|Let's not overdo it, chaps|
“Oh, please, Br’er George, sho’ ‘nuff you can do anything you like to us, but please don’ throw us in that itsy-witsy li’l briar patch,” chorused the heads of the four largest high street banks, rolling their eyes in mock terror. “Just over there, see? That little speck to the left of where the Aston Martin’s parked - that’s the one, right there. Whatever you do, doan’ throw us in that. That would really, really hurt.”
The chancellor played his part of the pantomime by pulling his very sternest face and wagging a reproachful finger at the bankers, who by now were shaking their knees furiously, pretending to bite their knuckles and trying very hard not to laugh.
After the curtain fell, to rapturous applause from the easily-pleased matinee audience, the bankers retired to L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon to drown their mock sorrows, award themselves even bigger bonuses and decide how many more mortgages and loans to refuse with a token shrug.