THE recession has a sexually transmitted disease that it has been covering up for years, Downing Street sources have claimed.
Key figures close to prime minister Gordon Brown said the economic downturn was ridden with gonorrhea and clearly not fit to be destroying the nation's living standards.
The venereal disease claim is just the latest in a series of scandals to hit the recession and its team of economic indicators.
Last week Downing Street sources revealed that the wife of consumer price deflation was mentally ill and had been seen crying at drinks parties.
Meanwhile the manufacturing slump has been accused of doing special favours for its boyfriend, the housing crash. And last month the collapse in consumer confidence was hit by rumours of photographs showing it dressed in stockings, while another photo from the 1980s shows it with its face blacked-up, even though Sir Nelson Mandela was still in prison at the time.
Lib Dem treasury spokesman Vince Cable said: "Why, when thousands of unemployed people are fascinated with political gossip, is the government devoting so much time to the recession instead of making up pointless, dirty little lies about the Conservatives?"
But a Downing Street insider insisted the latest revelations would 'destabilise' the recession, even though opinion polls show voters would prefer a combination of economic collapse, mental illness and gonorrhea to another five minutes of the Labour Party in government.