In the last 2 years, there have been several embarrassing news stories describing how sensitive Government data has been "lost" - everything from people's medical records to names of MI5 agents have been copied on to CDs or memory sticks which have then been stolen or simply gone missing.
Now, it seems the latest economic data from the Bank of England has met a similar fate.
An enthusiastic Alistair Darling explained "We were in the middle of preparing a very positive statement about how the economy was rebounding strongly, with loads of stuff being manufactured and demand going through the roof. Then …guess what happened ? Well, you're not going to believe this, but I swear its true - some numpty downloaded all the data onto memory sticks and took them home with him for the weekend. He caught the 6.30 pm train at Kings Cross, and somewhere between York and Durham he went to the bog. When he got back to his seat - everything gone - vanished. Honestly, you can't trust anybody nowadays.
"But look on the bright side, at least we're no longer losing peoples' medical records on the train. It's just a lot of figures - money supply, LIBOR projections, unemployment forecasts - it doesn't really mean anything to anyone. Hell - even I don't understand some of it…. well, most of it actually.
When asked why the original master data couldn't be used, the Chancellor replied, rather nervously "Well… err… yes.. of course, the original master data is still on the Treasury computer … but its ….err… encrypted…or something. Anyway, I've forgotten my password. So let's not bother with that, just take my word for it - the economy is looking pretty good now. Mortgages, savings, pensions … all in excellent shape."