It is, as he says, unusual for a chancellor to suggest that the economy is improbably bad. But it’s also very unusual for the opposition to buy into the concept of ‘talking the economy down’. How do the Tories now attack the state of the economy without looking like hypocrites? For instance, their first response to Darling was when George Osborne said:
It's not clear whether Alistair Darling meant to tell us the truth about the mess 10 years of a Labour government has left our economy in, but he has certainly let the cat out of the bag.
How is that not talking the economy down?
And another thing: isn’t going on all the time about a “broken society” talking society down? If you give the impression that masses of teenagers go around all the time carrying knives, say, in which direction is that going to “nudge” teenage knife-carrying rates?