Peter Hoskin

Can Darling survive the media blitzkrieg?

Can Darling survive the media blitzkrieg?
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After the grim speculation over the weekend, there's little comfort for Alistair Darling in today's papers.

The Telegraph runs with the finding that the Chancellor's tax crack-down on non-doms will actually cost the Treasury some £2 billion.  Whilst the Times lands a triple blow via a leader on the "misguided" tax proposals; an article by William Rees-Mogg, entitled "Why Mr Darling is a menace to Britain"; and a scathing piece by Anatole Kaletsky.

The last article is particularly damning, as it sets about demolishing the "reasons to be confident" that Darling outlined in a speech last week.  Darling's kidding himself over the state of the economy, says Kaletsky, and is thus standing in the way of revival.  Maybe the Chancellor should join James Purnell in remembering that "you have to recognise the problem to deal with the problem".  

In the end, Kaletsky makes his own "modest proposal", and the spirit of it should chime throughout Whitehall:

"...less complacency from the Treasury and fewer ludicrous boasts from the Chancellor."