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Green shoots

Nick Robinson | 16:05 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Oh dear.

Do you remember one of the most notorious quotes of the last recession? The claim in 1991 by the former Chancellor, Norman Lamont, that he was seeing "the green shoots of economic spring".

Well, the woman who is Gordon Brown's most important economic adviser and the Business minister has just repeated it.

Baroness VaderaBaroness Vadera said today that "I am seeing a few green shoots". She was asked on ITV's Lunchtime News whether she saw "green shoots" and being the consummate "backroom girl" that she is and not a frontline politician she did not spot the trap.

Her reply was: "It's a very uncertain world right now globally... I wouldn't want to be the one predicting it. I am seeing a few green shoots but it's a little bit too early to say exactly how they'd grow."

What on earth could she have meant by green shoots on a day Barclays has announced 2,000 redundancies?

I'm told that she was referring to the fact that the bond market had begun to open up for bigger borrowers and also to the good news from retailers like Morrisons and Tesco's who this week promised to create thousands more jobs.

That is unlikely to reduce the smile on the faces of some Tories who will claim that it proves how out of touch Team Brown are.

It is, of course, a double edged sword for the Conservatives since it could remind people about the last recession.


Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    I don't think what she said was nearly as bad as it's being made out to be. Looks to me like a general remark about the world economy in answer to a very non-specific question.

  • Comment number 2.

    It's true then more than 7 cups of coffee a day makes you helucinate.

  • Comment number 3.

    Well look at the effect on every small business with a loan tracked to BOE....we are all breathing a heck of a lot easier.
    And the property market is starting to shift as the bargain hunters realise now is the time to get in.
    The turn always comes later than you want, but always before you know it.

  • Comment number 4.

    And are pink elephants nibbling the green shoots?

  • Comment number 5.

    Coming from the woman who privatised Railtrack and then seemlessly watched it go into adminstration, I think we can safely put this remark into the dustbin of life.

    She couldn't manage a paper round, never mind the economy.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 6.

    More hype and mantra, courtesy of Lord Mandleson, no doubt.

    Come on, Nick. Stop molly-coddling the government and start asking the pertinent questions....!!

  • Comment number 7.

    Here comes the election

    Mr Brown has to think that an early election means smallish majority for Tories - which labour can fight after 5 painful recession years.

    If he waits for a year - and recession really bites will 2 million newly unemployed vote for labour or Tories....

    If he waits could be landslide - 100 seat majority - which labour wont overturn in 5 or even 10 or even 15 years ???

    its last thing on his mind - so he cant be caught dithering over it again.

    Tories need to point out who did nothing

    a) about gold reserves
    b) independant bank of england
    c) FSA rules

    New Labour spends more time talking about what its opponents are doing, and less time on what its doing after 11 years in power


  • Comment number 8.

    No problem, she just failed to understand her LTT briefing.

    Or she just got caught up in the mantra of always finding something good to say regardless of the real situation

  • Comment number 9.

    From Wiki answers:

    Spring is sprung
    Da grass is riz

    I wonder where dem boidies iz

    Da little boids is on da wing

    Ain't dat absoid

    Da little wings is on da boid

    But it's not by e e cummings, or by Ogden Nash, another to whom it is frequently attributed. It's actually by that well known poet 'Anonymous'.

  • Comment number 10.

    This incident just confirms my view that our political elite (ha!) are away with the fairies. Moreover, they think they can treat us ordinary folk either with contempt or as possessing the intelligence of gnats.

    One wonders if "Gordon Brown's most important economic adviser and the Business minister ..." has had a look at the Baltic Dry Index recently ( )?

    With each passing day I despair a little more at the rank incompetence of the idiots who are supposed to be running this country right now. I despair even more at the complete lack of any political alternative. What on earth has gone wrong with our politicians and political system over the past decade?

    Oh boy, this is going to be so bad for the UK if we have fools like this woman working up on the bridge.

  • Comment number 11.

    "Well, the woman who is Gordon Brown's most important economic adviser and the Business minister has just repeated it"

    This sort of explains why the country is in such a mess -- if a person of this naivety and business depth -- is Brown's most important adviser -- heaven help the UK.

  • Comment number 12.

    I doubt thoughts of preivous recessions will change anyones mind on anything.

    Some die back is part of a healthy economy - there will be uncompetative deadwood and it has to go to make way for new healthy growth.

    However this time people know that gordon prevented the proper cycle from occuring (for his own reasons), and now that the die back is occuring it is destroying otherwise healthy businesses too.

    We came out of previous recessions stronger - this one will leave us massivley weakened.

    I don't think much will be made of this girls remarks - there is plenty of red-labour-meat for the tories to feast on, without this kind of frippary.

    I would have hoped that you would have had something a bit more meaty to write about too...

    Mandleson? Oleg? Yachts? Mortgages?

  • Comment number 13.

