Just watched John Prescott on Newsnight. He was embarrassingly awful. Its really hard to believe that this man was our Deputy Prime Minister for so many years. He was treating the current economic crisis which is facing the world as an amusing confusion of words. It wouldn't have been so bad if he had not been commenting on such serious issues. 'Its no time for a joker'.
What were the issues. Firstly ,the Labour Government Minister who is closest to Gordon Brown, said over the weekend that Britain could be in recession for up to 15 years, and that the recession would be worse than the 1930s. I do not believe that Ed Balls would have said this casually, or without the Prime Minister's blessing. This is a million miles away from what our Chancellor of the Exchequer told us in his Pre-Budget Report. This speech is bound to dominate tomorrow's media. Ed Balls should have been on Newsnight tonight.
And then there was a studio 'discussion' about where the fault lies for what's happened, prior to tomorrow's interrogation by MPs of Sir Fred Goodwin (and others). John Prescott looked as if he couldn't understand what the other three were saying, and launched into a ferocious attack on the regulatory system which had allowed banks and bankers to behave like casino players. It didn't seem to occur to him that the regulatory system had been put in place by a Government he was a leading member of. He kept going on about the long period of growth that has occurred under Labour, as if all this was as a result of Labour management of the economy - before condemning the implosion of the economy as if it was nothing to do with Labour policies at all. This is such a ridiculous proposition that perhaps John Prescott is absolutely the right man to put it forward.
But its the words of Ed Balls that should alarm us. Of course the Prime Minister could be trying to talk up the scale of the crisis, so that he can claim some credit if its not as bad as feared - an old trick this one. Or the Government hasn't got a clue where we are, or what to do for the best. I just think that the Governments of the world are suffering a collective madness. Every bone, nerve ending and brain cell in my body is telling me that the policies of so many Governments to spend our way out of trouble, as if there's no tomorrow is deeply flawed.