Gordon Brown accepted today that his various attempts to kick-start the economy were probably doomed to failure. He said he was convinced the individual ideas were fine, but kick-starting was a really bad name for it.
"Kick-starting nearly always takes four or five attempts, and you have no guarantee that it will actually work," he said. "In fact you are just as likely to flood the engine or twist your ankle."
He went on to say that he had chosen the term 'kick-starting' rather than the old-fashioned idea of 'hand-cranking the economy' that Alistair Darling had wanted to use. Analysts suggested that it could only have been worse if he had suggested "Pull-starting the economy with one of those strings you wind around a pulley on an outboard motor."
In fact according to some, the Reduced VAT Initiative probably had a similar effect on the economy as an attempted bump start would have on a Challenger Tank.
However, Mr Brown was adamant that the problem was a naming issue rather than any fault in the proposals themselves. He suggested that he probably should have based the early initiatives on "Electric-starting the economy" for them to have any real chance of success.
The Bank of England has argued that even this is not going far enough. "What the economy should really be aspiring to is a keyless ignition system and one of those big red buttons with 'Start' printed on it," suggested Mervyn King, "And ideally some Formula One start-lights with extra bright bulbs in the greens."
"Never mind kick-starting. What we need now are initiatives that will 'Saturn-Five Launch the Economy with Twin Turbos and Nitrous Injection'," he said.