    "green shoots" - yes, there will be winners in the uk depression; I'm sure bailiffs are doing quite well at the moment.

    Not really much wonder that some supermarkets are doing well; people have to eat; supermarket food is cheap as are their non-food goods.

    In fact, with companies like jcb in trouble but food retailers just about surviving, that's a perfect illustration of what happens during a major national economic depression.

    There's much worse to come; it'll only get worse with labour in charge; they're scorching the earth with every step they take.

  • Comment number 14.

    What fun you hacks have tripping up these wet behind the ears Ministers. Such larks. So funny. Job done then. Sorry if I can't share the hilarity - too busy worrying if I and members of my family will still have jobs by the end of the week. Perhaps I could do yours - seems pretty easy money for flap all input.

  • Comment number 15.

    "It is, of course, a double edged sword for the Conservatives since it could remind people about the last recession."

    And if it doesn't the BBC will help them out, eh, Nick?

  • Comment number 16.

    This does seem premature but interesting - how are we to improve consumer confidence? What has been done so far has not impacted this.
    The only way is via the media and the unnecessary reporting of everything that is bad. The media continue to report daily how bad things are rather than some of the positives

  • Comment number 17.

    Green shoots, how can she tell what colour they are through rose tinted glasses?!

    Funny thing Nick, I cant help noticing the astonishing increase in your 'blog rate' when Labour need positive spin after a gaffe such as this

  • Comment number 18.

    In a recession, the ones who got out, the ones who never ventured, the ones who warned us......they have their day saying "We told you so!",and they are annoyingly right. And in a recession the government gets blamed. And that is half-right.
    But you might as well blame the world for turning.There is a cyclicality that cannot be planned out .
    What Gordon did was make it that the boomtime lasted a longtime.
    There is sufficient wealth now in this country, for it to bounce back and regrow.
    Yes we need to try and save more, pay off our mortgages, plan for our retirement....but we need the adventurers, the reckless, the feckless,the girls who blow a grand on their handbags, the boys in their Jags.....we need them every bit as much as we need the pensioners in their bungalows, recycling their teabags, to get our economy back on track.
    And it looks like people are getting a bit bored of the crunch already.

  • Comment number 19.

    Oh, whoops! Perhaps she misheard the question and thought she was being asked if she'd seen any green shoes.

    Just out of curiosity, and not being a political anorak, who is she exactly and what qualifies her as a'Business Minister'? And if she is GB's 'most important economic advisor' - he seriously needs to get some training on recruitment.

  • Comment number 20.

    Why would the conservatives worry about people remembering the last recession?

    Everyone knows it started in America and wasn't the fault of the government that had been managing the economy for some time......

  • Comment number 21.

    Another non-story really but if you give it out you must be prepared to take it. Labour banged on about the non-story of the Tory minister saying that a recession could be good (healthwise). This is just vacuous sniping egged on by the media. Move on....

  • Comment number 22.

    Nick Clegg's approach seems to have been completed ignored and unless I'm missing something gives me real cause for concern.

    The government can only apply pressure to those banks in which they have a stake. If they have to make loans at less competitive rates than other banks are we not just compounding the problem and so rather than getting the banks back on a sensible footing which has to be the medium term goal we are landing ourselves with an ever larger bill to keep them afloat. Shades of British Leyland?

  • Comment number 23.

    This lady is paid goodness knows how much a year and she doesn't know the difference between the dying throes of a plant and green shoots?

    I think I've heard it all now. Who let her escape from the bunker?

    Someone said she was a business advisor to Gordon Brown?

    Well that just has to tell you everything.

  • Comment number 24.


    who exactly voted for this person to work as a minister.TAG.

  • Comment number 25.

    It is, of course, a double edged sword for the Conservatives since it could remind people about the last recession.

    Nick, don't see that it will. Even someone past his prime like me didn't make that connection.

    No the only way such a link would be made is if the media spun the line ...

    Oops, silly me

  • Comment number 26.

    onward-ho wrote:
    And the property market is starting to shift as the bargain hunters realise now is the time to get in.
    The turn always comes later than you want, but always before you know it.

    Is that the official Labour party line? Because everyone who is actually in the property trade says that house prices are likely to continue to fall.

    Bargain hunters will probably wait a few months in the hope of saving themselves even more.

  • Comment number 27.


    is this the person who gave Gordon the figures with regard to the VAT saving. Remember 52 times 5 is what, yes 260. Just listen to what the PM says on PMQs, ask him about his maths, now Gordon what is 52 times 5.

    You really cannot make it up, also thought that Phil Woolass was brilliant, what are you smiling at Lord Tebbit, that as he was talking about the politics of the economic situation, what would the Tories do?TAG.

  • Comment number 28.

    On one hand this is an absolutely nothing story, on the other, however, it shows that the Tories haven't got much to say. If you look at what context her reply was made in I think you'll agree that her statement was well qualified.

