In most circumstances today's IMF report would be taken as a pretty damning indictment of the state of the economy and our prospects for recovery. However, because the IMF has stopped short of openly calling for a "plan B" the Chancellor's allies appear to be classifying this as a victory.
The calls for banking reform are growing. About time. The big crash was more than five years ago. Since then we've had Libor rate-fixing, bonuses for failed financiers, massive fines for malpractices by leading banks, mis-sold PPI, interest rate swaps, fraud, money-laundering and tax dodging. Scandal after scandal. Are we mugs or masochists? Why do we put up with it? The rot has got to stop.
With a rising number of Conservatives calling for a referendum before 2017 and the unlikely chances of this happening given that their coalition partners do not agree, the Europe question is going to be argued and debated for some time to come.
Osborne didn't need to genuflect towards the House of Mouse, because the UK has a well-deserved reputation as the home of high quality cinema and moviemaking. But for how long? Osborne is at the top of a government that has slashed arts funding to the bone, axed the UK Film Council and is generally doing a great deal of damage in the cultural arena.
Expectations of the Queen's Speech, in terms of economic measures, were low. Sadly, they turn out to be right. Nothing that was announced today will make much difference either to growth in the economy in the short-term or its potential to grow in the medium-term.
Asking 'does aid work?' is as absurd a question as 'do schools work?' or 'is government good?' Some aid works well and some doesn't. Sometimes schools fail. Sometimes governments get things wrong.
Each successive government of course blames the last for the financial mess it inherited but the truth is that the blame game pales in respect to apportioning blame for the 2008 global financial disaster.
One of the key areas of concern with Help to Buy is the second home option. This is obviously aimed at people who do not need help to get on the ladder and encourages the greed culture of owning multiple properties which could be a pitfall in the recovery of the property market. The recession should have taught people that a house is a home first and foremost- unfortunately this scheme has the potential to produce collective amnesia.
My, we are a gloomy lot. Last week, I discussed the possible impact of a triple-dip recession. Last Thursday's GDP figures suggest that Britain's economy has so far avoided this fate. However, it is also clear that the government's hopes of steady growth of 2 - 3% a year have yet to be realised. And YouGov research for the Resolution Foundation finds that five years of economic troubles have left a deep mark on public opinion.
Fifteen years ago Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and other statesmen mediated the un-mediatable and created the Northern Ireland that we know today. Some see the bargain as a grand failure. The creation of a parochial sectarian state suspended in a form of purgatory with a bloody history and no future.
Commentators who support the changes will focus on the simplification of the welfare system and improvement in work incentives that this new benefit will herald. Those worried about the impacts will wring their hands about likely difficulties with on-line claims, financial management and a small number of people who stand to receive less than under the current system. Both of these groups have a point.
I would respectfully submit that there is no such thing as a triple-dip recession. It is not as if the periods of expansion separating the dips were characterised by Chinese (or even German) growth. We have instead been in a six-year economic stall where growth has barely fluctuated by more than a few tenths of a per cent either side of zero. Growth, or lack of it, has largely become a rounding error.
Independence is a simple thing really. The ability to do as one pleases without outside interference. True, no country is truly independent in today's globalized world. But it is fallacious for Salmond is lead a vanguard suggesting independence would bring radical change to Scotland.
An unprecedented triple-dip recession has been averted, but yesterday's lacklustre growth figures mean our economy is simply back to where it was six months ago. This continues the overall picture of a flatlining economy in Britain ever since George Osborne's last spending review. In fact, this is now the weakest recovery for over 100 years.
With a budget deficit larger than that of Greece, a reduction in public spending is essential if the government wants to achieve sustainable and continuing economic growth. But the ring-fencing of areas of very high government spending has made it much harder for the Chancellor to come remotely close to balancing the books.
John Mann MP's comments in response to Thursday's UK GDP figures, for the first quarter of 2013, display a sort of unhelpful ignorance that is not conducive to any meaningful discussion on economic policy, or constructing a worthwhile criticism of the government's economic policy.