Sometimes I marvel at the ability of the hedgehog to take me into previously uncharted realms, such as, in this case, the larcenous behaviour of Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

Now you might imagine that this is going to be a searing critique of the brilliant way in which the very very rich have managed to persuade us that the only way to pay back the debts of the very very rich is to take lots of money away from the very poor. Turkeys and Christmas spring to mind … I am sure that as soon as people wake up to what is going on that we will see plenty more activity on the street.

Waking up is crucial – we are fed such a mass of inanity, we are taught to desire what we have not got and despise what we have. We are presented with the burblings of those to whom we are supposed to aspire – minor celebrities etc – in such a way that the thoughts of a person who slept with a footballer will get more attention in the press and sell more books than a serious, beautifully written and important book looking at the reasons for environmental collapse (and that is not a plug for A Prickly Affair, this is – the perfect present for Christmas).

Wake up to the fact that we are being presented with bread and circuses – MacDonalds and the royal wedding; KFC and the X-Factor – this is like some cheap sci-fi film, the population of a future world subdued with stupour-inducing food and distraction – allowing the overlords to writhe around in an orgy of wealth and comfort gifted to them by the poor.

Sorry – back to the point. Comedy website Chortle has found that our lavishly comfortable Chancellor is not content with stripping the arts, wildlife or the environment of their funding to line the pockets of his friends, he is also happy to steal the work of others and claim it as his own!

The widely revered comic Dan Antopolski won the award for the best joke of the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009, by the Dave TV channel. I was on the radio with him – he is almost a mate (though I think he drifted off when I started to explain how his joke contained within it some serious ecological truths … ). And the joke?

Hedgehogs, why can’t they share the hedge?

It is good. I use it (and credit Dan every time) in my talks to the Women’s Institute. George Osborne used it as his contribution to The Laughing Soldier: The British Army Joke Book – and claimed it as his own (or at least did not acknowledge Dan).

So that should be enough to tip the masses onto the streets, I reckon. Never mind the homeless, jobless, artless wasteland the ConDems are busy creating – just look at the sort of person who is running the show … a joke thief. You don’t get lower than that!