    To put her answer another way: The world economy is volatile and I wouldn't want to predict anything. However, there are a few beakons of light out there but I wouldn't want to predict what impact that will have on the bigger picture.

    I don't think there is much wrong with saying that.

    Go back to sleep Tories.

    Next story, please.

  • Comment number 29.

    Who cares if she said green shoots it’s so irrelevant not worthy of a blog post!

    What is more relevant it the nonsense shown on the news about small businesses requiring loans to keep trading.

    ANY business which relies on borrowed money to keep going is a JOKE Business!

    If a business is so reliant on borrowings and has no money set aside for bad times then they shouldn’t be in business.


    It’s a shake OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Businesses will die if they survive they will benefit from the ones who have gone.

    I am SICK and TIRED of the Naïve nature of so called Business reporting

    It wouldn’t be too bad but it is causing HURT and PAIN for many more than need be.

    Amateur Government
    Amateur Businessmen
    Amateur Journalists

    JOKERS the LOT of YOU!!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Where were the frontline polliticians who should hvae dealt with this line of questioning? Typically Labour...poorly conceived, poorly executed and poorly timed.

  • Comment number 31.

    I wish the conservatives would keep quiet for 6 months instead of talking down the economy.

    I run my own company and have never been busier.

  • Comment number 32.

    Um, just one thing:

    "I'm told that she was referring to the fact that the bond market had begun to open up for bigger borrowers and also to the good news from retailers like Morrisons and Tesco's who this week promised to create thousands more jobs"

    Who told you? Under what circumstances?

    Did you contact them? Did they contact you??

    Please tell.

  • Comment number 33.

    More LIKE GREEN journalism

    Amateurs the lot of you.

  • Comment number 34.

    In another 12 months her words will come back to haunt her. In my opinion she hasn't a clue what she is talking about

  • Comment number 35.

    To understand the arrogance of this woman ( although God only knows why) you only have to look at the quote from her which she made via e mail during the Railtrack saga about the small shareholders being 'grannies losing their blouses'.

    Indeed, if my memory serves me correctly, the only reason this quote saw the light of day was the legal action by the shareholders

    This is the real contempt that the Labour Government hold for the electorate

  • Comment number 36.

    Well done to Baroness Vadera. Someone seeing the positive aspects of our economy and not afraid to work against the general trend of the media. The media is always looking for the next big doom and gloom headline.

    But watch out - the tide of public opinion about the media coverage is turning. Today I spoke to at least eight different people, employed and unemployed, and all of them said they are getting fed up with the media's constant attention to the current poor economic climate. They are not reading newspapers. They are turning off the news on the TV and the Radio. Enough is enough. Baroness Vadera, well done. It is time to put the 18 month global credit crisis behind us and to work on positive measures for the future.

  • Comment number 37.

    On another forum, I have commented on many people's inability to read what is on the page. Now the problem is that people, including you Nick, are incapable of listening to what is actually being said. Any gardener knows that buds begin forming on some plants even while other parts of the plant are still falling. She was not saying that these shoots will actually develop.

    What she said is perfectly true. The fact that journalists and others want to make it into a bigger story than it is, shows that the spin culture is not solely found in government. How this helps anyone except journalists wanting to prove their worth and others seeking to raise their blood pressure while writing self satisfied comments is beyond me. Perhaps politics is a game and the economy is just one of the means of playing it.

  • Comment number 38.

    Maybe she has seen the trend in TED Spread, LIBOR v. UK Base and some of the research coming out of the US (

    Clearly the real economy lags month behind 'green shoots', and further 'green shoots' in the US take time to have an impact on the UK, but it's not ALL gloom from an economic point of view.

  • Comment number 39.

    The last recession, Nick, was at a time where the economy had been substantially remodelled and was the necessary precursor to the massive growth we then experienced, whose green shoots were already bearing fruit when this lousy Labour charade began under the great, Bush-medal-winning-champion- of-world-peace Tony Blair, only to be driven into the ground through reckless deregulation and greed.

  • Comment number 40.

    Of course- stupid me!- it's all the press talking up the recession. So what about the constant stream of job losses every day??

    This is not spin these are cold hard facts - each one which is a nail in the coffin of this 'achieve nothing' Government

    The sooner we have an election the better

  • Comment number 41.

    #31 alalchan

    I wish the conservatives would keep quiet for 6 months instead of talking down the economy.

    I run my own company and have never been busier.


  • Comment number 42.

    Alan Duncan has just advertised his own unsuitability for addressing the difficulties of the recession we are facing, by describing it as " Gordon Brown's recession". Presumably the recession in USA, Iceland, Germany, Japan, et al, et al , can also be blamed on the Prime Minister. I think not. What a fool Duncan is !

  • Comment number 43.

    alalchan wrote:
    I wish the conservatives would keep quiet for 6 months instead of talking down the economy.

    I run my own company and have never been busier.

