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Budget Day

I haven't yet seen the programme on BBC 2 tonight called Inside Obama's White House but I will. However I heard a clip on the Today programme this morning where we were hearing about the moment when unemployment figures were given to Obama and no one realised how bad everything was before they got into the White House.

Now that story can be multiplied lots of times in our own nation (remember the letter from the outgoing treasury minister to the incoming Lib Dem minister: there's no money left).

My question is how much do incoming goverments not know about the state of things before they get in the door? Is this not frightening that no one knows what's really going on? So a whole administration can be rocked within the first five minutes because their priorities have to immediately change in order to simply keep things going.

And so again when the chancellor stands up tomorrow as well as the leader of the opposition we have to recognise budget day has become purely a game of politics because we all know you cannot predict what is going to happen given all the good news in the autumn and now we've got even greater cuts.

There is something about integrity here is there not, that you don't spin a promise you are uncertain you can keep because it makes good headlines for a moment. You lose not just integrity but trust.

It's a kingdom lesson too about promising the earth and then you get the cross. But then with kingdom promises, you just never know whats round the corner...

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