Logic and magic and legerdemain

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Iain Martin in Yesterday's Telegraph blog....

I have a theory about what exactly Brown is up to with these diversionary tactics, which I'll post on later. But for now, remember the bread and circuses aspect to this 'hunt the banker' chase after Goodwin. He deserves the public anger but remember that it suits the government for attention to be diverted from as yet unspecified billions which will cripple the taxpayer towards, instead, the smaller but more easily understood £650,000 going to Fred the Shred.

Gordon Brown has form: he usually has a populist story leaked for a reason. And it's often designed to divert attention from an even bigger story.

And five hours later in the same blog....

As the flames from this story grow higher, the leaking last night of the detail that Godwin gets £650,000 a year, now, for leaving, is starting to look like the most stupid leak for many a year. Its effect may have been to obscure the detail about the bail-out, but it has now spun out of control.

So, even by this government's lofty standards, a piece of populist misdirection that, had it been performed by Derren Brown, would have drawn gasps of admiration from a dumbfounded audience. Or rather it would be, were it not for the fact that for such prestidigitation to have the desired effect, it's generally a good idea if the victim doesn't see the illusionist's fumbling hands and the cards cascading to the floor.

Surely by now everyone's onto the Prime Minister's increasingly desperate and transparent efforts to save his floundering government and his own reputation.

Not quite everyone, it would appear.


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