The Chancellor is tweeting under the account @George_Osborne as a number of parody accounts are already set up for the minister, including Giddy George Osborne (@Gideon_Osboner), Dead George Osborne (@OsborneDead, whose biography states "trekking through Hades") and @ChancellorEx.
Yes, the man who managed to evict pantomime-style boos at the feel-good paralympics has joined Twitter, and has already sent his first tweet, writing: "Today I'll present a Budget that tackles the economy's problems head on helping those who want to work hard & get on" and posted a picture of him hard at work.
Today I'll present a Budget that tackles the economy's problems head on helping those who want to work hard & get on twitter.com/George_Osborne…— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) March 20, 2013
The tweet has already prompted some creatively vicious responses from the social network, with many relishing a chance to vent their rage at the Follow George Osborne's Budget 2013 live here with our 'At A Glance' guide to all the big decisions on the economy." target="_hplink">austerity Chancellor.
"Ooo am I the first? You're a tw*t", wrote one.
Then the insults piled in including "Your punctuation is worse than your maths," "Stop spending our f***ing money" and "Will you be announcing salt mines for immigrants & skivers? How about free champagne for millionaires? Oh go on."
Other Twitter users asked why Osborne was following some MPs and not others.. a rift in the cabinet perhaps? Although Osborne followed Cameron before anyone else, so there's no rebellion there.
However one woman pointed out his decision to follow Liam Fox (the only non-cabinet minister of the people he follows) was suggestive:
Rather more alarmingly, Osborne is also following @globepics, a feed which last posted a grossly fat squirrel.
According to analysis by We Are Social, choking, or choke was mentioned 488 times in connection with George Osborne before he spoke, and the chancellor was called a 'briefcase w*nker' 327 times before the budget.
His appearance on Twitter has provoked a tsunami of bile from some and a chance for some joviality at the Tories' expense from others. See the best of the reaction below.
- At A Glance Guide To The Budget
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- The 2013 All Male Treasury Minister Line-Up
- PICS: George Osborne's Twitter Photo Gets Hijacked
- Bored Of The Budget? March 20 Also Ushers In 10 Other 'Days'
- Osborne To Wield Axe Again And Impose Extra £2.5bn Of Cuts
The Longest Ever Budget Speech
William Gladstone delivered an epic Budget speech in 1853 that lasted four hours and 45 minutes. He was fuelled by a mixture of egg and sherry which he sipped throughout.
Alcohol In The Commons Chamber
A Chancellor of the Exchequer delivering his Budget is the only person permitted to take alcohol into the Commons Chamber.
Winston Churchill preferred to drink brandy when delivering his Budgets.
First Televised Budget
Thankfully, Gladstone's almost five hour Budget was not televised. That began back in 1990 with John Major's first and only speech. Nice glasses John...
The Very Old Briefcase
George Osborne's first Budget speech also marked the last appearance of the famous battered old red briefcase. The Parliamentary stalwart was made for Gladstone way back in 1860 and had become too fragile to use. It is now displayed in the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall.
The Snappy Dresser
Labour MP, Leo Abse, was known for his flamboyant dress sense and used to get suits specially tailored for the Budget. Here he is on Budget Day, 1969.
A Dog Named Budget
Chancellor of the Exchequer from '79-'83, Sir Geoffrey Howe, named his dog "Budget". Not a word of a lie. Here he is with Budget and his wife, Elspeth.
The Budget One-Liner
Not known for their humour, Chancellor Derick Heathcoat-Amory, managed the near impossible with the line: <blockquote>"There are three things not worth running for - a bus, a woman or a new economic panacea. If you wait a bit, another one will come along.''</blockquote> In 1960, Heathcoat-Amory collapsed mid-speech.
The Budget That Never Was
Tory Iain Macleod, is the only Chancellor to have not delivered a speech, dying shortly after his appointment.
What's In The Briefcase, Norman?
You'd be forgiven for thinking the old Gladstone briefcase in this picture contained Norman Lamont's 1993 Budget speech, but you'd be wrong. It actually contained a bottle of whisky while an aide, by the name of William Hague (yes, that one) carried the speech to the chamber. Hague later said of the incident: "It would have been a major disaster if the bag had fallen open." Indeed.