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Sharon Owens: Why gentleman George Osborne is talking (sequinned) pants


Chancellor George Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne

Is it just me or is anyone else wondering how well-qualified the Chancellor, George Osborne, is to do his job?

He's only 39 and his work-experience to date doesn't appear to yield much beyond a bit of clerical work for a London council and a brief stint as a freelance journalist.

George's degree is in Modern History, in case you didn't know. And he's worth about £4m, thanks to his aristocrat father's wallpaper company, Osborne & Little. So what does this man really know about sorting out the national budget?

Now, I don't pretend to be an expert on the national budget myself; my degree is in Design and Illustration. But I suspect the economy is heading for stagnation.

Let's look at the housing market first, shall we? I've been working full-time for 10 years and my husband has been working full-time for more than 20 years, yet we're still living in the three-bed 'starter' home we bought in 1993.

Why haven't we moved up the property ladder? Well, it's because a four-bed or five-bed home in our neighbourhood costs half a million pounds. And even with two incomes, we couldn't make a dent in a mortgage that size.

We never buy a brand new car either. Why? Because we both reckon it'd be nicked or vandalised within a week.

Like most ordinary families these days, we're just 'ticking over' and praying neither of us gets seriously ill. Are we going to set up our own business some day? Not on your Nelly! And I doubt very much that the 490,000 public sector workers facing the sack will be too keen to set up in business, either.

Where would they get the money? Anyone with two brain cells to rub together would balk at the notion of putting their home up as collateral at the present time.

And, anyway, who's got spare cash to spend on goods and services these days? The majority of people must be limited to utility bills and household groceries.

I'm sure folk are cancelling their subscriptions to Sky Movies, various charities and weekly glossies. And with any luck a lot of people have stopped phoning in to 'vote' on reality TV shows, too.

I predict Dickensian scenes as hundreds of thousands of the low-paid, retired, unemployed and sick are financially cleansed from the posh parts of London.

Soon there won't be a single 'scrounger' left in Chelsea, Mayfair, Kensington or Islington. No, they'll all have to shift their belongings to a B&B on the outskirts of the city.

I daresay domestic staff will have to 'live in', as they did in the good old days, as they won't be able to afford the train fares to work anymore. I predict scenes reminiscent of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, with several generations of one family cooped up in the same tiny house.

I mean, if George Osborne sacks half-a-million public sector workers, orders single parents back to work and also raises the pension age, won't that simply leave millions more people on unemployment benefit?

Is it just me, or did George omit to create several million well-paid jobs? It's all right for him, what with his father's money and all, but for those of us unfortunate enough to have entered this world without a handy trust fund, what's to be done?

During a recession most people will spend less and have fewer children. They'll cling on to what savings they have and the last thing they'll attempt is to set up their own business.

Mind you, having said all that, there is one growth industry around at the moment: sequinned knickers.

I swear, if I see one more pop tart, or backing dancer, snarling and doing the splits in a pair of sequinned knickers, I'll have an attack of the vapours.

Why don't they put some clothes on and, maybe, smile once in a while? I honestly can't take much more knicker-flashing while I'm having my supper. (And will somebody please pull the plug on Cheryl Cole's micro-marriage heartbreak interviews?)

As for George Osborne, well, only time will tell what happens when a 39-year-old history graduate is made Chancellor.