The figures released this morning showing that Britain remains in recession will come as a blow, not just to a government that has tried to talk things up, but to the whole country. This is apparently the longest recession in history, now that we have been in recession for six consecutive quarters.
France and Germany came out of recession six months ago. Will Gordon Brown admit that, contrary to what he said at the time, Britain was the least well prepared economy in Europe? Will he now admit that many of the measures the government have taken to get us out of recession haven't done what they were intended to do?
Not a chance. We have a government that hasn't got a single new idea about how to get the economy back on track. They've reduced VAT, borrowed to the hilt and even printed money. None of it has worked. Why? Because few people have confidence in their strategy - if that's what one could call it. People will only invest when they think things are on the right track.
George Osborne's task is to ensure that if and when he takes over at the Treasury, the money markets and small investors have confidence that he has what it takes to implement a new economic policy.