was the best of British black humour and hardly something to be treated with the po-faced sanctimony that Laws started which has been echoed in today's press.
Dear Chief Secretary, I'm afraid there is no money. Kind regards - and good luck! Liam
The truth is that Byrne had laid the groundwork for many of the savings that he publicly recognised would be needed, and that is why the Tories will be able to make speedy announcements on cuts. But the realisation that coalition has turned a rather able Liberal Democrat into a pompous mini-Osborne with American levels of ignorance of irony is nearly as frightening as the level of cuts that he is preparing.