The farce of a fake budget for a failed economy is set to be foisted on wised-up voters from a fag-end government. Dreadful Darling is trying to fool voters with a pre-election manifesto of Brown sauce dressed up as 'Budget Day'. A cunning plan to conjure up a budget sham of spin, fiddles and fudge.
Dreadful Darling's dull 'budget' is set to be spun and sprung on a sceptical suspecting public, throwing a few promised crumbs to jittery money markets and all forgotten by the weekend.
A phoney baloney flammed up farce and pre-election puff. Fill the air with a whiff of spring optimism leaving the scent of austerity lingering behind. Wrong foot then tie down Tories.
The Budget Day sport of poring over figures, picking holes is pretty pointless. With an election weeks away, the 'Budget' will be no more than a holding spin operation apart from a law to collect taxes, with sly spending cuts already slipped in and hidden stealth taxes due to kick in next month.
The real hard 'Budget' will come hard on the heels of the election whatever colour and flavour of the new parliament. Only then will voters be told the full scale of the cuts that everyone knows is needed to get the country out of the economic Brown mess.
The message will be upbeat. The politics of false optimism is now a well-entrenched New Labour marketing tool. But with no cash in the kitty there can be no pre-election give-aways and bribes. "A sensible workmanlike budget" is how Darling described it, already spilling a few budget beans to pals in the BBC.
But with no comprehensive spending review this side of the election, department ministers won't know how much they can squander - unless you're full of Balls. And that leaves a mighty black hole to be plugged.
The last throw of the election dice with a dull, meaningless budget manifesto, is all part of the deceitful plan to screw the Tories and pick up a few straggling votes. Craftily focussing on the sham of a 'growth' deficit - how much more the government has to borrow than it spends - but not getting to grips with Borrowing Brown's monstrous debt mountain.
Using rigged ONS figures, it now seems the chancellor has not to borrow as much as he thought, goes the spin. Well whoopee dee. 'Only' £132 billion against an estimate of £178 billion. £132 billion is still £5,666 for every household in the country. And that's apart from the £200 billion of funny money swilling around.
The City wants hard evidence of using any spare cash to pay back the monstrous debt. But the spin has been to waffle around cutting the GDP deficit using fantasy 'growth' predictions. Any talk about 'spending' a bit of the 'windfall' is a cock-eyed way of living in La-La land when any spending relies on borrowed money and borrowed time.
The borrowing spin is already fanning the flames of false optimism with fiddled GDP figures. The bogeyman of crucial GDP growth figures out for Q1 on April 23 is set to be spun as 'good news' with another rigged recovery. Ministers insist on churning out the line they will "halve the deficit in four years". Halve the deficit with fantasy growth, while still leaving the crippling borrow and spend debt burden.
The EU commission has told the government to stop pouring Brown sauce over the dire economy with a crafty 'growth' con to cut the whopping budget deficit. But without that fictional 'growth', the Brown economy would collapse round his ears like a pack of cards.
Dull Darling will read out a fudge-it budget for Fantasy Island but Pussycat Peter's paw prints have been all over the chancellor like a rash in the budget battle between Darling Mandy and Brown Balls. Anyone who thinks the economy will spin itself into a remarkable recovery is living in cloud cuckoo land.
Firing a Brown broadside for his economic record cooking the books and fiddling the figures, Peter Hoskin over at the Spectator has already pointed out: "Brown & Co. certainly have a track record when it comes to underestimating borrowing totals. Throw in Brown's various off-balance sheet ruses, and the future borrowing position is likely to be considerably worse than Darling's forecasts."
Tories know where to hit where it hurts. Posters soon will be hot of the press. Honest Osborne has already waded in: "We need leadership and new vision, but instead I fear we will get Alistair Darling's swan song."
Fake 'Budget Day' is just part of the pre-election plan to capture and dominate the media narrative.
Soon the public will not have to suffer the sham spin fiddles and fudge of 'global' this and that, 'downturns' and 'deficits' used to dupe voters and mask economic reality.
Borrowing Brown and his economic mess has left a future that's not bright. The future is belt-tightening. The phoney budget fires the starting gun in the election battle between Tory 'authenticity' and New Labour 'artificiality'.
Update 10.40am: Portugal's credit rating has been downgraded by a leading credit rating agency because of mounting debt. Have a nice day, Darling.
Top graphic: Sun. Mid graphic: Burningourmoney