Adam Lovejoy reports from London: Economists and stand-up comedians alike agree that Prime Minister David Cameron gives some of his most hilarious performances when he talks about the economy. And although he is very funny as well when he speaks about foreign policy, overseas aid and European Union, it’s his funny take on the economy and the budget deficit that make him stand out among the comedy crowd.
And Mr Cameron did not disappoint his fans and foes alike yesterday, when he delivered another hilarious stand-up routine, in West Yorkshire of all places, the part of the Kingdom that has benefitted most from his economic policy, with the locals rolling in money and having high-paid jobs basically thrown at them all the time. The Prime Minister told his audience at a dildo manufacturing factory that there was no such thing as a ‘magic money tree’ and that his government, which is not strictly speaking his as a good part of it is infested by Liberal Democrats, would not be borrowing more money to finance the recovery. The audience appreciated the joke and burst into spontaneous applause, as everyone knows that the coalition is still borrowing like mad and sending that budget deficit through the roof.
Mr Cameron, who kept his face untouched by a razor straight throughout his routine in West Yorkshire, sounded even funnier when he said that he would stick to his economic strategy no matter what. As no one really knows what this strategy is about, including Mr Cameron himself, the joke went down very well with the audience.
In the true style of the best comedians of the past, the Prime Minister kept on delivering his funny one-liners about having no alternatives and being determined to battle the deficit, coming up with a bit of black humour about his enemies ‘jeopardising the nation’s finances’ and ‘putting at risk the livelihoods of families up and down the country’. As this is the job of the government to do these things, it sounded fresh and unusual.
One of the best jokes came from Mr Cameron on the subject of Britain losing the AAA credit rating recently, when he pointed out that it was the ‘starkest possible reminder’ that the UK was in debt. That sounded so hilarious that later in the day several other stand-up comedians picked the joke up and used it in their routines.
Announcing Chancellor George Osborne’s forthcoming budget comedy gig in the Commons soon, Mr Cameron said that this month’s budget ‘will be about sticking to the course,’ adding, rather cheekily as everyone thought, that ‘there is no alternative that will secure our country’s future’.
Mr Cameron said other hilarious things that can’t be published for all sorts of reason on this family friendly website, demonstrating to the nation that he is considered to be a great stand-up comedian for a reason. He finished his act by saying: ‘While some would falter and plunge us back into the abyss, we will stick to the course.’
Fans of comedy are now eagerly awaiting Mr Osborne’s comedy routine in the Commons, to see whether he can keep the jokes on the same level as Mr Cameron did yesterday.