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Treasury turns to Facebook for cut plans

For f*ck's sake Osborne

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Facebook is no doubt celebrating today's free publicity provided by its supposed role in planning the UK's economic policy.

In fact Facebook's role is limited to providing a link from its Democracy UK page, maintained by its PR company, to what looks like a micro-site cut and pasted from last week's YourFreedom website.

The Facebook page has already received 296 bewildering comments.

Our favourite thread concerns an argument over the future of Trident. The debate perhaps fails to reach the highest standards because of some confusion over whether Trident is a nuclear missile or an online training programme from Edexcel.

The page is also attracting its share of spam posts advertising other websites.

But it is over on The Spending Challenge that the interloons really have free play. Ideas so far include: "No houses for unmarried teenage pregnant girls." It's not clear if that is council-provided housing, or anything with a roof and four walls.

Making people work for their benefits, or get food parcels instead of benefits are also proving popular. There are also calls to stop all paper communication to save money. A plan as cunning as any of Baldrick's is to put sofas in all UK city centres, then, once a week, scoop out the money which will inevitably fall down the back of them.

The site comes of course with an obligatory YouTube clip of lipless George Osborne asking the internet what he should cut first.

At least Osborne's performance is less frightening than Gordon Brown's smiling grimace. His plea ends: "Your government needs you - please get in touch." If we thought anyone was actually listening we'd be worried.

Here is the Facebook Democracy UK page.

And here is the Treasury's Spending Challenge page. ®

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