Friends of George Osborne are believe to have approached David Bowie for help in creating a new persona for the beleaguered chancellor.
The sight of a sober suited and pasty faced Osborne standing outside 11 Downing Street holding his red case is believed to have panicked the government and triggered the Bowie initiative.
'After another unpopular budget,' said a government minister,'we need to relaunch George as a completely new persona and Bowie is the man to pull it off.'
Osborne has already been spotted at the V&A's David Bowie exhibition looking for inspiration but cultural critics point out that the chancellor has failed in past attempts at relaunching himself - once as a submarine and once as a powdered French aristocrat.
'George's somewhat androgynous features hold out a real possibility of a Bowie-type creation,' said a glam rock aficionado who said he would definitely vote for a glam rock Osborne chancellor.
It's believed that a glitteringly costumed Osborne has already experimented with appearing outside 11 Downing Street in a Space Oddity performance of a Major Tom countdown to the budget. A scenario modelled on Bowie's Ashes to Ashes was abandoned after advice from Max Clifford.
David Cameron is reported to be lukewarm about the idea. 'The PM has always fancied himself as popular icon,' said a Downing Street insider, ' so he's a bit jealous. And the suggestion that George Formby might be a more suitable model for him didn't go down too well.'
'A Ziggy Osborne would transform our chance of victory at the general election.' said the government minister admitting, though, that Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona had been relatively short-lived.
'But this could be George's The Next Day comeback', he added hopefully.