'A terrible thing, a recession. Inexorably, unemployment has climbed from 1.2 million to 3 million. Counting methods have altered, but some say joblessness is heading towards 3.4 million, others to 3.8 million. Across the country, it's carnage, misery and there is no end in sight.
'If you believe the Opposition, the government of the day has a lot to answer for. In under a year, GDP has collapsed by 3%, industrial production by 9%. The well-off have had their essential tax cuts, but still the national burden is increasing. An expansion in the tax take of fully 4.5% of the country's income is inevitable. And somehow, despite all the bold words from the politicians, public spending continues to climb.
'Grim, isn't it? Grim enough, certainly, if you still entertain hopes that there is such a thing as progress in British political life. After all, each of the statistics in the preceding flurry is drawn not from newspapers excoriating Gordon Brown, but from the history books. They are part of the record of the first Thatcher government, the one that saved Britain - it says here - from stagnation, humiliation and permanent decline.
'30 years ago, when she got to Downing Street she uttered some "awful humbug", in the words of one of her new ministers, purporting to be a prayer by St Francis of Assisi, but in fact a nineteenth-century invention. "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony," she said. Margaret Hilda Thatcher did not specify why discord might arise.' (Herald article).