But no. Commenter "zadok" on Robert Peston's blog has discovered the real culprits behind Britain's economic malaise.
From comment 5 on "Can the UK close massive deficit with China?":
The english ( anglo saxons ) are the most inventive people in the world but unfortunately,like everything,the normans highjacked their flair and trashed it.(Punctuation and spelling in the original)
I have seen the Americans blamed; the Labour government; the Tory government; the Chinese; the rich; the middle class; the unemployed; the banks; the EU, the IMF, the World Bank, the capitalists, the socialists, the communists, and even the behavioural economists.
But it never occurred to me that it could have been...the Normans.