Two articles on The Telegraph grabbed my attention this morning. First I read the item about President Obama's speech to the US nation regarding the economic crisis and the second was Simon Heffer's comment piece on the failure of the Tories and Labour Party to come up with any answers of their own.
Heffer seems concerned that the middle classes may not remain as stoical as they have done in the past when faced with a serious challenge. Speaking about how our fathers and grandfathers had come through wars, didn't have access to the material things we have now or the opportunities for travel we have now, Heffer says ....
The height from which our people now have to fall is far greater. Their tolerance of hardship, failure and adversity is doubtless generally much lower. The absence of war and poverty have softened us. The Dunkirk spirit is something bought on a booze cruise.
So there may be no "middle class" riots here this year. But who would rule them out when and if the time comes that democracy throws up no solution to the problems we face?
Heffer says that democracy has no solution to the problems we face because, as he says, neither the Tories or Labour seem to have a clue what to do about them. This is actually a little unfair. It's not that they don't know what to do - it's because the answers to our problems now lie in that huge chunk of sovereignty we have handed to the EU. Obama made it very clear in his speech where he thinks the answers lie.
"The answers to our problems don't lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities, in our fields and our factories, in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth."
That is a barely concealed message to the world that the US is going to be using protectionism to solve its problems in this economic crisis - and they are right to do so because it will work. Brown and Cameron can't do the same thing here because we no longer control the mechanisms that would allow us to do that.
The answers to these problems do lie out of our reach - and as long as we remain in the EU they will stay there.