Britain is heading for the IMF for funding, government ministers are admitting. They claim that there should be no stigma attached to the country making such a move, and have launched an extraordinary spin operation in preparation for it being needed.
The government spin operation is designed to make it seem like the most natural thing in the world so that when it happens ministers can be nonchalant and say calm down, we've been clear about this all along. It's a new kind of IMF, a reformed institution we can draw on. Nothing like 1976 then?
"No, think of it as going to the bank. You go to the hole in the wall don't you?" said a minister.
Fuck me, I'm off down the bank first thing tomorrow morning. Got to get there early for my billion pound bailout. Who shall I say sent me?
Developed countries are supposed to be able to finance themselves though a mix of raising taxes and borrowing on the open markets when they need to. When they can't and need a bail-out from the IMF they are bust. It doesn't matter how well it is dressed up as a relaxing trip to the spa.