jeudi 21 mai 2009

Dark humour

Alistair Darling, the British Economic Minister, issued a statement on the economy on Monday saying that the recession, "...will be over by Christmas." Perhaps he was being blithely sincere and perhaps even correct. It would take a leap of faith to believe it, though, given the fact that the Labour Party is jammed with people who are constantly 'economical with the truth' and more often than not wrong. But Darling's words must have been chosen with knowledge that the phrase "It'll be over by Christmas," was used by Generals in World War One to justify tactics and offensives and it was a saying that was meant to draw a line under present difficulties, they wil come to an end, and associate a religious element to their policies, for like the Messiah, the fruits of our decisions are on their way. During the Great War, the phrase became a joke, a rightly cynical popular response to the latest suicidal offensive on the front. (In 1914, the Generals should have added "...1918." to the end of the phrase). Perhaps Darling is ignorant of the provenance of the saying. But surely in that case some civil servant would have told him how unfortunate his words sounded. Because REL's prefered interpretation of Darling's words is that he knows full well that the current slump won't be over by December 2009 but that, like the First World War, this recession won't be over for a long time.
He's just taking the piss.