Budget boxers

This was the traditional photo of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne as he left 11 Downing Street yesterday to deliver the Budget.

Osborne budget box.jpg

The red box he is holding is not the original version made for William Ewart Gladstone in 1860.  It was retired in 2010 due to its fragility.  Instead, sInce 2011, a new Budget box - commissioned by the National Archives - has been used by Mr Osborne.   

But, like Gladstone's, it belongs to the nation and is very much red.

Fast forward to this morning when, after delivering a farcical Liberal Democrat "Budget" statement to the House of Commons, Danny Alexander turned up on the steps of the Treasury holding his own yellow "Budget" box.

In case you missed it, the Liberal Democrat is Chief Secretary to the Treasury and, in effect, George Osborne's deputy.    But, as a member of Her Majesty's Coalition Government, Mr Alexander is also fully signed up to every jot and tittle of yesterday's Budget.

His attempt to deliver an alternative financial statement to MPs - pushing the boundaries of Parliamentary convention to breaking point - was bizarre enough.  

But the sight of him holding up his toy box - which members of the media later took turns at holding with a smile - tell us only one thing.

Yes, with a mere seven weeks to go until polling day, the election campaign is about to get fully under way.

And we suspect you ain't seen nothing yet.