They’re nationalising Bradford & Bingley… what the hell? September 28, 2008Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics.
I was out of Dublin for the weekend so I was a bit gobsmacked to return this evening to discover this…
And it reminded me of John Sullivan’s incomparable piece on the British left which in the section on Militant noted:
FOR many people their first contact with Militant has taken the disconcerting turn of hearing an audience groan as someone with a fake Liverpool accent and curious hand movements stands up and demands the nationalisation of the country’s 253 leading monopolies. When the political novice is then told that the strange figure is a Trotskyist, she is understandably confused, all the more so if she is familiar with any of Trotsky’s works. How do hand gestures, however elaborate, transform a series of reformist demands into such a fearful revolutionary perspective?
Well indeed. But perhaps Militant were at least partially onto something when we see governments in 2008 forced to nationalise financial institutions. And what’s stunning to see is how what was once beyond the pale in political terms is suddenly normalised as if overnight. Wait… it is overnight. Where the US leads others follow.
Incidentally intriguing to hear the Conservatives whine about this turn of events.
Shadow chancellor George Osborne expressed concern that if B&B was nationalised, the taxpayer would be taking on a “huge risk”.
“This choice between either a private sale, which is obviously the thing you most want to arrange, or nationalisation where the taxpayer bears the full cost is not a great range of options.
“There should be a third option which is a Bank of England-led reconstruction where, in the end, the large institutional creditors to the bank bear the risk, not the taxpayer,” he told Sky News’s Sunday Live programme.
So let’s get this straight. The private sale is the one you ‘most want’. But there should be a ‘third option’. Er why George? To mask the actuality of what is happening behind a farrago of further financial doublespeak whereby taxpayers still wind up carrying at least some of the can?
I can’t but think that the latest events in international markets might take even a bit of the shine off the Cameron brand. After all, fine to blame Brown for the failings of the market, but any fule no that it’s a bit bigger than that. Indeed what dream world does he and his potential Chancellor live in where when the US government has just given nationalisation the best shot in the arm in decades that he decides this is a bad thing…
And while no fan of the Prime Minister I thought that in comparison to his supposed successor he presented – for all his obvious failings – a rather more substantial figure than the one who pottered around the stage this weekend.
So, what about the other 253 monopolies Gordon, or even some of them? That’ll be the day.