Don't Look Too Good, Nor Talk Too Wise
Its response was characteristically decent: it whined about "doom and gloom merchants" who bad-mouthed the economy, undermined confidence, insulted the Queen, forgot who won the war, and in general did their best to destroy what was left of the country by pointing out the calamitous effect Conservative policy was having upon it. The interregnum's spiritual heir, faced with a rather similar set of circumstances, has responded with characteristic honesty, imagination and political flair: he has urged against "talking the country down", despite (and, presumably, because of) the IMF's recent claim that Britain is worst placed among the developed countries to cope with the economic crisis. "I have utter confidence not only in the British people's determination to come through this, but that people will work together to make sure Britain emerges from this," babbled the erstwhile victor in the war on antiboomibustitude, with his usual Nigerian Handful Guide to Speak British phraseology. He also drew comparisons between the present difficulties and the nineteen-thirties, thus pointing the way towards national optimism.
A prominent feature of the bunker mentality is its clinging to past triumphs and worn-out strategies. Gordon's premiership, unfortunately, has so many past triumphs that he has been forced to fall back on the Britishness thing: "The British spirit is to see a problem, identify it, and get on with solving it"; something that would never occur to a foreigner. "Once a problem hits us we are determined and resolute and we are adamant that we are going to deal with that problem"; a state of mind that is regrettably alien to those many lesser nations who are adamant that their own problems can hit as they please. When Gordon has done his bit for the war against climate change by flying back from Davos, he is expected to meet a representative from the owners of the American economy. Doubtless Gordon will advise him that, if only the Heathen Chinee could be more like the British, they might be nearly as well placed to cope with recession as we are.