Alex Massie

Department of Hackery

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One of the things that distinguishes a good columnist from the ordinary, run-of-the-mill shill is the ability to treat their own party's failings as severely as they would condemn the blunders committed by the other lot. Similarly, there's something to be said for the rigour that consistency demands. Polly Toynbee may be correct (though I'd wager she isn't) that Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling played a blinder on Monday, but does anyone imagine that if it was a Conservative government presiding over this recession she would write anything as, I don't know, cheerful and complacent, as this?

Even if unemployment reaches 3 million, that still leaves 90% in secure jobs. Most people will suffer not at all in this recession: on the contrary they will do well as prices fall and the real value of their earnings rises.

On the other hand, if La Toynbee is correct and this is indeed the moment in which Labour unfurled a moth-eaten banner proclaiming "social justice" then the result of the next election is not in doubt.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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