Enough of the tired battlefield allegory. Given the media's mood music, you could be forgiven for thinking that an omnishambles-style catastrophe was in the offing. Unfortunately, it was the very opposite. Despite being forced to backpedal publicly on the cuts to tax credits, and the reverse on police, Osborne had a very good statement. It was cheeky because, like before, he wrapped himself up in the same Labour clothing the Tories had, pre-election, denounced as communist overalls. Muscular because he blithely skipped from unfunded spending commitments to ruinous cuts, yet managed to project himself as if he was delivering a budget for a strong, growing economy; not the imbalanced and precarious mess it is presently. This was a confident chancellor, one who visibly enjoyed taking the stand and occasionally tickling the Commons' ribs with comedic asides. Looking askance, that's probably what people not normally interested in politics picked up on when they watched tonight's new bulletins.
Of course, Osborne is fortunate. He's lucky. Some might extend that luck to the character of the opponents facing him on the benches opposite. His programme, however, is premised on an "unexpected" windfall of projected tax receipts - as divined by the Office for Budget Responsibility. If someone on zero hours contracts signs themselves up to spending commitments over the next year on the assumption they'll get steady work, that's something of a risk. To stake a programme of government on the same is taking a bit of a risk. Yes, the economy is doing okay, but what Britain needs is economic policies that shore up the home market - not measures designed to pull money out of it. Around the corner is instability stoked by war in the Middle East, slowdown in China, stagnation in the Eurozone, and the ever-present costs of climate change. It won't take much for the smug grin on Osborne's face to get wiped off, but it's not the likes of him who'll pay the price for his fall.