In a recent charity auction of celebrity drawings a doodle by the Chancellor fetched £20,000 — almost three times the price reached by the next most expensive sketch.
It was, if one was being kind, a work of charming simplicity, whose clean lines brought a refreshing naivety to a piece that told profound truths about the power of modern financial institutions and the role of imagery in contemporary politics.
Or, possibly, just a crude drawing of the Chancellor’s budget box which, frankly, the average five-year-old have done with their eyes shut.
This was not an occasion for aesthetic carping, however, as all the money raised was going to good causes. In the case of the Chancellor’s effort, it was for the East Cheshire Hospice, which is in his Tatton constituency and was, according to sources close to the auction, as much a motivation behind the bid as any artistic appreciation of Mr Osborne’s no doubt skilful penwork. The bidder, who chose to remain anonymous, was described as a Cheshire businessman.