So, the economy is starting to pick up again, is it?
Try telling that to the staff at Lynn’s Laura Ashley store, who learned the other day that they’ll be thrown out of work before very much longer.
Try telling that, too, to the workers at Comet, plunged into uncertainty when their company went into administration on Friday.
Even if there are encouraging signs elsewhere, the most recent economic news here in West Norfolk has been pretty grim. And even if one does accept more positive news in other quarters, there still isn’t that much to cling on to.
The bottom line is that, as far as any sort of sustained economic recovery is concerned, we’re not where we want to be at the present moment, for whatever reasons you may want to cling to depending on your political views.
The same is true for our friends across the Atlantic, who go to the polls today in their presidential election.
And when the American people choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney today, it seems to me that they face exactly the same choice that we will in two or three years’ time – the people that have tried to sort the mess out and have got some stubborn bits left to deal with against the people who represent those who made the mess to start with.
Yes, of course that is a massive oversimplification. But, when you boil it down to the basics, that is the choice we will have in due course and it is the choice that millions of Americans are faced with today. Not much of a choice, is it?
Why? Because even if you accept that the people you put into power to sort everything out haven’t done that good a job, the only alternative you’ve got is to turn back to the group on whose watch the problems all flared up in the first place. Brilliant.
If ever there was a time for a genuine, coherent alternative to the political status quo to show itself, one would imagine that this would be it. But I don’t see one, on either side of the Atlantic.
And, to bring these musings back to this side of the pond, our political masters are again exposed for their wrongdoings, as happened in the case of Labour MP Denis Macshane the other day, it is no wonder that so many people are turned off by the political process.
At any time, but particularly when times remain as tough as they are for so many people at the moment, it seems to me that what voters want is a combination of hope and belief.
Hope that things will get better for themselves, their loved ones and their communities going forward and belief that those putting themselves forward for high office can do something to brings about that change.
It was that joint need that Mr Obama spoke to when he was elected four years ago, capturing a prevailing mood that I think this country experienced when Tony Blair was first elected in 1997.
Whether he still captures that need, or whether Mr Romney does, is what will presumably become clear over the next day or so, or longer if we have another legal fight like after the 2000 election.
But, from thousands of miles away, the thing we should take from this election is the choice. It’s not a nice one, but it’s one we’ll have to face ourselves sooner or later.