Boy George had his big day after practicing a stern look in the mirror, despite sneaky Darling's plan to rain on his parade. But has Boy George got his 'cuts' message across and grown up as chancellor Osborne?
Once again Tories are trying it on with a quick death by triangulation. New Labour on speed. Today Osborne delivered a stark message of no shared pain, no gain. Pensions were first in the cuts firing line. Public sector pay, tax and bureaucracy were quick to follow to tackle the grotesque public debt.
Pension age will have to go up whoever is in power. There's no cash left in the kitty. When, how fast? Tory 2016? New Labour 2026? Whatever. What's a few years when you're on the dole now or staring redundancy in the face.
The Orange Party is starting to warm to Boy George. He's stuck his neck out and long-warned of the dire state of the country's finances. Something has to give sooner rather than later after a decade of disaster.
As happened over yesterday's benefits cuts, New Labour hasn't made a song and dance about Osborne's pension age rise. That would show up years of the spending spree sham. Both Parties have a pension age plan in the back-pocket.
Osborne is gambling on the 'sober, reasonable, realistic' look, packing a tough package to tackle the huge deficit and pining his hopes that he can take voters with him. But Boy George took an early beating when up popped Darling with a public sector pay freeze. There's some life left in the old dead dog yet.
Is Darling secretly part of a Tory fifth column? He captured the headlines for a fleeting moment. But it took the heat off Ducking Dave's EU referendum shuffle.
That put the ball firmly back in the Tories court, just where they want it - on the dire state of the economy and what they plan to do about it.
Osborne has already blown the gaff showing two-faced Brown misled MPs and the public over spending cuts. Voters can see through the sham. A pension age rise is on the cards to fill New Labour shameful black hole after years of crafty Brown living in cloud cuckoo land.
The Orange Party doesn't buy into the spin of raising retirement age because now there are more older people. The cupboard is bare. Pension pots have been raided to help pay for years of false hope and a feel good factor with crafty off balance sheet accounting.
Private pensions are the first to go when firms fold and flatpack in the dodgy world of buying up a brand and bugger the workers. Whitehall and Town Halls have frittered away pensions cash squandered on wasteful non-jobs, huge salaries for the top dogs and 'services' to massage egos.
Osborne gets it in the neck from enemies in the City and on the Telegraph. That's par for the course with the on-going cat fight and dark briefings from Mandy but it's the voters who count.
Today Boy George had to go in with an honest, harsh Tory 'cuts' policy and morph into Osborne the trusted chancellor-in-waiting. Did he pass the test? The Times kinda thinks so. Opinion polls, focus groups and the Sun will show whether he's pulled it off.
What has Downing Street got up its sleeve to spoil Dave's big day? Will Bunkered Brown pop up in the war zone again, making promises over troops and kit he won't have to keep?
Bungling Bob has already been out there getting a flea in his ear from the boys on the ground, with minder Johnson looking like a shady member of the East End mob.
Maybe beleaguered Brown will call a snap election - or quit. The Orange Party can live in hope. Today Osborne delivered a dose of reality.
Top picture: The Sun