ and showed us all sorts of graphs that proved how badly we were doing. He said the reaction to Mr Hammond’s remarks about tax cuts not being possible was also bad — and we should be ashamed of ourselves for celebrating. It was nice to have him back.
Then we had a big strategy meeting to iron out the Tax Problem. It’s all sorted: the new formula is simple — massive cuts in services first, tax breaks much later. That ought to keep everyone happy. Mr Letwin wasn’t satisfied of course. He kept disrupting the meeting by shouting, ‘So I was right about the £20 billion!’ and had to be locked in the Tranquillity Room (again!). I took him a big pile of Labour spending forecasts from the Budget appendix he likes, and he seemed a bit calmer.
Another exhaustive think-in to decide what’s wrong with our Dave the Family Man coverage. Sherwood, our lifestyle guru, said the mixed reviews were clearly down to bad cereal selection. He thinks, and I’m inclined to agree, that Cheerios were a mistake. Too middle-class. Should have gone for Coco Pops.
Now we need to compensate with a bit more Chav Value: Dave and Sam going to Asda on the bus and struggling home with ten bags of shopping; Sam shopping in TK Maxx for cut-price designer gear; Nancy wearing an Aston Villa shirt. That sort of thing. Problem is Dave is so furious, he’s refusing to do ‘any more stupid TV which makes me look like a plonker’.
He stormed off before the slide presentation on how our new family policy is Not Back To Basics, or Caving In To The Religious Right. When Jed asked if we had any questions I told him about the man I was sitting next to in Gateshead during Dave’s speech who kept shouting: ‘Amen! Praise Jesus!’ But Jed said not to worry about it. He was probably just someone who got in by mistake, or an excitable Tory blogger. What a relief.
Bit of a hitch launching our new plans to ban City bonuses. We were going to do it in the Golden Mile but Gids refused and said, ‘Tell Mr Cameron he will have to launch his own clampdown on big business.’
Must say, I think he’s missing a trick. I mean, it’s all very well making multi-billion-pound profits which keep Britain afloat, blah blah. But what are these so-called fat cats doing about the litter in the streets outside their offices? What are they doing to help the underprivileged Muslim kids a few miles from their door? As Dave says, nowhere else in the world can you make profits willy nilly and just rely on paying huge taxes as a way of putting something back into society. Thankfully, our plans to impose tough new penalties on shops which put chocolate oranges near the counter will put that right. And about time too.
Oh dear. Mr Redwood is going around saying our commitment to delay tax cuts indefinitely is obviously a firm tax-cutting pledge. Nanu! Nanu! Shazbot! Luckily Dave hasn’t noticed as he’s still in a foul mood about ‘stupid TV’. Jed has told him Cheerio-gate won’t go away until he gets himself accidentally photographed at Lidl buying fishfingers or shakes hands with Kerry Katona. It’s not pleasant. But we all have to make tough choices.