23 March 2010

Budget eve message from Alistair Darling at the crossroads

Last year, I marked Budget day by posting the remarkable sequence from the early section of Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech, in which he showed that even something as unpromising as banking could be developed into a powerful and extended metaphor (HERE).

This year, I thought I'd mark the occasion with a clip of some economists - the governor of the Bank of England, Nobel laureate Joseph Stigliz and former chief economist at Shell, Vince Cable - showing how to deploy imagery about bumpy roads, party-poopers, tail-spins and illnesses to talk about our recent economic woes.

But then I noticed that HM Treasury had just posted something a bit more topical on YouTube, namely a video of the Chancellor Exchequer not telling us very much about his plans for tomorrow's big day.

As only 139 people have viewed it so far*, this could well be your first chance to see it. Apparently, we're at 'something of a crossroads', the government can 'help unlock private sector investment' and 'our competitors are not standing still' - and that's your lot as far as Mr Darling's imagery is concerned.

And, if you're a bit hard of hearing, don't worry: we tax-payers have paid someone to transcribe it and insert sub-titles (which has also saved me quite a bit of time and effort).

We'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if he's got any more metaphors up his sleeve, not to mention whether he's going to 'turn left or right' at the crossroads.

Meanwhile, and to keep you going until then, here are some rather more uninhibited metaphors from the economists mentioned above:

* In the first hour since putting this post together, the number of YouTube views rose dramatically from 139 to 223 - which really makes you appreciate the commendable value for money that HM Treasury is getting from our taxes.

** P.S. A comment added by 'headless' makes the interesting point that whoever posted this video - presumably the Treasury - made it impossible for anyone to rate or make a comment on it!


headless said...

and both Comments and Ratings are disabled.

Democratic as ever...

Max Atkinson said...

headless - Well spotted! Have added your astute observation, for which thanks, as a PS to the post.