As he began his prepared response to Moody’s downgrading of Britain’s credit status, the left-hand side of the Chancellor’s upper lip ballooned briefly outwards. For less than a second, but long enough to suggest the lip curling snarl required of the George Osborne stereotype. Mr Darcy morphing into a ripped and torn face by Francis Bacon, the artist – that’s the combination of arrogance and barely suppressed violence which the Rt Hon and his policies epitomise in the mind’s eye of those who see themselves as left-wing. But this is more figment than real figure; ditto the ‘neo-liberalism’ which anti-Osbornes love to hate. For the cameras, Gorgeous George was lined up against rows of leather-bound books, as if he really were a Regency rake resting in the library before making another descent into the Hellfire Club. But the camera-eye caught the frightened look in his: wide-open, pleading to be believed – at the very moment when Britain has lost some of its financial credibility. Similarly, as Osborne rattled through his statement, ostensibly a restatement of Cabinet confidence, the microphone picked up a recurring protestation which can only mean its opposite: ‘this is a clear message’; ‘the ratings agency is clear’; ‘we are clear’; ‘let’s be clear’. This much is clear: despite the patina of arrogance – it hardly matters whether he acquired it among the Eton Rifles – the Chancellor’s stance is riddled with confusion and uncertainty.