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Page 3 Profile: Jeffrey Osborne, singer

Jeffrey and George: separated at birth?

At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss comparisons between our Chancellor George Osborne and US soul singer Jeffrey. Sure, they may look nothing alike, but they’re similar enough to baffle Barack Obama. In a crushing blow to anyone who believes Britain is a major player in global politics, the US President repeatedly referred to George as ‘Jeffrey’ during a session on tax avoidance at the G8 summit.

Perhaps it’s because they were both last popular in the 80s?

Mr Obama did apologise, saying: “I’m sorry, man. I must have confused you with my favourite R&B singer.” But on Twitter and at news organisations across the country, absolutely nobody was willing to spare Osborne’s blushes. Mash-ups of Jeffrey’s 1982 hit “On The Wings of Love” and George’s speeches about the economy appeared online, while London Mayor Boris Johnson stuck the knife in during a question and answer session on Twitter. When asked for his favourite karaoke song, he said “anything by Jeffrey Osborne”. Commons Leader Andrew Lansley joked that it could have been worse – George could have been confused with ageing rocker Ozzy Osbourne. Jeffrey, enjoying another brief return to the limelight, said he and George should “hook up” for a duet.

And how did George respond?

He said that while “Jeff” was a legend, he “wouldn’t suggest a duet if you heard me sing”. A wise move on the Chancellor’s part, as such a performance would single-handedly gift the next general election to Labour. Jeffrey continued to offer good value to the UK’s broadcast networks, singing a soul-tinged rendition of “tax cuts should be for life, not just for Christmas”.

What has this taught us?

Some might say we’ve learned a lot about how relevant the UK is to the US, but really this whole episode has simply reinforced what we already knew: that we like a good laugh at the Chancellor’s expense.

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