You have to feel for Rishi Sunak - well, at least a little.
Leave to one side that he carries more presentational skills, authority and dignity than his boss - which must be galling for a man who only became Chancellor because Boris Johnson clashed with his first choice for the job, who then walked out.
On top of that, Sunak is also in an impossible position with his measures to alleviate the worst economic impact of the coronavirus. He’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.
The summer statement he delivered in the Commons was a case in point.
He gave a clue that he knows how impossible his position is. The part of his speech when he confirmed the wind-down of the furlough scheme included references to saying that he knew that no extension would be enough for many - “if I extended until October, people would want November…if I extended until November, they would demand December.”
He has a point.
One has to wonder, therefore, what will happen when the new sub-£500,000 stamp duty holiday draws to a close at the end of March.
No one can tell the future but when Sunak laces his speech with frankly apocalyptic phrases suggesting the country faces “profound challenges" and says "although hardship lies ahead, no one will be left without hope” - well, you get the impression that this is an economic tsunami making waves well beyond next spring.
So it is with respect for Sunak and his dilemma, rather than criticism or cynicism, that I wonder whether he has got this stimulus right: or, more precisely, whether this is only part of what should have been a more far-reaching stimulus.
Should it have been more substantial, like a complete abolition of stamp duty?
Should it have been more nuanced, with a phased ending to avoid a likely completions rush in the first quarter of 2021?
Should it have been two-pronged, with measures to improve mortgage availability for first-time buyers?
Should it have been addressing supply, with more incentives for new homes to be built by councils and social landlords as well as private developers?
Should it, should it, should it?
As Sunak suggests, he knows he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, and criticism of what he has done is easy.
My personal sense is that mortgage guarantees on higher loan-to-value mortgages to help first-time buyers get on the ladder would have been useful alongside the stamp duty cut - plus an ambitious council house-building programme to boost the affordable rental stock.
Such suggestions may raise eyebrows about cost, but big numbers are everywhere now and we have a government with a spend and debt record Jeremy Corbyn could only have dreamed of: the UK’s deficit is expected to reach 18 per cent of national income later this year, which is twice the size of the deficit at the depth of the financial crisis 12 years ago.
So Sunak should, perhaps, have done more to stimulate the property market in a way that would have been longer lasting and more fundamental, if less headline-grabbing.
But he has tried, and politicians of all colours having to form or propose policy at this most unexpected and unpredictable of times deserve to be cut a little slack. A much bigger test for them, and us, lies ahead in the months and years to come.
Let’s hope Sunak’s apocalyptic comments were melodramatic: if not, then by next March the ending of a stamp duty holiday may be the least of our worries.
*Editor of Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today, Graham can be found tweeting about all things property at @PropertyJourn