    Let me guess you are self employed and paid good money to post articles on websites about how great New Labour are?

    It is one of the few growing industries in this country at the moment!

    You must be the 3rd or 4th Labour supporting business man to suddenly appear this week!

  • Comment number 44.

    None story. Move away. Nothing to see here.

  • Comment number 45.

    Our small business is taking lots of orders right now, particularly from Europe. We had a brilliant December as well in UK sales as soon as the VAT reduction came in.
    Her remarks were suitably cautious, in my view, and not at all insensitive. It is time someone started talking things up a bit.

  • Comment number 46.


    Forget government propoganda, Capital Economics, who have told the truth about the shockingly large level of personal indebtedness in this country, are now saying all th esigns are pointing to a sharp lurch down in the UK economy.

    Brown, Vadera, Darling and the other dummies wil have access to this information which is why the PM looked like a man heading for treatment by the crash team today at PMQs.

    None of them can believe the complete car crash that is the economic wreck they have bequeathed us.

    They will be lucky if they make it through the next twelve months with their health in tact after all the lies and damn lies they have told us about public sector pensions, collapsing tax revenues, ballooning deficits, hidden off balance sheet commitments adnt eh rest.

    The Bank of England balance sheet has already more than doubled in three months absorbing all the toxic waste they have created.

    The public want to know the true extent of the mess that newlabour have made of their boom built on credit.

    Thye don't want anymore lies about greenshoots and best placed economy and being on their side.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 47.

    only nick robinson could say this labour woman's quote would remind people of a tory recession 17 yeors ago . what planet is he on ? What about some balanced reporting and less ( its got to be said ) Labour bias

  • Comment number 48.

    No Nick
    I have just watched Peston squirming to find a way to draw the sting on this as you are.
    Were they poison ivy shoots


    Aluminium Tariff's?
    House income / mortgage discrepency?
    PBR debt calculations from cloud cuckoo land?

    Could you please be as fast to react on these?

  • Comment number 49.

    Election, please.

    (Why are none of these business ministers, very powerful people during the economic crisis, directly or even indirectly elected?)

  • Comment number 50.

    #42 Ned- even before the Credit crunch the consensus was that Brown would have to either cut back on spending or increase taxes in order to meet his fiscal rules and not go above 40% of GDP. Brown never put any money away in the good times to act as a cushion in the bad- but then as he said- 'no more boom and bust'.

    I particularly liked the fact then when he would trumpet ' growth for x amount of consecutive quarters' he never mentioned those that were under the tory regime

    I used to think he was arrogant- now I am convinced he is just stupid

  • Comment number 51.

    I am finding an increasing trend and I assume it is among labour supporters to play down the recession.

    Ignorance is bliss is it not?

    Well you can be ignorant if you like but I prefer the old saying that knowledge is power.

    Is this the new spin we are getting from labour? That everyone is sick and tired of hearing about the recession?

    On your bikes! As Norman would say.

    Everything is deteriorating at such a pace just a snippet of information could be enough for you be able to make a fast decision that could save yourself.

    Of course labour want us all to remain in ignorance but this is the time of the internet so they can never again get away with what they did in the past.

  • Comment number 52.


    Doctor Disraeli- perhaps you could explain what it is you sell that made the orders roll in after a 2.5% VAT cut as lesser retailers ( minor ones like M&S) Say it made not a shred of difference?

  • Comment number 53.

    @ TAG (nr 27),

    can you fill me in on the 52 x 5 thing. I miss the clue and am intrigued - thanks

    @ Mark_WE (nr26)

    agree, property market recovery will be when a similar property sold a few months later will be sold at the same or, better, higher price. Something that will not go unnoticed but will certainly be noticed.

    @ canttakeanymore (nr36)

    given Railtrack, the whole economy will soon be nationalised perhaps, with the debt called the national asset paying us benefits in a low-inflation environment rather than requiring high taxes or high inflation to reduce the debt to GDP ratio.

    @ everyone still thinking the BBC is committed to reporting with the least possible bias:

    wake up, every time a Labour politician slips, an affair long time ago involving the conervatives will be dug out of the archives with Campbell and Mandy giving the helping hand. This strategy will soon run into an unfixable problem though: this recession will be far deeper and longer than the 1990s one. The UK went into this one with consumers dissaving, companies gearing up, the UK being a net importer of goods and Brown running a budget deficit when the economy was still sort of OK. But of course that is all the fault of the US and banks unwilling to lend (please note Mr Robinson that bank lending volumes at the end of 2008 were higher than in 2007, according to the BBC - perhaps the reporting of this fact represents a green shoot of BBC unbiasedness?)

    The British Bankers Association, which represents the banks, said its latest data showed that in October and November, growth in lending to small businesses slowed towards the end of 2008, though it remained above 2007 levels.

    Mr Robinson, is it sensible for banks to be forced to lend given that corporate failures in 2008 were 18% higher than in 2007? Guess you say yes. (The % was mentioned in the same BBC report.)

