As has long been suspected, well for a few months anyway, Kraft foods has launched a £10 billion bid for Cadbury. Nothing to remarkable about that, but the potential conjunction of the chocolate and cheese firms comes with remarkable synchronicity with a statement from the British Chamber of Commerce that although they forecast eventual growth, any growth that eventually comes will be lower than inflation, i.e. real terms decline, due mostly to a complete lack of investment in the private sector. In other words a state of depression.
What is so synchronous about those two events? Well the fact that stories have started circulating originating from civil servants that Our Leader has been given a list of long items that he must not eat, including matured cheese and chocolates. The reason has not been given, but the list looks suspiciously like a ban on foods containing tyramine, which is usually given when a patient is prescribed monoamine oxidase inhibitors, a powerful antidepressant drugs, usually administered when the more modern SSRI (e.g. Prozac) drugs have failed.
Speculation about the Prime Minister's health problems are not limited to whether he will be able to see his way to the podium at the next Labour Conference, but his state of mind if he manages to get that far. The extended summer holiday from parliament may well have been due to the health of the premier and the need to keep him out of the public eye while a new course of drugs is tried.
But the statements coming from Downing Street have the air of violent mood swings. This weekend, in response to the damning report from the Sunday Times that it was Brown who blocked discussion of Libyan compensation for victims of IRA semtex, we hear, and the BBC duly obliges with its spin, that Brown is now in favour of such compensation. Let us not forget that Libya agreed three out-of-court compensation deals with American victims of IRA atrocities after lobbying by the last President Bush, which makes Brown look weak and is why gaddhaffi is happy to rebuff Brown's new plea for compensation
Worse, after Brown compulsively obsessed about the $5 trillion stimulus to the heads of states that had already left recession, we had a statement from Liam Byrne that the government actually aimed to halve the deficit (7% of GDP? not nearly enough), and that the government was focussing on repaying the debt. Not if you are only planning on halving the deficit, you aren't. You are still borrowing £100 billion a year, not repaying debt. Perjhaps they think we are all on drugs.
If the stories about Brown's mental health are true, and if there is any truth to the list of banned foods opposition politicians should be asking questions, because someone under a severe depression is not fit to run the country, or in particular the armed forces or hold the nuclear key to our nuclear arsenal.
Still, if Kraft do buy Cadburys and the deal gets through the MMC and European Commission, then perhaps they could send a hamper to Downing Street: some cheeses, a few boxes of chocolates, potted meats and a bottle of Chianti, and Brown might get the message.