January 21, 2009 – 8:09 am

Obama took the oath of office yesterday, providing hope not seen since Kennedy’s inauguration. Unfortunately the emperor is just as naked as the one that just passed, as his coronation yesterday shows.

Obamas is just as blind as Bush. We have a new emperor and renewed hope, but the same old direction. Witness:

People are dancing in the streets of the nation’s capital, security personnel are all smiles and high-fives as they guide inauguration-goers toward the festivities, cheers and tears of joy flow like wine. All is well. The wicked witch is gone! A new regime, a regime of hope and optimism, today enters the palace. Hope! Hope above all else! But as I’ve said many times before, and at the risk of seeming so very cynical, I have a real problem with hope when it is false. Hope is wonderful if it is accompanied by possibility and truth. Hope that accompanies terminal illness, however, is delusion. Our economy is terminally ill, the prognosis is death, 100% guaranteed. No amount of celebration and goodwill and excitement and joy can change that reality.

They make the same mistakes in Britain too, failing to learn from the same old lessons. So whether it be weapons of mass destruction, “I did not have sex with that woman” or bailouts for banker billionaires,  Obama’s minions break their necks to look for hope and see no evil.

They don’t know what they’re doing, do they? With every step taken by the Government as it tries frantically to prop up the British banking system, this central truth becomes ever more obvious.

Yesterday marked a new low for all involved, even by the standards of this crisis. Britons woke to news of the enormity of the fresh horrors in store. Despite all the sophistry and outdated boom-era terminology from experts, I think a far greater number of people than is imagined grasp at root what is happening here.

The country stands on the precipice. We are at risk of utter humiliation, of London becoming a Reykjavik on Thames and Britain going under. Thanks to the arrogance, hubristic strutting and serial incompetence of the Government and a group of bankers, the possibility of national bankruptcy is not unrealistic.

The political impact will be seismic; anger will rage. The haunted looks on the faces of those in supporting roles, such as the Chancellor, suggest they have worked out that a tragedy is unfolding here. Gordon Brown is engaged no longer in a standard battle for re-election; instead he is fighting to avoid going down in history disgraced completely.

This catastrophe happened on his watch, no matter how much he now opportunistically beats up on bankers. He turned on the fountain of cheap money and encouraged the country to swim in it. House prices rose, debt went through the roof and the illusion won elections. Throughout, Brown boasted of the beauty of his regulatory structure, when those in charge of it were failing to ask the most basic questions of financial institutions. The same bankers Brown now claims to be angry with, he once wooed, travelling to the City to give speeches praising their “financial innovation”.

Yesterday marked the same old low for us: the false hopes of the new administration born of the broken promises of the previous one.

A usurpation of power at its very core.

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