Rarely is a piece of irony sweeter than when a chancellor of the exchequer who has called aggressive tax avoidance "morally repugnant" gets a payout from his family firm that reportedly hasn't paid corporation tax for the last seven years.
It's the kind of irony that leads to comments like "you couldn't make it up". The thing is, you probably wouldn't make it up. If you were writing a satirical comedy on a politician saying one thing then appearing to do something different, you'd probably rule out that particular plot line as being a little too obvious to be quite digestible. And yet, such is the reality of Osborne's life right at the heart of a ruling Tory government – in "the thick of it", you might say.
What was he thinking last autumn, for example, when he backed an international crackdown on tax havens? This came just a few months after a report that the Osborne family business had made £6m in a deal with a developer based in a tax haven – although there is no suggestion Osborne or the company avoided tax or did anything wrong.
Of course dark corners of the mind are specialities of the Osborne family, with George's brother Adam being a psychiatrist. Unfortunately "moral repugnance" seems to be as well. It recently came to light that Adam has been struck off the medical register after having a two-year affair with a vulnerable patient suffering from anxiety and depression.
The only saving grace for Adam, I suppose, is that he doesn't have the temerity to preach to us all about the sanctity of doctor-patient trust. Or perhaps he just doesn't have his brother's eye for irony.
Then again, how could he? It's fast becoming apparent that George is a satirical genius. Just cast your mind back to his statement on the tax deal with Google, calling it a"major success" to squeeze just £130m worth of tax from 10 years of the internet giant's UK earnings. It only now becomes clear that he was talking from the point of view of Google all along. What a masterful piece of ironic reversal.
And of course the greatest slice of irony overarching all of this – the "meta-irony" if you like – is the very fact that a chancellor and a government so steeped in the vested interests of the corporate ruling class, so intimately bound up in protecting its interests and profits, so ideologically committed to free market economics and opposed to the interests of the state, should be going after tax avoidance at all.
The whole project is a half-hearted sop to a public who have made it clear, following the banking crisis and years of austerity, that we actually do find it morally repugnant that the richest in society can get away with paying the least tax when everyone else has to be "in it together".
"We're all in it together, but some are more in it together than others" – that could be a line worthy of another satirical genius with the name George. Perhaps George Osborne's autobiography will be the next Animal Farm. Unfortunately I think it's more likely to resemble 1984.