The FT today asserts that Chancellor Darling's bizarre self flagellation over the weekend, when he stated that the UK economy is facing times as bad as any ever seen in the last 60 years, may in fact have been a tad overdone.
"The chancellor also claimed this weekend that the economic times facing Britain were arguably the worst in 60 years. His precise meaning has been in dispute but it would certainly be nonsense to suggest the UK faces the worst downturn in six decades.
It is true that in specific areas – trust among financial institutions, in particular – the UK is in very bad shape by historical standards. But, more generally, the assertion is untrue."
I have to concur, quite why the Chancellor came out with this bizarre assertion remains to be clarified. There are a number of possibilities:
1 He knows he is about to be sacked, and wants to go out "with a bang".
2 He has given up and lost the plot.
3 He knows something about the economy that no one else, including other members of the Treasury or government, knows.
Whatever the real reason, it would be advisable for the government and Darling to get a grip; the economy, and the citizens of this country, are not best served by such public flagellation and rifts.