So the 'inevitable' (copyright Vince Cable, the LibDem's guru on such matters, in case you had no idea who he is) has happened - Northern Rock has been nationalised; marvel at the bare-faced effrontery of our 'glorious leader', Gordon Brown; the coward even has Alistair Darling alongside him to try and deflect some of the flak from his august personage - it doesn't wash! Naturally none of this 'guff' has anything to do with the number of Labour seats potentially at risk in the north-east of England, Northern Rock's home-base, or at least so we are led to believe.
Rather than spending a lot of time writing a ranting post about this latest development in the saga that the government has allowed Northern Rock to become, I refer you to an excellent post, justifiably excoriating in tone, from Guido; it tells you all you need to know about what a useless bunch of [.......] (*) this Labour government is. I never ever believed for one minute the hype in 1997, particularly from Gordon Brown himself, that this Labour government would be any better at managing the economy than previous Labour governments; it has taken them just over 10 years, but I think this present shower of incompetents will go down in history as being even more incompetent than the governments run by Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, 'ably assisted' by the likes of Hilary Benn's dad, Tony, that other Brown (George) and not forgetting that amiable old buffer Dennis Healey, who still pops up on TV occasionally.
The only other thing I write aobut this right now is that I thought Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was even more unimpressive than usual on the Today programme this morning. Of course he is to some extent just the hapless fall-guy for his incompetent and cowardly boss, Gordon Brown, the man who actually created the conditions that allowed Northern Rock to get into the mess it has.
(*) My self-imposed policy in this blog prevents me from using the appropriate word here; it begins with 't' and ends with 's'.
UPDATE: (Monday 18FEB08 17.45 RST) John Redwood MP has a post up about Nortern Rock today, as one would expect. He has a useful recapitualtion of the steps that led to where we are now and how the government has at every stage shown poor judgement in its handling of this crisis; I agree completely. However, I'm with Guido in the comments to that post when he criticises the idea of a 'solution' having been to pump liquidity into Northern Rock; as I've written before this would have been like giving a drug addict ready and continuing access to the cause of its distress; businesses and their shareholders should expect to suffer the consequences of poor management decisions, just as they should receive just rewards for more successful risk-taking - Northern Rock should have been no exception. If the speech Alistair Darling gave on 13th September, and which John Redwood refers to as 'stupid', had not been delivered, it is highly probable that the crisis would not have been so severe or perhaps even have happened at all. The speech was a product, in my view, of the ignorance of most people in this government, who have little commercial or business experience, of understanding of the dynamics of capitalism. They may have tried to emulate the thought-processes of people who operate successfully in a market economy, but fundamentally they do not believe in it; they are instinctive 'socialists'.