  • Comment number 54.

    #5, RobinJD, I have to agree with you.

    This woman is one of a growing number of even more unaccountable ministers tucked away in the Lords for obvious reasons - they haven't a clue.

    An election is long overdue and I say that as a non-Tory.

    As for Nick's comment that this may remind us of the last recession..... no, it doesn't. This recession is going to be far deeper and we also have an impending energy crisis to look forward to (by 2015 will be dependent upon imports for 80% of our gas and have only 14 days back-up storage for one).

  • Comment number 55.

    This is a complete non-story. OK she didn't choose her words quite as carefully as she might have. So what? For the BBC to give so much publicity to the story encourages the juvenile behaviour of Westminster politicians who seize on supposed "gaffes" of their opponents instead of having serious discussions of policy. And as gaffes go, this one is incredibly minor: the phrase "green shoots" was suggested to Baroness Vadera and she didn't agree to it without hedging it around with qualifications. This is completely different from Norman Lamont, who came up with the phrase for himself and stated it confidently.

  • Comment number 56.

    Please can we have some GERMAN or FRENCH Journalists doing this they are so much more professional than this load of amateurism.

    Hyping the minutiae rather that reporting FACTS!


    Basically Bxllocks Created News service.

    You lot are like a BROKEN record you go on and on.

    Amateurs THE LOT OF YOU!

    Watch the FRENCH and GERMAN news channels and see how it should be done.

  • Comment number 57.

    Labour have no idea what is happening or what to do about it.

    If they keep saying "things are no the up" then eventually they will be right.

    But it won't be any good reflection on them.

    We need a new governenment - this one has no-ones confidence, and never will again.

  • Comment number 58.

    Guess the follow-up question to Baroness Vadera should be whether the US have generated the green shoots since they supposedly have caused the recession (apologies Mandy, downturn).

    Indeed it were the US who forced Brown and Baroness Vadera to:
    -run a budget deficit when the economy was growing above trend;
    -let UK banks become weaker capitalised than both their US and European peers by the end of 2006;
    -push doves onto the monetary policy committee of the Bank of England through influencing the appointment process in order for the BoE to run with low interest rates when the housing market was booming and consumers were hooked on debt;
    -condone banks selling >100% mortgages;
    -change the divi treatment for pension funds, contributing to funding problems of schemes which in turn is an important explanation for the underinvestment by businesses in the UK;
    -pay out billions of tax credits wrongly.

    Indeed, as The Economist wrote last week, one element of the government's strategy to deal with the current situation is to deny all blame. Unfortunately, the BBC let the government get away with it.

  • Comment number 59.

    You can see the panic in ZaNuLabour the repid rebutall unit is out in force.
    It show just how damaging they see 'Green Shoots' will be.

    They have all turned into sucessful business men who are finding rising orders and traveling the world due to Gordon timely actions.


    Why are you so frightened of the truth?

  • Comment number 60.

    This is yet another Westminster Village story of no consequence to people in the real world. To see Nick Robinson shiny little excited face on the news telling us what devastating news this entirely moderate, fully explained, comment was for the Government merely reminds us of the circles in which he used to, and some would say still does, move. I see they even allowed George Osborne out again so maybe they think people have forgotten his Russian yacht escapade.
    The next item on the news after this rubbish was that over 1000 people have died in Gaza and Israel. How that takes second place to all of the above tells us everything we need to know about editorial standards at the BBC.
    Get a life Nick.

  • Comment number 61.



  • Comment number 62.

    People can bury their heads in the sand as much as they like. The polls show that many are not yet touched by the Recession and are still optimistic about the situation. Avoiding the media won't do anything to improve their prospects and at some point they are going to be personaly affected by it.

  • Comment number 63.

    Once the quantitative easing kicks-in, wait for the Labour apologists to tell us that nothing has happened to "the pound in your pocket".

  • Comment number 64.

    Great Post Virtualsilverlady!

    Agree with all your comments - also add that GB's reference to DC's Tories as the "do-nothing party" a Mandlesome engineered anti-Tory (hoping to resonate jibe) slogan can be buried now "green shoots" has so many headline catching avenues....dear oh dear GB - you've been busted! This story will get people talking in the cafe's, workplace, gym etc etc - people are not stupid..come judgement day!

  • Comment number 65.

    Mr Robinson, can you get Mr Peston or yourself to report on something that The Guardian, most likely tipped by AC + the newly Lord, just blogged on: forgiving debt.

    A few leaked comments on this one will come in handy for investors.

    My final point tonight re biased reporting: have you noticed the German plans to legally limit the budget deficit to 0.5% of GDP in ordinary times (compared to Brown's deficit of almost 3% in 06/07) and set up a redemption fund to repay government debt as quickly as possible.

    Start writing your blog for the day gilts sell off now!

