The venue for the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this year will be the O2 Arena, Downing Street has announced. “The House of Commons is far too dreary a setting for the nation’s finest showing off their finest finery,” said artistic director, Nico Rubaiyat, “but in the O2, we can give The Statement the full son-et-lumiere makeover. I’m working with some beautiful pinks and oranges and there’s a bit of yellow in there too.” The show will be broadcast live on 5 December, simultaneously on BBC Parliament and Radio 1 Extra.
George Osborne has plumped for a multi-layered georgette dress in which the individual layers are wholly transparent but, when many of them are placed one on top of another, they create an illusion of shimmering opacity. Under strobe-lighting, to a thumping hip-hop soundtrack, he will be parading his fiscal policies on the catwalk, promising cheap loans to businesses and, at the same time, providing column inches for the fashion magazines.
“I’m really looking forward to the part,” said Osborne. “I can’t give too much away, but I hope to be delighting pensioners with a penny off their heating bills and a flash of ankle.”
“We’ve added tiny glass droplets to his costume,” said Rubaiyat, “which catch the light like prisms, sending beautiful rainbows out in all directions and distracting from the beads of sweat running down his face. George by name, georgette by nature. Sweetie, he’s a nightmare.”
“I’ve worked with pinks all my life,” said Rubaiyat, “but even I was like OMG when the troupe’s big boss man walked in. He’s so pink, I call him Diaz Cameron. I told him ‘Diaz, honey, you look absolutely lovely in the chiffon, but to be honest, with that face, you’ll be more use as a glitter-ball.”
There were concerns for the whereabouts of Nick Clegg, who disappeared when someone said ‘catwalk’. “He stood up like a pre-programmed robot and walked off, calling ‘c’mon kitty, c’mon kitty’,” said the director. “I’m worried about that gorgeous little lemon number he’s wearing. I only hope he’s not behind the bike shed getting puckered by the chief whip again.”
Ed Miliband described the whole show as a cheap trick to distract from the serious state of the economy. “This lot go poncing about in a make-believe fantasy world full of pretty colours and lovely sparkling fairy lights instead of looking to the needs of hardworking families scraping by in damp houses with barely enough to eat,” he said. He and Ed Balls then headed off to rehearse for their own roles as the two ugly stepsisters.
Finally, Business Secretary Vince Cable arrived with flair on the red carpet in a large, flowery, ascot-style hat and a silky-smooth white satin robe with a long train. It was nothing to do with the dress rehearsal, just him being his usual self.