On the third floor of the Muttley Dastardly LLP building in the City is a suite where five highly paid specialists, two men and three women, are paid to think. Sometimes they think the unthinkable conceptually. Sometimes they think about doing the unthinkable to get an edge on the competition. For the remainder of the time they think carefully about the politico-economic drivers which affect our national interest, for this is the interest of The Partners. The Head of the *Unit*, Massimo Charles Lutyens Rutland, graduated with First Class honours in Economics from Cambridge, went on to INSEAD, and after a spell at Lehman Brothers – he was fortunate enough to get out intact before the crash – went in for his own interest and joined Muttley Dastardly LLP.
Rutland was admitted to The Partnership, following successful completion of the GDL, which he completed in two months of detailed study while commuting from his Surrey home to the City; going on then to qualify as a solicitor via the New York Bar examination, the latter taking him but a month to memorise sufficient data to satisfy the examiners. Rutland has the grace, at least, to say to those who ask about his legal background that ‘It is fortunate indeed, that I do not wish to practise as a lawyer in England… the truth is I know very little about English Law… or for that matter…any law…. mind you…they say that this is true of some who actually hold themselves out as practising lawyers.”
His associates, (they are not lawyers) are never identified by name, not even within the firm. Their identity is known only to Rutland and the CEO and managing partner, Matt Muttley. The *Unit* works closely with partner and director of education, Dr Strangelove, on psyops – on a project of ‘limited visibility’ with the filename DOH! This stands for Dissimulation, Obfuscation and Hegemony; a subtle joke, if of questionable taste, thought up by Dr Strangelove.
Below is a transcript of a brief iPhone conversation between Rutland and Matt Muttley
Muttley: Massimo – your thoughts on Osborne’s problem? Fraser Nelson is saying in relation to the economy ‘things are going disastrously right’.
Rutland: Sure, but that was fairly predictable. Darling is no fool. He hid £6Bn from Brown’s eyes during the election period to stop Brown spending it. Legacy, however limited, is a powerful driver for all politicians. Even a miserable scrap like that can be worth basing an entire book around. Osborne has set up the OBR. This could be a cuckoo that flew over Osborne’s nest and takes a dump on him en route to Tuscany before too long. Osborne has no room to say that some things are worse than we thought, because the OBR says the economy is doing rather better than Darling predicted. Sure, there are spending atrocities which The Sun will push out to their readership, but these are not structural. They make good copy. The problem is growth. The OBR says that growth forecasts are lower than Labour forecast. Osborne will therefore be able to use that to justify cuts. There is every prospect, reading the press, that Osborne will make cuts to keep the cavalry twill wearers of Surrey and backbenchers who have been released back into the community happy, but it is unlikely that he will be daft enough to do a Roosevelt and drop us into double dip. Osborne, and Labour, or whatever they are calling themselves these days,whether they like it or not, is far from stupid. In fact, he must be rubbing his hands that Laws has gone and Beaker is his Chief Treasury. Alexander is expendable and it is a blessing that he is a Lib-Dem. Yes… the Coalition agreement requires that ‘One out, one in’ but the Lib-Dems only have 50 odd MPs and they are running out of people who can count, let alone run the Treasury.
Muttley: So things are looking good? I watched the five Labour candidates on Newsnight tonight. I can’t say that there is much there to discuss?
Rutland: Nothing. Irrelevant for the moment. Christ… the election runs until the Autumn. This is good for the government, because there isn’t an opposition now that the Lib-Dems are part of government, and won’t be until the Self Aggrandisement conference season is over in September.
Muttley: Budget next week?
Rutland: Unfortunately, the new government is unlikely to leave it on the back seat of a taxi. I’m thinking. I’ll get back to you
Muttley: Anything to trouble us?
Rutland: No. All looking good. There is a developing shambles. Parliament Square being cleared will cause even more confusion. House prices dropped today by 5%. BP looks as if it won’t pay the dividend. That means less money for the pension funds. This will irritate the cavalry twill wearers and dawn on many others as a ‘bad thing’. Yes… I think we can safely say that there will be plenty of work for us. Dr Strangelove has started buying BP shares again in a modest way. I think we should get out of wind farm stock.
Muttley: Ok. Thanks Massimo…. we’ll talk at 6.30 tomorrow morning. Helpful.
Rutland: Ok…what time will you be getting to The Groucho?
Muttley: I’ve just pulled up outside. See you in thirty. Strength and profits.
Rutland: Strength and profits, Brother Matt!