  • Comment number 66.

    I suspect the Golem probably sings "Non, je ne regrette rien" in the bath - he never takes the blame for anything and will have no regrets about impoverishing the nation in an attempt to save his political skin.

  • Comment number 67.

    Baroness Vadera said much which was of interest IE the British Banks were lending.

    I can agree with that.

    Is she expected to know about Norman Lamont's Gaff?

    Pathetic Gutter Journalism is this what we are to expect from the BBC?

    I pay my licence fee to get the news NOT this rubbish!

  • Comment number 68.

    @ the1beard (56)

    Agree, though Germany's ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen = Second German Tele channel) is moderately biased towards the social democrats and some of the french papers and magazines sometimes write what their owners want them to write, or even better they retouch a Sarkozy-in-swimming-trunks picture to make him look slimmer (how about that!).

    BBC = Brown Broadcasting Corporation (not my joke but someone else's on these blogs - perhaps you can google it; I did not manage any better than LBC = Labour ... ...). Labour more likely to bestow the BBC with generous funding than the Conservatives, the problem in a nutshell, but happening in most countries where taxpayers fund a major broadcaster.

  • Comment number 69.

    Maybe by "Green shoots" she is referring in code to the reinstating of Blair's egotistical big hitters who are slithering their way back into Whitehall... Milburn, "Lord" mandelson, "Lord" campbell... even old Blunkett is applying his snake oil somewhere. The audacity is enough but when will they seize the joys of Spring and topple Brown, just in time for an election?

  • Comment number 70.

    What a non-story. It seems the only person not "out of touch" in this story might be Vadera herself -- she actually wants to talk about the economy while everyone else is still playing the game of petty Westminster politics!

  • Comment number 71.

    31. At 5:15pm on 14 Jan 2009, alalchan wrote:
    I wish the conservatives would keep quiet for 6 months instead of talking down the economy.

    I run my own company and have never been busier.


    Good for you. I would like to buy some of your product, please post your business name, telephone number and web address for me.

  • Comment number 72.

    45. At 5:33pm on 14 Jan 2009, doctordisraeli wrote:
    Our small business is taking lots of orders right now, particularly from Europe. We had a brilliant December as well in UK sales as soon as the VAT reduction came in.


    Good for you. I would like to buy some of your product, please post your business name, telephone number and web address for me.

  • Comment number 73.

    I note that Mark_WE thinks that anyone taking time to report here on an improving order book is in the pay of the Labour Party and not really in business.

    I assure you that I am in business. The VAT reduction coupled with the falling value of the pound against the dollar and other currencies is working well for us. What is damaging to business at the moment is the constantly fuelled fear- factor in the domestic market.

    Sneering at people who are simply getting on with creating and maintaining jobs is just contemptable.

  • Comment number 74.

    @45 Our small business is taking lots of orders right now, particularly from Europe. We had a brilliant December as well in UK sales as soon as the VAT reduction came in.
    Her remarks were suitably cautious, in my view, and not at all insensitive. It is time someone started talking things up a bit.

    I didn't think UK exported anything anymore!
    Anyway it takes some nerve to ask people to talk "things up" on the worst day for redundancies. Only Labour supporters with blinkers on can come up with such a thing. Go and tell the thousands of highly skilled workers who are being thrown out of a job to be happy because Morrisons, Tesco and MacDonald are promising to create new jobs.
    Jaguar are making 350 managers redundant and I can already see them all fulfilling the ambition of their life (if they are lucky) to fill up shelves in a supermarket.
    Silly statements like this are only allowed to Derek Barker and one or two of his full time employees, not to people who live in the real world.

  • Comment number 75.

    "Oh dear"? What's wrong with Nick Robinson this morning?

    1. I think Vadera is perfectly entitled to say what she said on a television programme, given she is having lots of discussions with the bank representatives behind the scenes.

    It's puzzling why (Nick Robinson and) the Conservatives believe her opinion is insensitive given she is expressing how optimistic she is personally feeling at the start of a New Year and is representing the Government of the day, whose job it is to instil people with confidence.

    What's comforting about her remarks is the sense of planning and progression she suggests is occuring.

    I think you're reading too much into it.

    It must only look empty when pressurised political editors and opposition parties WILDLY OVER-EXAGGERATE the INSENSITIVENESS of everything THEY HEAR.

  • Comment number 76.

    Gordon Brown's most important economic adviser!

    God help us!!!


  • Comment number 77.

    Apologise to break my vow to shut up about (un)biasedness for the day for the second time:

    Those who suspected that The Guardian as well as the BBC are labour mouthpieces can rest assured: The Guardian has now reported on the Baroness Vadera event before The Times and even before The Telegraph (as far as I could verify) and has taken exactly the same reporting line as the BBC, i.e. the Lamont parallel indeed gets a prominent mention.

