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What next – legislation to control the weather?

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Golly, why didn’t someone think of this before? The UK’s Labour government is to introduce a Fiscal Responsibility Act, which will require the administration of the day to reduce the Budget deficit year-on-year “ensuring that the debt remains sustainable in the medium term”.

Alastair Darling kept a straight face during Brighton comedy week while disgorging this rubbish shows that a new career awaits him in stand-up. Perhaps he was sustained by the comfort that he won’t be Chancellor long enough for it to mean anything, and the knowledge that there’s no chance of drumming up the legislation before  the next election.

That’s rather a shame. We’d love to know the penalties for breaching the new law. Perhaps the Chancellor of the day would be fined 5,000 pounds for a first offence, rather as Darling’s colleague Baroness Scotland was for breaking a draconian law she helped drive onto the statute books.

For a second offence, there could be a letter of explanation to the Governor of the Bank of England. Three strikes, and the Chancellor is out – but since Darling is out anyway, perhaps we’ll need to think of something more painful.

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