there is a witty piece about cohen and darling on page 8 of the times today, Sat. and here it is:
Analysis: Pete Paphides
I have seen the future, brother / It’s murder,” sang Leonard Cohen in his 1992 song The Future. Cohen, of course, is a poet, with a poet’s way of saying things. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling is more confined in his choice of words, but there seemed to be no mistaking the similarity of tone when he told The Times: “You have the twin effect of the credit crunch and very high oil prices. That means the economic news is going to be difficult for quite some time.”
There is plenty in Cohen’s oeuvre to suggest that he might be working as some kind of unofficial secret policy adviser to the Chancellor. A less prudent Chancellor may have taken inspiration from the enjoy-now / worry-later philosophy that underpins, say, much of Oasis’s output but Cohen’s canon bears testament to an outlook based on a sense that the social fabric holding us together is getting more threadbare by the day.
Asked, by Jools Holland in 1993, if he would describe himself as an optimist, only the merest hint of a smirk betrayed Cohen’s mild incredulity that Holland had the naivety to even ask the question: “Everybody’s hanging on to their broken orange crate in the flood, and when you pass someone else, you know – to declare yourself an optimist or a pessimist . . . these descriptions are obsolete in the face of the catastrophe that everybody’s really dealing with.”
The Chancellor will probably have plenty more cause to turn to Cohen. Should the job get the better of him, however, he could do a lot worse than amble over to his record collection and drop the needle on to Iodine, the second song from Cohen’s 1977 album Death of a Ladies’ Man, where he’ll hear his hero intone, “Don’t you worry Darling /There are many ways a man can serve his time.” Perhaps, the Board of Trade, or Agriculture?