There was a guy with a van backed down that narrow alley - what is it, Well Lane? - almost as far as Pea Souk (if you're ever in Falmouth, small vegetarian cafe run by a very good cook), clearing broken wood pallets and other debris from a back yard (courtyard?) ahead of building work. Pleasant conversation. If I want wood (or any other debris), I'm welcome to turn up this morning and collect.
Boring budget, right? You could hear in the man's voice, or I thought I could anyway, that he wasn't comfortable with the self-employed bit. "Fairness" covers a lot these days, doesn't it? If you have to go to the small print to demonstrate that you haven't broken an election promise, seems to me that you're missing the point. If you're a straight-up guy, we shouldn't have to take everything you say with a glance at the small print. But that's the way of budgets, isn't it? Read the books. And of politicians bearing promises.
These moments of "Right there in the small print, it says I wasn't promising anything" don't go away, do they? They silt up, and sometimes, they bring us such outcomes as - oh, I can't face typing the words. The overturning of the liberal order on both sides of the Atlantic; you know who and what I mean. End of history followed by a rough re-start. So much time, in so many situations, is spent avoiding the truth that everybody already knows. Finding the explanation that ... actually, reminds us that we're still dealing with those people.
Archibald Cox, the Watergate prosecutor, told at least one interviewer (who told me in conversation last week) that Nixon's fall demonstrated (as it was summarised to me) "that the US system worked". History doesn't repeat itself, but Tr - no; still can't face it - seems to have provoked the system to react. His own election was a reaction; now there's a reaction ... and of course France ... Fillon ... in Germany that unexpectedly credible challenger to Merkel. There's a point in a government at which a clock starts ticking, and in the UK, I think this budget was it. But take a look at the bigger picture. What a time to behave like a politician. Tells you something, right?