26 March 2009

Brown can avoid further suffering

Brown needs to think again before he leaves these historical islands to rack up more air miles. So far this week we have had:

- King sending Brown a thermal nuclear missile and then running off to spill the beans to HMQ;

- Brown being forced back track on a global stimulus package;

- The financial markets giving Brown a ‘V’ sign over Government borrowing;

- Stephen Byers telling Brown he has wasted billions on the cut in VAT and saying the G20 will fail;

- Dan Hannan launching his own Exocet missile at Brown; and

- Myners suffering amnesia over Goodwin’s pension arrangements.

Today brings further bad news to the man that wants to save the world:

1. Obama may scupper the Copenhagen climate change deal due to the scale of opposition in Congress.  It is reported he needs another six months win over support for any proposal;

2. Retail sales growth slows to 0.4%  in February compared to 12 months previously, the smallest increase since 1995.  Kingfisher and H&M profits slump;

3. Matthew Norman writes brilliantly in the Indy and concludes:

If Gordon, ever-more remotely marooned on his fantasy island of vast global influence and unfettered domestic command, backs down and muffles the stimulus hunting cry next week, it will leave him looking, to borrow from the resignation of yet another embittered former Chancellor, in office but not in power. If he doesn't – if he ploughs on with the demand for even more colossal spending and debt – he will be at war with the Bank of England, and at DefCon Two with his next-door neighbour.

There is no obvious way out of this one. He has been on his electoral death bed for ages, of course, ever since that definitive week in October 2007 when he cluck-cluck-clucked his way out of going to the country. But this may well be seen as the week he ran out of appeals for clemency, because the only quantative easing available to him now appears to involve the child-proof lid on that bottle of Downing Street strychnine.

To save himself further humiliation perhaps Moses should concoct some international incident so he can downgrade next weeks G20 to finance minister level!

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