George Osborne might be enjoying eating his mildly overpriced, and hugely over reported, burger a little bit more tonight, after a week that has not been as bad as usual. It has been revealed that there was no double dip recession, which sits well with the news that his new rounds of cuts, although still hideously painful, are nothing worse than usual. If you couple this with the fact that the government has just announced a £100 billion investment scheme, you can almost say that he has deserved that burger.
The fact that this recent round of cuts is deep is not a good one, because any cuts are going to hurt, but we all know that the government can survive cuts at the moment. As a nation, it has kind off been accepted that cuts are how things are done, and how things will continue to be done, for quite a while. There hasn't been much negative reaction to this latest round. It is nothing less that what we would expect.
In fact, some of the ideas that have been presented are actually alright. Take for instance, the scrapping of automatic pay rises, which means that people will no longer be paid more simply for surviving in their job for another year. This, although it will not be that popular, is actually one idea the Osborne should not have to be ashamed of, since progressive pay has no real place within the efficient and streamlined government that we are trying to produce.
Obviously, people need to have pay rises, but this will at least allow a bit more flexibility within the system.
In addition, Osbourne has managed to put in place some pretty serious cuts without delving into the budget for schools or health care. These are, perhaps, the areas that need to be protected the most, since education is creating the workforce of the future, while healthcare maintains the people of today. It may seem like a poor idea to plunge forces recklessly into the sick and the young, but in terms of playing the long game, you have to agree that it is the sound thing to do.
All in all, this has actually been an alright week for Osborne, and he has not screwed up as badly as some people were expecting of him. You can't help but read the list of measures that have been introduced without thinking that they are actually ideas that are easily defensible, and neither incredibly incompetent nor astonishing ignorant.
Perhaps, just perhaps, he is right when he says things are looking up for Britain, and we might have a little more success than when Cameron said the same thing in 2010.
Of course, these cuts are still controversial, and many will oppose them. This is natural, since they are painful, but it was also interesting to see Ed Balls argument against them. He said that these cuts were evidence that the coalition's plans have failed, and that they are following the wrong strategy, something that is as overused an argument as when Cameron blames Gordon Brown for all the country's problems.
This is made even worse by the fact that even Labour have said that they will not reverse the changes that are being made, indicating that they are simply allowing the Conservatives to put into place they cuts that they would have followed anyway. Osborne should take heart from the fact that even Labour understands that what he is doing is necessary, they just are glad that they don't have to carry it all.
This week has been an alright one for the coalition, and an alright one for Britain. Right now, Britain could settle for a little bit more of these alright times.