George Osborne is now spending most of his working week on a building site in London’s east end, according to colleagues. ‘He seems to prefer pretending to be a builder than managing the economy’, said an unnamed Treasury source. ‘It was all we could do to talk him out of delivering the Autumn Statement wearing a hard hat and hi-vis jacket’.
Colleagues are also concerned that the chancellor’s new obsession with housebuilding is having an adverse impact on his performance in Cabinet. ‘We were discussing housing policy last week’, says health secretary Jeremy Hunt, ‘and he started going on about the advantages of beam and block over a suspended timber floor’.
‘When I said I had no idea what he was talking about he scoffed and said that I wouldn’t last 2 minutes on his site and that he could tell from my soft hands that I hadn’t done an honest day’s work in my life. Then when Priti Patel came in he wolf whistled and said ‘the kitchen’s next door, luv’. David really should say something but he’s afraid that some of George’s’ new roughneck chums might come round and be beastly to him’.
Osborne’s secretary is also concerned about the Chancellor’s recent behaviour. ‘He was due to have lunch at his club last week with the CEO of a multi-national but when I reminded him he said ‘bollocks to that’ and that he was ‘going down Greggs for some nosebag’ with two associates called Muppet Stan and Bovril Dave. Then when I brought his mid-morning cuppa he spat it out and said ‘what’s this? It’s weaker than a nun’s piss’. I said it was Earl Grey and he told me to get him a proper builder’s tea with enough sugars in it to make the spoon stand up’.
However, site foreman Gary Atkins does not believe Osborne is cut out for working on a building site. ‘He’s been hanging around a lot lately’, says Atkins. ‘He’s very gullible so we’ve sent him down the merchants for a long weight and a tin of tartan paint but he doesn’t realise we’re taking the piss. Last week I let him have a go at putting some tiles on a roof. He was chuffed to bits but when it started to rain there was water pissing in everywhere. So much for fixing the roof when the sun shines. Haha, toilet.’