Few pennies off a pint, a cut in the fuel levy ... why does David Cameron's latest budget sound so familiar? Ah yes, because behind the shoulder of hapless chancellor George Osborne falls the shadow of ... Lynton Crosby, Oz fixer extraordinaire, who now has godlike status among UK Tories. Crosby appears to be well-liked by the Right of the party, loathed by the "Cameroons"/Notting Hillbillies at the centre, but tolerated by them for pinch-hitting.

Last year's Osborne budget was dubbed the "omnishambles" -- a Thick Of It term, further indication that the show has more or less supplanted actual politics in both the UK and Oz -- with a series of U-turns and a huge confusion as to whether caravans would be taxed or not. It's a measure of the gentlemanly amateurishness of British politics that slinging a few pennies by way of the price of beer, and heating the house, is seen as a mark of transcendent political genius.