While Ed Miliband struggles to define the new generation, it is the old generation that is causing David Cameron the problems this morning.  Ken Clarke, living testament to the folly of the Government letting people work on into their 70s, has told the Observer that he thinks it possible that Britain’s economy will slip back into recession. Mr Clarke, whose attempts down the ages to claim the leadership of the Conservative Party show him to be less acquainted with the double than the triple dip,  is not, you understand, directly blaming George Osborne for this state of affairs;  yet as an endorsement of the Government’s economic policy, it is less ringing than a clay bell with a broken clapper.  Mr Cameron, understandably anxious that his party should be associated with something more than scorched earth economics, will not be pleased.

Which no doubt will bother the jolly Justice Secretary not one bit. Mr Clarke is a small island of self-confidence floating in a vast ocean of bonhomie and, unlike many other old-age pensioners, does not actually need the work. Besides, he is about to venture into one of the most hostile environments that he knows, the Conservative Party Conference, and his dander will be up.


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