Its almost a nine hour flight from Heathrow to Barbados. Lots of time to read the newspapers. I usually only read the Western Mail and the Telegraph - and then only sometimes. Today, I read everything. Articles everywhere telling us about the hopelessness of our Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling. Firstly, he completely messed up his spending review, telling us that his proposals to ease Inheritance Tax rules were nothing to do with the Conservative proposals to do the same thing. No-one believed him. And since the review, he's been looking for a face-saving way to reverse the changes he proposed to Capital Gains rules, which infuriated business. Then we had the Northern Rock fiasco, which he completely lost control of, and which is going to see around 10 billions of our money going down the pan.
Now he's started trying to bully people, who are responding by just spitting in his eye. He's been telling energy suppliers to desist from following nPower's massive increase in prices - only for them to inform Mr Darling that half of the increases were extra Government taxes. So, its been a case of P*** Off Darling. And now the papers are full of him berating mortgage companies for not passing on the whole of the benefit of base rate cuts by the Bank of England. Smaller mortgage lenders will give him the same response - because they have no choice if they are going to stay solvent, because of the credit shortage probems. The announcement was just a PR stunt on the Chancelor's part. Alistair Darling is going to go down as the most unsuccessful Chancellor ever. And one of the quirkiest, most impossible to answer Trivial Pursuits questions of the future will be "Who was the Chancellor who followed Gordon Brown"