DAN ATKINSON: Turbo-charged finance has collapsed - Big Brother State should be next

smoker and no smoking sign

HARRY PHIBBS: The hidden budget nasties Darling DIDN'T tell us about

bingo hall

When Gordon Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer all the good news would be proclaimed in the budget speech while bad news would be buried deep in the impenetrable jargon of the Red Book.

QUENTIN LETTS: Alistair Darling, as unridged as a peach smoothie, delivered a bitter message

Behind the Chancellor sat rows of glum, pouty little faces, last year's potatoes a-moulderin' with worry

Behind the Chancellor sat rows of glum, pouty little faces, last year's potatoes in the potting shed a-moulderin' with worry.

PETER OBORNE: Bogus, dishonest mix was not a Budget for Britain

Sadly, no-one believes Brown and Darling's forecasts

Only on two or three occasions in history has there been so much at stake as a British Chancellor of the Exchequer rose to deliver his annual Budget.

ALEX BRUMMER: The unfortunate reality is that borrowing like this could push us over the edge

Chalking it up: Labour's 'black hole' of debt, drawn on pavement outside the Treasury yesterday

Alistair Darling has skipped lightly over the enormous scale of the biggest calamity to have faced the British economy and public finances for a generation.

EDWARD HEATHCOAT AMORY: How to save £50billion in only a year

Money

If we are to avoid massive tax increases in the years to come, courage on this scale is going to be required. And the sooner we start, the less painful it will be.

KEITH WATERHOUSE: Let's go back to a beer and cigs Budget day

Geoffrey Howe 1983

Just what are they doing in the Budget? I can imagine how it will play in that fish queue this morning.

DOMINIC SANDBROOK: Darling - the man who needs a history lesson in prudent housekeeping

History lesson: A beaming Chancellor, eager to court the headlines, put short-term advantage ahead of prudent housekeeping

When Alistair Darling elected to use Gladstone's battered red leather box for yesterday's Budget speech, it was meant to symbolise his affiliation with titanic Chancellors of the past.

SAM FLEMING: Budget hands David Cameron's Tories a diabolical legacy

The task of rescuing Britain's finances will almost certainly fall to Tory leader David Cameron. It's a poisonous situation for an incoming Conservative government to inherit

The task of cleaning up Britain's fiscal wreckage is likely to fall most heavily on the shoulders of the man opposite the Chancellor - David Cameron.

HARRY PHIBBS: 50 per cent tax rate is a naked political stunt - and it won't raise a bean

alistair darling

The sombre economic climate contributed to a downbeat budget in tone as well as substance. No jokes. Few schoolboy whoops. At least he accepted there is a recession.

MAIL COMMENT: The poisoned chalice of a blinkered, election-chasing Chancellor

Party politics: This budget delivered nothing other than three words: 'Election, election, election'

Two days ago, the Mail invited Chancellor Alistair Darling to put petty party politics out of his mind and deliver a Budget for Britain. Some hope!

ALEX BRUMMER: Fresh blow for those saving for retirement

Elderly couple

New Labour, having allowed the Square Mile to overdose on champagne over the last decade, is now withdrawing the Moët.

MARY ELLEN SYNON: Stay at home with the curtains drawn until the horror goes away

job centre queue

As inevitable, given that it was presented by a Labour politician, the Budget means nothing but higher taxes, inadequate spending cuts, more debt.

STEPHEN GLOVER: Capitalism and the danger of lionising this working class hero

Jack Jones

PETER OBORNE: This is a cynical scheme to hoodwink the voters

Grabs from footage of Gordon Brown announcing proposals to overhaul MP's expenses in a video posted on his official website

HARRIET SERGEANT: I've seen how our education system betrays children

Youngsters from the state school system are five times more likely to fail to get five good A to C grades at GCSE than those from affluent backgrounds

ALLISON PEARSON: Cynics be damned. I adore the 'hairy angel'

Susan Boyle

STEPHEN ROBINSON: Cry of South Africa's next president - Bring me my machine gun!

Leopardskin leader: Jacob Zuma, the all-singing, all-dancing President to be with his 33-year-old wife Nompumelelo Ntuli

MICHAEL WINNER: Stop knocking the police... you may need them one day

G20 protests

The film director who's spent years fighting to win recognition for the bravery of police explains why we should instead thank officers.

QUENTIN LETTS: In WPC voice, she veered from resentful to near-weepy

Truculent tone: Jacqui Smith

Were Jacqui Smith a tennis ball you would say she has lost her Dunlop bounce. Her fluff has been pummelled. She has acquired a last-season look.

MELANIE PHILLIPS: A governing class of third-raters, drunk on power, and a state crumbling into chaos

Gordon Brown goes for a walk with Damian McBride

We appear to be living through a re-run of the last days of the Borgias crossed with the Keystone Cops.

PETER OBORNE: This is a fight to the death

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

This venomous war of smear and counter-smear has the potential to destroy Gordon Brown's government - and this civil war is only just beginning.

Peter Hitchens
Charlotte Leslie button
Mary Ellen Synon
Robin Page
party percentages