Philip Hammond has been wondering if he did enough to seduce young Labour voters in yesterday’s budget and should not perhaps have sat on a chair backwards.
Faced with the impossible task of increasing spending while being Tory, the Chancellor scrapped stamp duty for first-time homebuyers and now wonders if he should have done more to reach the young, like chewing gum or wearing sunglasses.
Mr Hammond said: “Obviously this policy will make young voters warm to us, because they’re basically selfish, like everyone, right? I mean they’re young but not mentally ill.
“Are they? I don’t really know and that’s what worries me. Should I have tried to speak their language more? What is their language? Do they still jive dance?
“Are they even real? Where are all these young people? There aren’t any young people.”
A senior Conservative source said: “Yesterday was make-or-break for Philip. Would he deliver the budget speech without setting fire to himself? Would he get through breakfast without stabbing himself in the head with a fork?
“We think it went quite well. Like us, the country was so distracted by whether or not he would say something bewilderingly stupid that the message of economic doom doesn’t yet seem to have registered.”
But young voter Sabrina Duncan said: “If buying a home hadn’t been made an impossible dream, I might well give a shit about stamp duty.”