Political scribblers and speakers always recall the moment when governments start to collapse but their conclusions are usually reached in hindsight.

John Major's reign began its decline after withdrawal from the ERM when his credibility fell on a single Black Wednesday. Thereafter there was downhill party schism and scandal until merciful defeat in 1997.

Will it be the same following Labour's troubles of last May--dangerous prisoners let loose from truly open prisons; unhappy hospitals; a sexually too happy Deputy Prime Minister?

We suspect not. The real crises are financial failures, and they have not yet--despite a yawning public pension crisis--been reached. …

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