Saturday, 30 August 2008

Oh My Darling

He's not the sharpest political knife in the draw. In fact, he's probably a spatula. And yet, of all the sleaze balls in Gordon Brown-Trousers' government, Chancellor Alistair Darling is the only one to come clean about the extent of the economic crisis now engulfing Britain.

Only last week, the soon-to-be-former Prime Minister was toughing things out, putting on a cheery (for him) confident (for him) expression and telling us that the credit crunch wouldn't be biting nearly so hard in a few months' time. I didn't believe him then, and I most certainly don't believe him after reading about the Chancellor's comments to the Guardian.

We're in the thick of the worst economic problems for 60 years, he says, and warns that the impact is going to be more profound and longer lasting that people think. No more than this person thinks, that's for sure. I've seen this problem coming for the past year or more, and fully expected it to be at least as vicious as it currently seems to be.

Still, Darling seems to have his finger on the pulse of the common man, who still can't quite get to grips with the idea that the economic good times are well and truly over. He's also quite accurate divined that voters are "pissed off" with Labour. No shit, Sherlock!

We've been getting ever-more pissed off with them for quite a while, but their behaviour over the past year or so has been even worse than usual. What with the election that never was, the total lack of referendum on the EU Treaty, a seemingly bottomless tide of sleaze engulfing Labour and even the Speaker of the House and the effects of years of Gordon Brown-Trousers' economic incompetence coming home to roost, we've had quite enough of a Labour Government, thank you.

Darling seems to have grasped that, dimly, and hopes that frank admissions of pissed-off-ness will get him through the next few weeks - or, at least, absolve him of the blame for most of the problems created by Gordon Brown-Trousers when HE was Chancellor. And, in a way, he deserves to survive, insofar as any Labour minister should be within 100 miles of Whitehall. Most of his problems really do stem from the incredibly incompetent actions of his predecessor, who, even now that he's moved on, still seems to be balling up the economy.

With the inevitable in-fighting over leadership about to break out again, the Labour party could do worse than consider Darling as a caretaker leader. Nothing on Earth is going to win them the next election, but, in their death throes, Brown, Miliband et al could do an awful lot more damage to Britain before they are finally ejected by a downright disillusioned electorate. Perhaps, if the more temperate Chancellor were to be allowed to run the show, he could at least guide the party to a soft landing instead of the full throttle crash that seems inevitable right now.

They may then be able to sort out their differences in private, without trashing the country in the process, and set about mounting an effective opposition to Crazy Cameron's new landslide majority. And make no mistake, such an opposition is going to be sorely needed. Cameron is little better than Blair (I discount the idea that he's no better than Brown, on the basis that a maddened rhino would be a better bet than the current PM) and we're going to need something to keep him in check. Darling might just be the man to do it.

Billy Seggars.

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