There are quite a few bright spots for Wessex folk to cheer about in today’s budget – and not just a freeze on cider duty – but look beyond the headlines. It’s good to see money for children’s A&E in Southampton, but isn’t the rest of the NHS on life support? A “more resilient train line in the South West” (in other words, dealing with Dawlish) is backed, though this actually only extends to a feasibility study that’s currently stalled. We mustn’t forget the “£20 million to help young families onto the housing ladder in the South West”, funded from the 3% stamp duty surcharge on additional properties. Osborne says that’s a reward for good behaviour – “proof that when the South West votes blue, their voice is heard loud in Westminster”– but if we controlled our own resources and made our own decisions the cynical bribes wouldn’t be necessary. With MPs in the South West still being urged to rebel over HS2, it seems they could do with more than a little regionalist help in turning up the volume.