Britain has slipped out of the ranks of fully "free" countries in this year's Heritage Index of Economic Freedom, reflecting the sharp rise in the tax burden and ballooning state sector.
The country has continued to slide down the league under Gordon Brown's economic management, falling from fifth to tenth place over the last two years. It has been overtaken by Canada, Chile, Switzerland, Australia, and the United States.
Britain now scores below 80 points on a range of key indicators, dropping into the "mostly free" camp with Germany, Japan, Bahrain, Armenia and Trinidad.
The ever harsher verdict on Britain comes as Mr Brown's tax and spend policies begin to reshape the basic structure of the UK plc, transforming it from one of Europe's leanest fiscal states to one of the most bloated.
"Total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, are very high. Government spending has been rising since the 1990s and in the most recent year equaled 44.7 percent of GDP," said the UK country report.
The index is complied by the Heritage Foundation, a free market think tank that once served as the brain-trust of the Reagan Administration.
It defines economic freedom as "the absence of constraint on the production, distribution or consumption of goods and services beyond the extent necessary for citizens to protect and maintain liberty itself".
So, both socially and economically, we are significantly less free than we were even a mere ten years ago. The One-Eyed Gobblin' King says that we should judge him on his past record: you know, I am happy to do that. Now can we hang the fuck?
By the way, let us remind ourselves that this goverment were elected by 21.6% of the electorate, to whom I would like to address this question: what the FUCK were you thinking, you fucking morons?