So a major success on Google. Not for us, though, the Italians. Whereas George managed to secure an effective rate of 3%, Italy managed to get a deal for a rate of 15%, which all rather butchered Osborne's claim that he couldn't do anymore because the international consensus wasn't there yet but Britain was leading the way. Will this effect Osborne's ratings? Not a jot. Frankly the way things are in the press and public perception he could turn up for his budget speech in a clown car and armpit fart the national anthem and there'd be columnists writing about what genius he is and rubbishing Corbyn.
There is, however a lot of speculation about how this rate was arrived at. Luckily I have secured a transcript of the meeting where the issue was decided. It reads as follows:
MATT BRITTIN (MB): So, this whole tax problem...
GEORGE OSBORNE (GO): Yes.
MB: Can we cut a deal? We're supposed to pay 20%, but how about we go for 10%?
GO: No. Times are tough you see, Matt. The debt is going higher and the markets are tumbling. So we're really going to have to come to a substantive agreement.
MB: And what's that?
GO: Well I was talking with President Xi and he kept telling me about how you promise to tailor Google searching to make it compatible with their censorship regime.
MB: Yes, and?
GO: Here's the deal. The economy is going to go blooey. So I'll drop the amount you pay to 5% and in return you make sure that all searches for 'George Osborne' return articles about how I'm a great Chancellor and that if anyone searches for things like 'economic crisis' it brings up results about how it was all Brown and Labour's fault. And any search on 'Corbyn', 'Labour', 'policies' always comes back with negative results, preferably negative articles linked to Labour figures.
MB: (pause) How about 3% and you have a deal.
I for one will be keeping a close watch on my Google search results.
Well, I was joking but...