The catastrophic state of public finances were revealed today, just in time for Parliament to escape for its summer recess and avoid the embarassing questions surrounding the loss of the nations capital, pensions and collective savings.
Any way, you look at the picture, the view is a bleak one, with one million people now reportedly on part-time working. At the same time people are still failing to grasp the extent of the mess we are in and the equally harsh fact that local councils are in much the same position as the average household, in having to count the pennies very carefully indeed.
Why can't you do 'this' or 'that' people ask me? The answer is that there's no money available to do what everyone asks and we can't get an Ocean Finance loan either! McAfferty's cat, otherwise Gordon Brown has spent all the money and if you are lucky enough to have anything left by the end of this financial year, he'll be coming after that too in the next budget.
I was in London yesterday and the betting is on an April General Election, when you'll have your chance to tell McAfferty to either sling his hook or try and climb out of the hole his prudent fiscal policies and 'Golden Rules' have dug for us all. By then, the true size of the problem will have broken on most people and Government won't be in a state to fudge the figures any further.
This week's Norwich Parliamentary by-election is going to be a revealing test of public opinion. Labour's candidate, Chris Ostrowski, is being treated in hospital for suspected swine flu and perhaps the best possible advice to give him is to stay in bed and watch it happen on TV!