Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Don't be Like Jimmy Carter, Darling
Alistair Darlings comments this morning further enhance his image as a merchant of doom. He might as well have said 'the end is nigh'. Leaving aside the fact that he is having to promote short term policies drafted by Number Ten and not the Treasury, it is clear that Labour MPs are losing their patience with the Chancellor. What they want is someone who is more upbeat and can be positive about the long term future. They rightly ask that if the economy is supposedly so strong, why is the Chancellor talking it down and talking us further into a recession?
Alistair Darling is a British Jimmy Carter. In 1979 Carter talked about a 'national malaise' which was sweeping America. Darling's comments are very similar. A year later, Ronald Reagan swept to power on a wave of optimism. He exuded it. There's a lesson there for British Conservatives today. Optimism wins elections. Gloom and doom doesn't.