Posted by: John | December 10, 2007

NR: £30bn and counting

I can’t help thinking that this, and the discgate saga, will be a defining moment in these political times.

Labour have long traded on their image of being `hard and tough on the decisions that affect ordinary people` – a kind of haven of last resort in the free market. What we have found here though is dogmatic resistance to a least worst remedy.

The fact that ministers can’t, or rather won’t, give proper answers to Vince Cable is astonishing.

There are so many issues that need untangling:

1. What happened before the crash? ie who is to blame for it? The Government for not providing proper regulation? Mervyn King and the FSA for not acting quickly enough when they knew the shares were falling for months before the crash? Them for not rescuing the banking markets? It seems there’s an incompetent `old boys` network that is past its sell-by date that includes Gordon Brown. btw why weren’t the failed management cleared out or even why was Mr Applegarth allowed to grow rich courtesy of the taxpayer?

2. What’s happening on a daily/weekly basis NOW? Each week the figure goes up? Why? Who’s in control? Who’s on the side of the taxpayer? It seems that Labour’s hard-nosed actions for the underdog seem to have left them – there is no alternative to temporary nationalisation.

3. Once temporary nationalisation is established (The experts i’ve listened to can see no other way) will we get our money back? Will there be interest? How will we know how much it is? If not whose fault is it?

4. What will this say to other banks? What incentive is there to act responsibly?

5. What will this say to savers? What’s the point just spend, spend, spend – the Government will bail you out!

I think it would be useful for the party to have an A4 factsheet on this subject for use by activists.


  1. We can also expect some spin that the ‘underpinning’ was for the protection of savers. Do not believe that for one moment. The poor devils who lost money in the collapse of Farepack have nothing, one year after the event, and look like getting nothing. Northern Rock had to be propped up for the sake of the whole banking system & concern for savers had nothing to do with it. It would also be a travesty if Adam Applegarth, (Ex CEO) received as much as a bent cent in pay out but don’t hold your breath. Travesty is one thing Government does very well indeed.

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