There's something particularly distasteful about this Government and their friends pretending to feel our pain. But they've tried to pretend they do.
Mervyn King started it this week. As he prepared to embark on a sumptuous dinner, dressed in his finest tuxedo, surrounded by some of the wealthiest men in the country, men of whom are profiting extensively from the growing economic gloom, he said that things might not be so lovely for ordinary people. He felt our pain. Looking like a cross between Corporal Jones and Ronnie Barker's Clarence, he offered few crumbs of comfort:
Again warning households to prepare for "average real take-home pay [to] stagnate this year", Mr King used his annual Mansion House speech to City grandees to predict that "the squeeze on real income growth is likely to mean that both house prices and consumer spending weaken together".
That's stagnating pay, while inflation - the bit that King is supposed to control, but has manifestly failed to control - skyrockets, especially when you look at staple foodstuffs. Sure, Jimmy Choos and plasma tellies are going down in price - because no cunt can actually afford them apart from King's pals in the Mansion House - creating an even more false impression of what's really going on.
I don't pretend to know much about economics, but King and Alistair Darling argue - as I understand it - that prices are going through the roof, despite stagnating wages. Their job is to stop prices going through the roof, but they have failed utterly to do so. Now, they tell us, even though they've already fucked it up, the only way to stop prices increasing even more is to make sure people's wages don't increase in line with inflation - you know, the headline inflation figure which doesn't take mortgages into account, which is counterbalanced by the falling cost of luxury items while basics soar in double-digits, which affects the poor far more than the rich - to make everyone in the country worse off. And somehow that magically will stop prices increasing. It hasn't done that yet, obviously, despite years of shit pay rises in both the private and public sectors, but somehow this time it'll do that. And that's their argument: we must suffer, but it's for our own good. This tactic hasn't worked before, but it will now. Somehow.
Meanwhile, Gordon Brown wants to tell us that he feels our pain too. Looking every inch the inept middle-management twit, he bombs off to Jeddah to ask oil producers to put their prices down, please. I imagine it's something like: "Look, I know you're fabulously wealthy because of oil, and that it's boom time for you, and you're even more tremendously rich now that prices are high, but would you mind awfully not being quite so rich? Please? Otherwise we'll, er, take 25 years to build some nuclear power stations - and that'll show you, won't it!"
"People who use oil are feeling the pinch, and it is hitting people's standards of living very heavily. There must be a new deal now, between the oil consumers and the oil producers.
To which the answer is - why? Why exactly will these oil producers say, oops yes Gordon, sorry pal, didn't realise that if we put prices up things would become more expensive. Well yes, even though our entire culture and economy is based around oil, we'll just not do that any more, because you asked nicely.
But there it is again. People are 'feeling the pinch'. The poor are feeling the 'pinch' worst of all, of course. Gordon must be so upset about that. If only there were some way of making things not so bad for people? If only there were a person in the country who could ease that pain - we could give him his own special name, and he could live in a special house, and control the economy and decide who feels the pinch more than other people. If only Gordon knew such a person? Oh well, never mind.
Best thing to do is jet off to absolute five-star luxury and beg the richest men in the world not to be quite so rich - it's a bit embarrassing now, boys. That'll get the public back on side. That'll mean you feel their pain.
Even worse is the idea I heard from a BBC journalist today that somehow Saudi Arabia were 'taking the lead' and were very upset about this whole making-money-from-oil-prices business. Yes, I'm sure they are. I'm sure they feel our pain too.