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Jumped or pushed?

Nick Robinson | 15:48 UK time, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Downing Street is being rather coy about whether the prime minister or any of his officials was in contact - directly or indirectly - with Sir James Crosby in the 24 hours before his resignation.

Sir James CrosbyThe Treasury has told us that their ministers and officials had no contact with him.

Gordon Brown told the Commons within minutes of Sir James's resignation being announced that it was "the right thing to do".

Political historians will note that resignations do have a habit of happening on the day of Prime Minister's Questions. The reason is obvious. The PM's officials are paid to know when their guy risks standing naked in front of an open goal (forgive the horribly mixed metaphor). They're also paid to sort the problem out before their man gets to his feet at noon on Wednesday.

This, incidentally, has been true down the ages

Why, you may ask, does this matter? The reason this story is politically explosive is that it has given the prime minister's enemies their first chance to link Gordon Brown personally with someone who, it is alleged, ignored warnings that brought down the Halifax and cost taxpayers billions of pounds.

It's ironic that the first casualty of yesterday's select committee "trial of the guilty men" of British banking wasn't even there.

PS: Knowing the wisdom of that old and controversial adage about "a good day to bury bad news", I simply note that Yates of the Yard has chosen today to announce that the Met will not investigate allegations that some peers attempted to change the law to the benefit of companies paying them.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Unbelievable. Mendacious and grasping and devious PM, when will he decide that he needs to start serving the people, and he can start that by CALLING FOR AN ELECTION!!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    If the PM was "standing naked in front of an open goal" that would mean he was the equivalent of the centre forward (clothed or not) who had an easy chance to score. It is difficult to think of any time in the last year or two when that would have applied to Gordon. If it did, I suspect that, on current form, he would probably miss.

  • Comment number 3.

    Nick,

    during PMQs it was the answer to a planted question from his own side which I think also requires some attention.

    The question related to training, education and apprenticeships. Now I am surprised that nobody seems to have linked the apparent lack of qualifications amongst the bankers.

    Surely it is obvious that the bankers should be the first ones to benefit from any training especially as listening to the answers to questions from the select committee yesterday they refer to themselves as bankers yet lack any formal qualifications.

    As for Sir James Crosby it would appear that you are quite correct in your analysis. I wonder if you will be able to get any straight answers to straight questions. It is interesting that yesterday the redundancies announced by the RSB were conveniently made as soon as the select committee rose. Timing seems to be everything. Yet nobody asked any questions during PMQs, I don't think this parliament really cares at all.

    By the way I wonder when an acting chairman becomes either a permanent or temporary chairman, or even ex.

  • Comment number 4.

    Jumped ? Pushed ? Should never have been appointed in the first place !

    If this wasn't obvious from the start, then it certainly should have been by July of last year, when his fatuous report came out.

  • Comment number 5.

    Nick,

    I have said before about the accounts and auditors. I wonder if anybody will look into the report produced by KPMG as referred to by the Prime Minister. What have these people been doing with their fees when manifestly they cannot surely have said that everything was ok.

  • Comment number 6.

    What were the alegations made by the risk manager.

    If we continue the bank will fail.

    This checked by independant source (KPMG) and sent to FSA - who sat on FSA committee.....

    Sir James Crosby

    Is this case of the poacher being a gamekeeper as well.

    Did Halifax fail because James Crosby failed to heed advice of the risk manager.

    Who was next risk manager and what was his position... Its fine to sell sell sell, oops £20 billion mistake.

    ho ho ho

  • Comment number 7.

    he was pushed.

    let's hope the momentum of the push will carry the man who pushed him over the cliffe too.

    Goodbye Gordon Brown.

    You will not be missed.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 8.

    So the same police force that recently arrested a Tory MP because he received information that might embarrass the government will do nothing about Peers who are receiving cash to change our laws. I don't care what spin labour ultimately decide to put on this, it is an incredible case of double standards.

  • Comment number 9.


    David Cameron should have asked - Did you ask for his resignation....


    once again its the PM who does nothing, people all around fall on thier swords.


    How many jobs have the government created this month ?

    The NewDeal had millions spent on it - so why is it not reducing the million unemployed, we keep hearing that the unemployment offices can find jobs for skilled folks, just offer training/benefits.

  • Comment number 10.

    Nick

    You certainly have a light touch where Nu Labour sleaze is concerned.

    The outright indignation you showed during the cash for honours episode is much diminished.

    The only thing that could possibly awaken that erstwise enthusiasm is a Tory sleaze item.

    Again where IS that Brown moral compass?

  • Comment number 11.

    Nick, well done on calling the "no enquiry" in the Labour Lords situation.

    Alongside the Two Homes Secretary malarkey going on, it does beg the question what on earth does warrant an enquiry these days?

    Say what you like about James Crosby, whether he was jumped or pushed, at least he had the good decency to bloody well fall.

  • Comment number 12.

    "Why, you may ask, does this matter? The reason this story is politically explosive is that it has given the prime minister's enemies their first chance to link Gordon Brown personally with someone who, it is alleged, ignored warnings that brought down the Halifax and cost taxpayers billions of pounds."

    But that ignores the fact that another Leader of the Bank, Fred the Shred Goodwin, has given advice to his good friend Gordon Brown - according to the Guardian article

    "During Brown's stewardship of the economy Goodwin was a regular visitor to No 11, one of the few city big-hitters to give the former chancellor advice."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/apr/18/royalbankofscotlandgroup.banking2

  • Comment number 13.

    Jumped? Pushed? Paid off probably. Brown will have made sure that this man is not a loose cannon.

