WAS that the creaking of rigging we heard in the conference hall as our chancellor took the stage yesterday?
At last we know how George really feels, standing on the shifting deck of HMS Treasury, presiding over a surging sea.
In his own words, he feels “dwarfed by the scale and power of the daily flows of money in the international bond markets, swirling around ready to pick off the next country”.
Gosh – swirling, eh? Teetering between the Scylla of tentacled traders in their flow monster investment banks and the yawning Charybdis of the Eurozone’s debt plughole.
Longing for “calmer seas”, trying to project sternness as his eyes dart left and right between autocues like the frenetic movement of hands on a shifting tiller.
Wasn’t it Gordon who, in the manic model of the Bounty’s Captain Bligh, promised that Britain was “well-placed to weather the storm”?
There’s only so long a sane chancellor can stand on the deck nowadays before noticing that the rudder is broken and the sea far too vast and choppy for little old Blighty.
George might take comfort in the old-school jibes and Punch ‘n’ Judy moments, taking shots at an irrelevant opposition in the House.
But the whites of his eyes tell the real story: captaincy is no picnic.