Today in the Guardian, Alistair Darling has done his best to undermine the Prime Minister’s long-awaited economic recovery plan. In an interview for the newspaper Darling’s assessment of the economic outlook was bleak.
The economic times we are facing “are arguably the worst they’ve been in 60 years,” he says bluntly. “And I think it’s going to be more profound and long-lasting than people thought.” He added that people were “pissed off” with Labour’s handling of the economy. Rather than being ready with the answers, this suggests the government is impotent.
In fact the whole tone of the interview is bleak. The very fact that Darling has resorted to an interview like this, atypical for him, is indicative of his desperation to put distance between himself and Brown.
Asked whether he expected Labour to hang onto its seat in the Fife by-election, Darling responds:
This coming 12 months will be the most difficult 12 months the Labour party has had in a generation, quite frankly. Both the general economic situation, and in terms of the politics. In the space of 10 months we’ve gone from a position where people generally felt we were doing OK to where we’re certainly not doing OK.
Update: Darling’s interview has hit. George Osborne asks: “who is telling the truth at the top of government?”