Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brown & The Banks: Some Humility From London. How Refreshing.

This blog isn't intended just to be a fan page for Gordon Brown or the Labour Party. Far from it. I have questions and objections regarding Labour policy that could keep my vast readership here until Christmas; and there are elements of the Liberal Democrat approach (though I haven't read the manifesto) that I find more persuasive than I ever have before. But I found it refreshing to hear Gordon on the news this morning acknowledging that he'd been mistaken when, as Chancellor under Tony Blair, he didn't act on his instinct to regulate the banks. They assured him no regulation was needed and he accepted their assurances. Time, and the recession that followed, proved they were lying and Gordon Brown was wrong.

Commentators wonder how this unexpected admission of Mr. Brown's will play with the public. Whether it will be seen as a confession of liability for the recession, which damns him and Labour straight to the Opposition benches with no hung parliament in between. It might. I wouldn't be surprised if the newspapers and David Cameron presented  it that way; I fully expect them to say that the Prime Minister has condemned himself out of his own mouth, even though they know that the Tories would not have regulated the banks either, if they'd been in government at the time. Everybody except a few old-fashioned leftists nobody listened to presented unregulated banking as the road to unimaginable riches for all of us, in those more innocent days. And I don't have to tell you which coiffured oligarch foisted that policy on an unwelcoming nation in the first place, do I David?

Labour's biggest mistake, as far as this blogger is concerned, is that they followed the Conservatives uncritically. We warned of the folly of that when Blair declared in his peculiar grammatical formulation that a new era had dawned, had it not? And now we have the irony of a recession caused by Tory free-market dogma which Cameron says only the Tories can get us out of.

It takes a very big man to admit to admit he's made a mistake. Much bigger than the sort of man you tend to see in parliament these days. And it's only the man capable of such self-criticism , in my opinion, who is intellectually mature enough to lead. So regardless of my opposition to the Afghan War, Labour's commercialisation of higher education, and a hundred other policies I object to, Gordon's admission that he was wrong about the banks may just have helped me to decide who I'll vote for on May 6th. Even though I'm beginning to suspect, from fireside conversations and chats in pub gardens, that the entire British population may be going in another direction.

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