“There is no doubt we are facing very large fiscal deficits over the next two to three years. Given how big those deficits are, I think it would be sensible to be cautious about going further in using discretionary measures to expand the size of those deficits. The level of the fiscal position in the UK is not one that would say: 'Well, why don’t we just engage in another significant round of fiscal expansion?’ ”
The money has run out. Our tax base has collapsed, public spending is through the roof, and government borrowing is higher than it has ever been in our entire peacetime history. On top of all that, we have already hocked our great-granchildren to a bunch of foreign money-lenders, who are starting to get very twitchy:
In short, we are in the worst doo-doo since the Black Death.
Unfortunately, whereas in 1348 the fabled Edward III was at the controls, this time we're in the hands of a deranged spendaholic who knows he has only months to live.
Believe me - unless he's stopped, he'll take us all down.
Since yesterday's shock attack on Gordo by Governor King, we've been treated to 24 hours of frantic spin as to what he actually meant. Treasury minister Angela Eagle was sent onto Newsnight to say that he was actually supporting Brown, but she was so unconvincing it was embarrassing to watch. Geoffrey Robinson was less embarrassing on R4 Today, but just as unconvincing.
The most interesting line comes from sources who wish to remain anonymous, but who may be based in the vicinity of 1 Horse Guards Road. It says that the Governor was actually speaking up in support of embattled patriots inside the Treasury.
The story is that these patriots are engaged in a desperate struggle to stop Gordo doing any more damage. Supposedly, they know as well as the rest of us that his intended second fiscal boost is unaffordable and that it may shatter confidence in the gilt market.
So patriotic Old Skool Sir Humphries have finally summoned up the courage to speak for Britain in the face of Labour's fiscal lunacy. Well, more precisely, they've summoned up the courage to ask the Governor to speak for Britain.
Hmm. It all sounds pretty rich coming from a department stuffed full of Brown appointees, and which has happily gone along with one of the biggest public spending splurges Britain has ever seen. Less than two years ago they were even lining up to applaud him on live TV:
An eleventh hour conversion to spending restraint - even if true - is about as convincing as those Nazi generals who attempted to treat with the Americans in early 1945.
George is going to need his own people, and the denazification of HMT has to start at the top.
Let's hope he's got a mole who can identify some real Old Skool internal candidates for early promotion. It will be a telling commentary on 13 years of Labour misrule if he has to bring in outsiders.