"We are confronted with a situation where the scale of deficits is truly extraordinary. This reflects the scale of the global downturn, but it also reflects the fact that we came into this crisis with fiscal policy on a path that wasn't sustainable and a correction was needed."
"There will certainly need to be a plan for the lifetime of the next parliament, contingent on the state of the economy, to show how those deficits will be brought down, if the economy recovers, to reach levels of deficits below those which were shown in the budget figures."
The extent of the rift between Threadneedle Street and Downing Street is clear from this FT report on today's meeting, too.
Quite extraordinary and one imagines that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot have enjoyed learning of what Sir Mervyn had said. He is of course quite correct and it needed to be said - one presumes that there will be consequences of one kind or another for him, tempered only by the fact that Labour is now very weak politically, even if whilst Brown remains Prime Minister he still retains a certain, now rather shabby, aura of power. Today, too, at Prime Minister's Questions, David Cameron tore into Gordon Brown and his usual spin in a manner that was most satisfying to behold.
The Governor of the Bank of England is not the only senior establishment figure to have seemingly lost whatever faith they may have once had in the 'Dear Leader', if the audience Her Majesty the Queen granted to Sir Mervyn King in March last is a guide.
Is Gordon Brown set to go down in history as the worst Prime Minister this country has ever had? I've thought he was complete rubbish ever since his first budget was announced in 1997 and it gives me absolutely no pleasure that my fears at the time that Labour's latest period in government would end, sooner or later, in financial ruin for the country have become a frightening reality. So the answer to that question is "Yes", at the very least as far as my own lifetime to date is concerned.