Red-faced economists and the media were left with egg on their faces as 'surprise' figures out today showed the recession depression hasn't ended. It's the worst ever. Reverse ferrets all round. Dozy Darling is trying to put a gloss over it. Deluded Brown has some explaining to do.
"Growth will come," said the chancellor taking a chance. "But it will take time." Is that the best you can do, Darling?
Red-faced ferrets struggled to change headlines and copy. The government statistics office (ONS) had released grim news. News agency, Reuters, put it on the wires:
"The economy contracted unexpectedly in the third quarter of this year, squashing hopes of an end to the downturn and instead making the current recession the longest on record, official data showed on Friday."
A duped media had fallen over itself, buying into false hope and optimism. The BBC had cleared the decks, ready to swamp output with swathes of 'good news': that nasty bout of depression recession was just a cute little downturn after all.
Earlier The Times had a go with: 'Britain is set to climb out of recession'. The Guardian reported 'Figures show rise from recession'.
From ITN it was: 'Figures to show UK out of recession'. The myth-making Mirror gleefully reported: 'Figures show rise from recession'.
The shock ONS figures revealed GDP fell by 0.4 percent between July and September. The economy has contracted for six successive quarters for the first time since records began in 1955.
Deluded Brown was all set to announce the recession depression is officially over for him and everything's hunky-dory in La-La-Land, pinning his hopes on recovery as part of the cunning election ploy.
Many were taken in by the spinning grin. New Labour attack dogs were ready to round on Honest Osborne as a fag-end government put its money on a last roll of the dice, playing the mythical false hope game.
But figures were much worse than analysts' expectations of a 0.2 percent rise, according to Reuters. This is now the longest recession since records began.
Wriggling out of the reverse ferret, Reuters reports: "Not a single analyst out of the 35 polled by Reuters before the data had expected a negative reading."
The shocking figures make a mockery out of all the Brown sauce that "Britain is best placed to weather the global downturn”. At this rate, the UK will be the last G7 country to come out of recession.
The economy is sinking fast, despite pumping in a painful £175 billion over-hyped stimulus to prop up a decade of disaster.
Bunkered Brown and his scary grin have been forced back in hiding with only a harsh dose of reality for comfort, until the next set of 'miracle recovery' figures.
In the real world, the green shoots sham is withering. The Land Registry is set to axe 1,500 jobs as part of a cost-cutting plan. Official unemployment is topping two and a half million. Behind the fiddled figures, it's gone through the roof.
Retail sales are stuck in a rut, confounding spinners and doggedly refusing to budge. Manufacturing and construction are both taking a big hit.
Banks are sailing off into Galbraith's 'wild blue yonder' after trousering taxpayer's cash in the trillion pound bank bail-out con.
A mountain of national debt keeps piling up. A dire economy is disappearing down a black hole.
The Deluded One continues to take the country down the road to rack and ruin. His crafty plan to fool some of the voters some of the time lies in tatters.
Bottom picture: Private Eye