A NICE man in a nice navy suit stood up to announce financial measures that would allegedly benefit us all, rich, poor and middling.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt comes across as middling himself, inoffensive even, an unusual achievement for a Tory MP. He’s the sort of normal, clean-living chap you’d like your daughter to marry. Well, his personal wealth has been put at £14 million. Always good for a wee tap.

In his Budget, Mr Hunt told yonder Hoose o’ Commons: “We are following the plan, and the plan is working.” We thought of Blackadder to General Melchett: “Plan? There’s a plan?”

Yep. Britain was following a course of “prosperity with a purpose” which purpose, if it is going to plan, appears to be widespread poverty.

Read more: Robert McNeil on why we must all keep schtum and never, ever go oot

Mr Hunt announced he was keeping the energy price guarantee for the next three months, and had good news for “the great British pub”, reducing the duty on a pint, which shows the last time he was in a boozer since they’re only interested in serving food now.

Jeremy further announced increased funding to tackle “the curse of potholes” and for the Edinburgh Festivals, which all decent residents of the capital will deplore.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said all Jeremy had proven was that “the Tory cupboard is as bare as the salad aisle in our supermarkets. The lettuces may be out but the turnips are in”.

The only mercy was that Sir Keir didn’t go for a pea. When he spoke about “the empty pockets of working people” and “making working people pay”, he sounded like someone saying Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

His principal polemical political point was that other countries were doing better, a theme taken up by Stewart Hosie, the SNP’s economy spokesman, who rejected the Chancellor’s impression of “broad, sunlit uplands”.

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Stewart is a grey fellow himself, sober and responsible, a million miles from some of the nutters on the SNP benches. He’s the sort of suited executive you see at an airport and think: ‘I’d like to boot him up the a**e.’

Mr Hosie compared the Tory administration at Westminster unfavourably to “the competent and compassionate SNP Government” at Holyrood, though disgruntled Scottish voters might deploy other c-words. Calamitous or clueless perhaps.

Sports news now, and let us picture a football. Imagine mud on that football. Amidst that mud is a blade of grass. To that blade of grass there clings a tiny insect. On that insect is a parasite and on that parasite there is a microbe. Up that microbe’s nose there sits a bogie. And that bogie is twice the size of the average football pundit’s brain.

Gary Lineker is brighter than the average pundit, but it’s all relative, as demonstrated when he accused the Home Office, run by a minister whose Indian parents immigrated from Mauritius and Kenya, and whose husband is Jewish, of speaking the language of the Nazis. Nazis: the debate losers’ comparator.

Still, in striking such an attitude, Gary had turned the political world upside down. At Prime Minister’s Questions, the aforementioned Starmer described backbench Tory reaction to Mr Lineker’s pronouncement as “howling with rage over a tweet, signing green ink letters in their dozens, desperately trying to cancel a football highlights show”.

He suggested the PM “stand up to his snowflake MPs waging war on free speech” and accused him of hiding behind “the cancel culture addicts on his benches”. Cue loud laughter from the Labour benches, revelling in the irony of it all. It was very weird, all topsy-turvy.

They weren’t laughing when Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader, claimed freezing Scots had been discombobulated to learn the electricity grid had allegedly been upgraded “to meet the power demands of the Prime Minister’s new swimming pool”. Had the PM been “taking a leisurely dip” while households drowned in their energy bills?

When Rishi replied that the Government had given every family multiple spondulicks to help with energy costs, grim Flynn averred: “You’ve got to wonder what planet he’s on.” Which cosmic contemplation led him to conclude: “The Tories aren’t freezing energy bills. They’re looking to freeze households.”

Cleverly – joke – changing the subject, the PM focused on SNP-run Scotland, saying the trains didn’t run on time, the police were at breaking point, and the NHS was doon the Suwannee. That wasn’t his assessment. “That’s what we learned in the SNP’s leadership debate last week.”

Fair point. The SNP have proven to be the most able opposition to themselves. But that’s the topsy-turvy world of politics today.