Two things are preoccupying me at the moment: the World Cup; and how to cut the deficit in the most equitable way possible. I’ve been thinking about these two issues in isolation. In the spirit of Total Place, however, I have now broken down the silos and combined insights from these two policy areas. The result has been an astounding new conclusion. I have calculated that Chancellor George Osborne could solve the deficit at a stroke by heading down to William Hill and putting the annual education budget on a Spanish victory. On current odds that £85.3 billion stake would make him £163 billion. There’d be no need for painful cuts and the Chancellor would secure instant immortality and the gratitude of a nation. Some economists might describe this as “risky”, but as my colleague John Tizard has pointed out, George Osborne doesn’t seem to be putting too much stock in what those anaemic nay-sayers think about anything anyway. Vamos Espana!