Friday, January 16, 2009

Sensitive shoots

It's amazing how much analysis of politicians' language goes on. The recent "green shoots" comment by Baroness Vadera is a classic case. From what I have seen of the fuller text of the interview, her comment was a very tentative suggestion that in the credit market things had eased a little bit (citing the case of a company that had raised a lot of money) and followed up by saying it's too early to say how these shoots may grow.

It's hardly a "mission accomplished" gaffe (not that Bush actually said it), but it shows you can't say anything if you have that kind of public profile. Too many (older) commentators and politicians remembered Norman Lamont's "green shoots" of 1991 to let her get away with it.

The truth is, of course, more complicated than the headlines, but I fear the nearest we get to green shoots are more jobs in the cut-price retail sector while factories close for ever.

At this rate we really will be Napoleon's nation of (pound-) shopkeepers.

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