Triple whammy

There is a sweet sense of satisfaction when a giantkiller overturns the chances of one of the giants in the Premiership. It is that rare occasion when we can see an underdog in action, which also translates into a side with more English players. In a more globalised world, a notional predisposition is reinforced by national support, as a cosmopolitan Premiership still holds, at the lower levels, teams recognisably 'English'. Thus Wigan holds Chelsea.

Why are these notional predispositions important? Because they denoted a 'high trust' society and also accounted for a patience with their governors, that other countries often lacked. This patience was an unusual affair, and is falling away under the unique leaden weight of New Labour.

The signs of economic failure are bursting onto the scene. The falls in house prices are faster, wider and deeper then those seen in the early nineties. They are accompanied by higher inflation and falling disposable income due to higher taxes. New Labour has managed a triple whammy: reducing wealth (houses and pensions), reducing your income (taxes and inflation) and reducing public service (skoolzanhospitalz).

The personal assurances of Prime Minister Brown are counterproductive:

Gordon Brown responded yesterday by announcing that he was spending "every effort of mine, every day that I wake up" trying to keep the economy on track.

Amid talk that Labour's chances at the next general election rest largely on the success of the economy, the Prime Minister said: "At every point whenever there were world downturns, people have asked the question, can the British economy come through this? I understand that people ask the question. But we are on the side of the home owner and business owner."

The narrative of global cause, domestic effect has no ballast. It is already denied by large portions of the electorate who look for accountability and direction closer to home. Brown's evasion of responsibility and misdirection has worsened his ratings on economic competence. The vicious circle is reinforced by his personal inability to embrace his failures, since they strike at the heart of his project.