    The UK with the Labour-BBC-The Guardian 'complex' represents a fantastic case study for political and media scientists. But government funding for the study may prove tricky to find! Hats off for AC to accomplish this, but something to get scared about as well (all the public sector job adds in The Guardian probably help to focus the minds at The Guardian).

    Please note that I'm a foreigner, living abroad, never voted conservatives (was only eligible to vote in council elections while in the UK and never voted), never got paid a penny by the conservatives, not a member of the conservatives

  • Comment number 78.

    Just a normal day in Gordon Browns Govt.

    Green shoots of the economy are now showing! Baroness who? Bet Mandy has had a word with her. Don`t think she will be doing anymore press conferences!

    Labour MP Graham Stringer says dyslexia does not exist - and by the way according to Labour the world is square.

    Inquests to be held in secret back on the political agenda. Don`t want the MOD to be embarassed anymore do we about lack of equipment.

    Peter Mandleson deems it more important to brief the press about his idea of a loan club than tell Parliament first. Hey, its only 20 billion of tax payers money. Of no importance to our elected representatives. Only the non elected who are now ruining the country.

    Peter Mandleson asked this morning on Sky by Eamonn Holmes if he would like to set the record straight about a story in todays newspapers about a black hole of 400K in his finances that allowed him to purchase a 2.5 million pad. "I haven`t read todays papers," said pinnochio as his nose got longer and longer.

    And to round this oft. Gordon is still convinced the recession is everybody elses fault and nothing to do with him.

    Has anyone seen Alistair Darling? I thought he was supposed to be in charge of our money or has Peter Mandleson taken over that job as well.

  • Comment number 79.

    It is, of course, a double edged sword for the Conservatives since it could remind people about the last recession

    You also fail to mention that it was Crash who wielded that sword against the Conservative government, so therefore it is fitting that Crash has somehow become fouled on the other side of the blade.

  • Comment number 80.

    46 Robin

    Don't you ever tire of repeatedly pedalling this Tory Propaganda that the current economis crises is all Brown's fault?

    Well I don't suppose you do as it seems to be virtually a full time activity for you, 8 posts today so far, clearly not a very demanding job you have? (unless it is your job)

    Well anyway thought I'd help you out, Guess what, that fool Brown has only gone and got the German economy in ecactly the same mess.

    Wouldn't you just know it. If only the Tories had been in power, none of this would have happened. THey'd have stuck to Labour spending plans but still have "fixed the roof" with the "magic money" that appears from cloud cuckoo land.

  • Comment number 81.

    Explains why the countries economy is in the state it's in, if this is the calibre of advisor Gordon Brown relies on. Also makes a nonsense of the honours system and integrity of the House of Lords. Why was she made a Baroness ?

  • Comment number 82.

    Whilst the USA is still in the grips of its' recession and they have no sign of growth, this is an extremely naieve thing to say and potentially dangerous. This is going to go on a lot longer than anticipated, and will be with us throughout this year and well into 2010 at the earliest before we start to see any signs of growth.

    As far as the ramifications of this minister saying what she has said, I think it shows that the government is trying to spin its' own achievements. Currently the VAT package has not had an impact, thousands are losing their jobs with many more to come, the tax take is not there from any businesses to cover the interest on our debt let alone the principle, but it is ok to go and borrow more? We are going to see many years of hurt before we start to see growth again and the minister should apologise for spinning her yarn.

  • Comment number 83.

    I too run my own business, and we have never been as busy, thanks to the VAT cut.

    We specialise in bovine excrement detectors, and are doing a roaring trade.

    Our website is

    We are just bringing to market a new line as well, a detector that sniffs out party-paid bloggers.

    Check out our website at

  • Comment number 84.

    27. At 5:10pm on 14 Jan 2009, T A Griffin (TAG) wrote:

    is this the person who gave Gordon the figures with regard to the VAT saving. Remember 52 times 5 is what, yes 260. Just listen to what the PM says on PMQs, ask him about his maths, now Gordon what is 52 times 5.


    You should know that 52 x 5 is 275, Gordon said so, and he was in charge of the nation's finances for 10 years.

    Ahh, now it all becomes horribly clear!


  • Comment number 85.

    Either this is a slow news day or Nick was half asleep when he wrote his blog.

    It was the *interviewer* who first used the term "green shoots" and the interviewee simply echoed it in her reply.

    The whole thing seems to have been over-hyped by Nick and the BBC. Various opposition politicians and journalists have been wheeled in to say how dreadful it was.

    Rubbish! And rubbish journalism! Listen to the original interview and to her later response.


    I don't believe it! The BBC has just dug up Norman Lamont to comment.

    Stop flogging a dead horse and let's have some real news.

  • Comment number 86.

    I listened to the 5pm news on radio 4 and was disgusted how this was reported, after having played the actual conversation.

    First, I am not a government supporter.

    The words "greeen shoots" were placed in the question, and it was obvious those words would be used back.

