The chancellor was in Kingston yesterday, visiting a branch of Metro Bank in order to hail news that the challenger bank will employ 3,300 new staff, and aim to have a total of 150 branches by 2020.
On the trip, Osborne discovered a so-called “magic money machine”, standing in front of it while reeling out platitudes to a variety of amused journalists. The Capitalist wonders if such a machine is part of the Tory party’s much vaunted long-term economic plan.
After all, magic money has been a source of controversy in the coalition since Osborne linked up with the Liberal Democrats back in 2010. By 2013, David Cameron and Nick Clegg were having to slap down Vince Cable for advocating higher spending, with the PM telling the business secretary: “There’s no magic money tree.”
It turns out he was right, and that the magic money comes from a machine in Metro Bank instead. The machine, if you’re wondering, counts customers’ spare change for them.
The pic opportunity is just the latest in a line of embarrassing cases of politicians standing in front of inopportune signs. Just the other day much fun was made of Clegg passing a “Danger: Deep water” sign, while Ukip’s Nigel Farage was seen beside one reading: “Caution: Slippery.” No comment required.