Mr Clogg foretells a "winter of economic misery" for the Prime Monster as inflation hits an 11-year high, nearly DOUBLE Mr Frown's target; as schools and libraries across the country close because council workers are on strike for a pay rise that will let them go on EATING; and as Sooty performs a TOTALLY UNSURPRISING U-Turn on green tax.
So, surprisingly, it's all going rather well for the man who claims to have written all the Government's economic policies: Master Gideon Oboe.
Really: you keep claiming they've nicked your policies; we're going to notice that those policies are RUBBISH!
And this is in spite of him being totally sliced to pieces by the URBANE Mr Gavin Essler on the Newsnight Show last night. (You can tell just HOW badly Master Oboe came unstuck from the fact that he actually had to use the "I couldn't disagree with you more" cliché. Sad.)
The Conservatory claim to economic competence relies on the FALLIBILITY of MEMORY.
It's not JUST that they hope people will forget (and people DO forget) how truly terribly they HORLICKSED up the economy with the recessions of the Eighties and Nineties, the Lawson Boom-and-Bust, Black Wednesday (with Mr Balloon in the shadows), or the Poll Tax debacle. But they also want to MAKE people misremember how history happened through constantly repeating (BIG LIE style) the totally false claim that the Labour's "economic golden era" was built on the foundations laid by the Conservatories.
That is TOTAL HONK!
The Conservatories left the economy in TATTERS in 1997. They had tripled the national debt to cover the fact that they had no way of making the economy work. They left in place plans for tax and spending that they themselves have admitted they could not have followed.
Everyone (and this is what revisionist Conservatory historians rely on) seems to have forgotten the STRINGENT and PRUDENT first term of the Labour, when Mr Frown actually EARNED his reputation. It was jolly painful for a lot of people then, but with a lot of perseverance (and a great deal of luck from the Dot-Com Boom and a whopping great raid on the nation's pensions) Mr Frown managed to pull the economy back from the brink of the GRAVE where the Conservatories' carelessness and incompetence had left it.
THAT is where the last decade of "good times" came from, not from ANYTHING that the last Conservatory government did.
Unfortunately, "spendaholics" are like alcoholics: you're never really CURED. So Mr Frown lost his mind and started spending with GAY ABANDON like money was going out of fashion – as apparently, it turns out, it has done! – and we should not have been at all surprised.
It was those MIDDLE years, those "please love us" years, those let's fight a pointless war in the Middle-East years that really blew the kitty. Ironically, if Mr Frown had LISTENED when people said he should start to spend money SOONER, then he could have spent LESS, not needing to splurge to make up for so many lean years, and then we would be in a more stable position now.
So Mr Frown earned his reputation in the PRUDENT years, but then threw it away when he abandoned prudence.
The Conservatories NEVER had that reputation to start with!
The so-called policy announcements (they're not REALLY policies since they STILL all get expressed as "aspirations" and "ambitions" and "at the appropriate juncture, in the fullness of times-es") that come dribbling out of Mr Oboe's office are all just so many populist mantras:
inheritance tax cut (big cheer from the Hate Mail) no matter that it's only for the toppermost six percent of the population;
let's fiddle with fuel duty so petrol never gets more expensive (big cheer from Jeremy "von" Clarkson) no matter how high oil goes or how much it might cost the exchequer and
let's import Americaland's get-out-of-bankruptcy-free-card Chapter Eleven for companies in trouble (big cheer from the good chaps in the City) no matter that Chapter Eleven is a parachute for incompetent management rescuing them from the consequences of bad decisions while still costing the workers plenty, that it DISTORTS the whole idea behind a FREE MARKET where failure is a painfully necessary part of the process, or for that matter whether Chapter Eleven actually makes ANY SENSE AT ALL in British Law where we already HAVE administration practice before insolvency!
Frankly, the only thing more TERRIFYING than Mr Oboe's LUDICROUS suggestions is that there is every appearance that, with Mr Frown apparently drunk-in-charge, Sooty really is implementing them!
No wonder it's all gone a bit PETE TONG!