A Lot of Hot Heir about Osborne

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), January 30, 2011 | Go to article overview

A Lot of Hot Heir about Osborne


Byline: Petronella WYATT

How did George Osborne, who had an ordinary middle-class upbringing, become one of the most pilloried men in the Coalition? Left-wing journalists seem to rergard him as the new Norman Tebbit, only 'privileged'. One commentator, referring to his pale complexion, likened him to Dracula. Apparently, Mr Osborne, who is 'the heir to a wallpaper fortune', likes money as much as Dracula likes blood. Now he's attacked for going skiing and socialising with the rich.

Let me put a few things straight. Mr Osborne, whose family are old friends of my own, is not the heir to a fortune. David Cameron's late father made more money as a stockbroker than Osborne's did out of his wallpaper business. He is diffident, yes, which some people mistake for hauteur, and his face can be a little chalky, but Chancellors get very little sleep.

Besides, better a Chancellor with rich friends than poor ones. It's the rich who will help us out of this mess. And far better Osborne than Ugly Bug Balls, who helped get us into it.

This week is the anniversary of the assassination of the Emperor Caligula in AD41. He is famous for being mad and making his horse a senator. According to recent research, however, that story is a myth. What next? Richard III didn't have a hunchback and Marie Antoinette never said, 'Let them eat cake'? Actually, historians now say these are also myths. Will they leave us nothing to believe in?

While No 10 considers candidates for a new director of communications, those close to David Cameron are worried that his policy guru Steve 'hug a hoodie' Hilton is doing the job in all but name. But Steve is not the only Hilton around. What about Paris Hilton? The architecture of Westminster may not be built for coalitions, but Miss Hilton certainly is. She is pulchritudinous, an aspiring actress and loves a party. Why not let her handle the Tory one? I can just picture her job interview ...

Paris: 'It's swell to be auditioning for you, Dave, here in historic Downing Street. Are we being filmed?'

Cameron: 'Er, I hope not. Only the Members of Parliament get filmed, when the Lords and Commons are in session.' Paris: 'What kind of session?'

Cameron: 'Well, the Members stand up and ask questions about a policy.' Hilton: 'Do the members always stand up?'

Cameron: 'All too often. Lord Strathclyde's apparently stood up for seven years.' Paris: 'Awesome! …

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