The Speaker of the London parliament has released a double whammy to cheer us up through the dark days of Osborne's austerity, and heaven knows, we need it.
His portrait and coat of arms, which in case you missed them, are displayed here for your delectation have been released to us.
Although I can't claim to be Brian Sewell, I dare to offer the opinion that it's not a bad likeness, catching him, as it does, in one of his regular pompous poses. I feel rather sorry for the poor clerk sitting on his left who manages to get only half of himself into the portrait, but that aside, I suppose it's good enough, until you hear the price tag.
Like most things commissioned by the state it is massively overpriced at £37,000. I mean, who required a year and a half at average wages to paint this. Surely a few weeks would have been sufficient. And how, when we are in such a mess, with a new black hole opening up this very day, can we afford £37,000 for a picture? That would heat 50 pensioners' homes over winter, maybe keeping them alive!
Moving on, the coat of arms, which looks like something you could buy from the pound shop, comes without a price tag, but you can bet it wasn't cheap.
The swords supposedly represent the ancient swords of the kings of East Saxony, adopted by the University of Essex, his Alma Mater. The ladder shows that he has risen from humble beginnings to be the most senior commoner in the land (sigh), although some have suggested that it's because he is rather on the short side! The balls, wait for it, because he likes tennis, and under the scroll the gay and lesbian flag which indicates that...well, who knows?
"All are Equal" had me rolling about on the floor with laughter, coming as it does, from the man who demanded that ordinary mortals clear the corridors for him and his procession of clerks on their way to the chamber on an ordinary working day.
What utter nonsense it is anyway. All are not and have never been equal. And what is more, 'all' are becoming less and less equal by the day.
But there, I suppose it is the kind of thing that looks good on the bottom of a coat of arms. I mean we'd have criticised the man if he'd chosen "I'm better than you lot" as his motto.
At least, unlike me, he resisted the temptation to have it in Latin.