Monday, 22 September 2008
Those Whom The Gods Would Destroy ...
Always a difficult decision, how to pitch the Party Conference speech, but evidently Brown has decided to go for belly-laughs:
"Brown plans crackdown on world markets - PM wants more regulation in US and Asia"
Thus thunders the Grauniad front page obligingly today, but no-one, including its own leader-writer ("the truth is that Labour indulged the City of London ...") believes a word. Like the detonations of huge landmines in WW1 that sounded across the Channel, eruptions of laughter can be heard from over the sea: for the past decade lax British banking regulation has been systematically undercutting the stricter US and European regimes, in order - successfully - to lure business away from Chicago, New York and Frankfurt. All under the presiding genius of 'Golden' Brown.
And eruptions of frank disbelief from Robert Peston - yes, oh-so-helpful Robert Peston, he of the extraordinary running commentary on the HBOS takeover last week. A bit foolish to piss this man off, one might think: no-one commands more air-time right now, or evinces more commentator-cred.
But, as we are perennially forced to ask, where in all this is the Boy Osborne ? Sniping a little from the sidelines perhaps, but hardly a magisterial presence in the public debate. Perhaps his judgement is that silence is the right option when so many others are clamouring to point out the emperor's unappealing nakedness. It is fortunate for the Tories that their poll lead was well-cemented before all this kicked off in earnest. Nothing they are doing right now is building confidence in their alternative offering.
In the meantime we must watch our Cnut of a PM as he instructs farway bankers to mend their ways. He has pitched his throne close to the water's edge: but this is not the tide, it is a tsunami, and he will surely be swept away.
Posted by Nick Drew