Ed Balls has been hailed for utterly trouncing Father Xmas's policies at a children's party hosted somewhere in the houses of Parliament. The self styled hardman of the hustings continually had Santa on the backfoot as he struggled to explain everything, from where he's parked his sled, how Reindeer can fly and the supply of batteries.
"Shadow Santa Balls tore into Father Xmas like a man possessed," wrote the Guardian's sketch writer. "It was like watching a grizzly bear savaging Bambi."
Balls called on Father Xmas to resign, admit he was a failure and apologise to the house for his hopeless management of what was once a hybrid pagan/religious festival season that was the envy of the world.
Even some of Santa's own helpers were critical over his performance in front of the children, and questioned his preparation for the distribution of goods to the infants. Retired school teacher David Windley, a source close to Santa, who shared a dressing room with the mysterious benefactor, said he doubts Santa will be in the same position this time next year. "If I was Santa, and I'm not saying I was, I'd be asking myself what's the bloody point of.. of it all really," said Windley.
Speaking on BBC's Newsnight, spin doctor Charlie Whelan told Newsnight's Paul Mason how Father Xmas had totally mismanaged the philanthropical responsibilities. "If I was Father Xmas, I would step aside and let Ed Balls take over. What this country needs is a warm, cheerful and gentle Santa - not a vicious, class driven cynical opportunist, who will stop at nothing to get his own way. And I'm afraid that's what we got from the old Santa. Ed Balls will be like a breath of fresh air."
In other news, earlier in the day, in the House of Commons, Ed Balls monumentally cocked up his big chance to bash up the Chancellor over his budget plans.