It was far worse in our day! Oh really?

Is this the worst recession in our life time? Over at NI Crunch talk, a bold attempt to get local business talking, I’ve offered a different thought based on a session with Lord Donoughue, special adviser to Jim Callaghan during the IMF crisis of 1976 and the following politically fatal winter of discontent.

Not that things are exactly chipper today of course, even according to the very limited measure of the consumer prices index (CPI) showing a less than expected fall in inflation but with deflation looming as the real enemy. The Times records the ominous details of the Bank of England report:

“Recent figures from the high street indicate that the Government’s 2.5 percentage point cut in VAT has so far failed to reignite consumer spending in the run-up to Christmas.”

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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