    I think she was quite clear about that she was into predicting, and was also clear that how they would mature was still unknown.

    This is the type of sensationist tabloid journalism of which I detest.

    Stop it and get back to being professionals.

  • Comment number 87.

    Right BACK to the real news

    Blood stained HANDS

    Murder on the streets

    Knife R US


    Knife IS US

    Oh and some interesting news no it’s the Weather also will be WRONG!

    Muppets now maybe they could do a better job?

  • Comment number 88.

    There are a lot of successful businessmen on here all of a sudden, all making their first post on the same blog on the same day, saying the same thing.

    I would have thought they would be too busy running their successful businesses, especialy now we have the green shoots of recovery and we will be out of recession, sorry downturn, there we go, old habits die hard, in 23 weeks time.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    Economic Euphoria turns To Economic DOOM

    There are Liars and there are Damn Liars and there are fools.

    There is money in the system.

    So who is telling the truth?

    We are a few days into 2009

    Who knows what will happen?

    NOBODY or PERSON knows.

    And yet the BBC report DOOM

    Just like the house makeover shows BBC news has become a prime time Show feeding the demand for more DOOM.

    AND just like the home makeover show they are idiots sending out the wrong message.

  • Comment number 91.

    @ yellowbelly1959,

    Well done to come up with the question for those businessmen. Perhaps those guys have recession-proof businesses (funeral directors, debt collectors or Aldi come to my mind), but I would be very surprised if all those who unfortunately lost their jobs in the last few weeks would be rehired within a month or so.

  • Comment number 92.

    Nick - Gordon Brown & his socialist henchman have ruined our economy with their stealth extreme left-wing policies.

    In 1997 after inheriting a Golden Legacy from Ken Clarke why did Brown have to start taxing pension funds, raising taxes and selling gold reserves?

    Was it to maybe cynically build up a Labour client state to make-sure they always get elected??

    The answer is YES of-course. We have 11 million people living off the goverment in mainly unproductive jobs.

    The only goverment employees who vote Tory are the military!

  • Comment number 93.

    73 Dr Disraeli

    Well Said and glad things are going well.

    Clearly however you don't understand that anyone posting something remotely supportive of the gevernment will be accused as you say of being "paid" by Labour to blog, followed up by play-ground name calling and bullying to get you off.

    Many on here have more than one identity so as to support their own views

    Unfortunately, they don't recognise the hypocricy of accusing other of "trolling" (I think they call it) despite the fact that the Tory support on here is about 5 times their level of support (proportionately) in the polls - strange that.

  • Comment number 94.

    At least she didn't spend £140k on a bus advertising campaign telling people to 'stop worrying and enjoy life'. Now that would have been insensitive.

  • Comment number 95.

    I actually think this is more of a gaffe than you think at first.

    The public tend to hang onto anything they think is good news, and I believe it will be remembered by them as the time when the Government lost touch with reality. The public already is starting to think that the Government is out of touch, with Brown trying to say we will see recovery in June. Nobody believes this will happen except Brown and A. Darling.

  • Comment number 96.



  • Comment number 97.

    The other Great Claim in spring '91 was 'it will be over by Christmas'. Of course it never was.

  • Comment number 98.


    I have just seen ITV news and Tom Bradby has picked up on the point I have been pushing you on for a month now. Cameron brought it up in the commons but got some stupid "it depends on the GLOBAL actions taken".

    This is the ridiculous debt figures in the PBR.

    Labour's statement that we will see grown from July is a joke and the 1 Trillion pound debt figures are based on this.

    We can all see (some of us from the day it was announced) that this is cloud cuckoo land even with green shoots.

    We all want to know how long it will take us to get out of this slump but the one thing we will need to know is the cost of it and therefore the debt we will be saddled with.

    I see that GDP will fall greatly away at the same time as debt and Liabilities will rocket.

    For how long?

    What will the gap between debt and GDP grow to?

    Ultimately will we be able to sell & service all of this debt?

    Are we now certain to have to go cap in hand to the IMF for a bail out?

  • Comment number 99.

    Well whatever next a government spokeswoman is pressed into giving an oppinion as to whether she could see any green shoots in the present economic climate ,and heaven forbid she said she was able to see a few green shoots but could not predict how or if these would grow, perhaps she can see more than others want to see.
    What on earth was she doing giving people a small glimmer of hope and sending the opposition and the media into a frenzy ,the worst thing they want at present is good news ,
    I am they are all having a good time at present but still no ideas .

  • Comment number 100.

    Lets face it who is she anyway?

    It's not the first time she's come out with an off the cuff comment and I doubt will it be the last.

    With today's expected announcement of job losses it just show you where she keeps her brain.... any responsible person would think what they are about to say before engaging their mouths in such situations, these are the very people we don't need running our country.

    Having to use Norman Lamont's words makes you wonder if she can't think of any herself, go home Baroness Vadera and do something useful.


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