  • Comment number 14.

    They must think we are born yesterday. Of course, Crosby's resignation was enforced. Brown's own position would have been untenable if he hadn't.

    If Crosby had intended going of his own choosing he would have done so last night or first thing this morning. The fact that he did 30 minutes before PMQs proves it was staged managed.

    Brown is on the ropes now and many Labour backbenchers must be sensing blood again. He is a goner. the question is not if, but when.

  • Comment number 15.

    They should have noticed...like the fox in the hen house, he still had feathers in his mouth!

  • Comment number 16.

    OOOhh let me think, cant decide mmmm jumped or pushed????

    Your last paragraph is much more interesting.



    Changing the law for reward is not of interest to our police.

    What a truely shameful country.









  • Comment number 17.

    Nick,

    any chance of the moderators getting up to speed. Life at the Beeb must be very hectic at the moment.

    I also thought that your comments about Jacquie Smith were very balanced. Another reason why I think that this parliament is just so bad, I wish that Gordon would put us all out of our misery and announce the date of the general election.

    Just how many inquiries are now going on, there is the inquiry into, the inquiry into that, but nothing about the inquiry into the Iraq war.

  • Comment number 18.

    Nick

    Must say no Tory smear top marks for being on the point.

    The importance of this is that it again highlights Browns complete lack of judgement.

    The planted question at PMQ's so he could ditch Crosby first, a man he knighted made Brown look like a complete disloyal loser.

    It's not only Crosby he completely undermined. What about the UK FI banks new head by saying "He is acting chairman?". All because Brown appointed him and he has worked in tax avoidance.
    This just say to everyone around Brown
    "you are all expendable when the Brown stuff hits the fan"

    The man is a complete b****y liability to the country and himself.

    The wheels have not only come off they are speeding past him in the road.

    As you say the politicisation of the police can be seen by their slipping out of the no enquiry into Cash for laws when everyone attention is else ware.

    What will it take for Brown to see that the problem with this country is actually him?

    He must have skin of an Elephant.

  • Comment number 19.

    "It's ironic that the first casualty of yesterday's select committee "trial of the guilty men" of British banking wasn't even there."

    If it's ironic, it is only because you yourself dubbed the committee hearing as the "trial of the guilty men".

    Which may be, in itself, ironic.

  • Comment number 20.

    The truth will come out - no matter how may times Gordon stamps on them!

  • Comment number 21.

    Hi Nick,

    If Gordon says that he was right to resign because of this, then doesn't it mean that Gordon was wrong to appoint him in the first place?

    See you in the pub.

  • Comment number 22.

    In the era of Thatcher & Major it was the "men in gray sits" who paid the "visit". With this PM, "Go(r)d the unelected", it is getting to look as though it will be men in white coats paying the "visit".

  • Comment number 23.

    So now the government and banking industry is getting in to problems about who knew what and when. What would we find if the BBC dug into when senior managers, executives and directors started to bail out of banking to become staff at the FSA, Treasury or government advisors? It might also be interesting to know when banking executives, members of the government, treasury officials and “friends” disinvested themselves of stocks, shares and property. Good timing or insider knowledge…….the nation gets stuffed financially whilst those who are responsible in the trinity of government, the Treasury/ FSA and financial industry walk away.

  • Comment number 24.

    Inquiry into Jacqboot's troughing DROPPED

    Inquiry into proven corruption of NuLab "lords" DROPPED

    The government = corrupt

  • Comment number 25.

    Amazing, isn't it? Nick posts a new blog at 3.48pm. It is now 5.11pm and there are still no posts past moderation.

    Surely it can't take that long to get them past Nuliebour Central?

  • Comment number 26.

    The FSA is Brown's own creation. It was meant to be in charge of regulation, and the systemic health of the whole financial system.

    What happened? Brown himself appointed someone with form for ignoring risk!!

    This is disastrous for Brown, as it links him personally with the City fatcats who were so reckless and useless, and proves that the FSA was and is a waste of space.

  • Comment number 27.

    Yates of New Scotland Yard, given an inch, hanging England by the mile. One presumes Lord Stephenson is offering him a Peerage?

  • Comment number 28.

    ........and will GB jump or be pushed?

    At today's PMQ's that I really sensed that backbench labour MP's had fianlly realised that an election is at most barely over a year away and that many of them will very likely not be returning.

    This is never good news for a highly unpopular PM as party discipline can rapidly disintegrate. He doesn't have any credible patronage to offer them that has any worthwhile "shelf life" and he is unlikely to survive an elecoral defeat.

    They have thus ceased to care whether GB "smiles" in their direction and will all start looking round for the next likely leader and looking to get "on board" as soon as possible since this is their only hope for a future career in politics.

    As the Americans put it " Dead Man Walking"

  • Comment number 29.

    Gordon Brown told the Commons within minutes of Sir James's resignation being announced that it was "the right thing to do".

    ................................

    Funny that. It was reported that James Crosby said exactly the same thing.

    As I've said before, I'll bet Sir James didn't fall on his sword for the good of the country.

  • Comment number 30.

    PS: Knowing the wisdom of that old and controversial adage about "a good day to bury bad news", I simply note that Yates of the Yard has chosen today to announce that the Met will not investigate allegations that some peers attempted to change the law to the benefit of companies paying them.

    ............................................

    Is that it then, Nick?

  • Comment number 31.

    The planted question just before PMQs leads one to suspect that there was some collusion with The Government regarding his going.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hi Nick,

    I realize that you believe this to be a non-story, but have you seen this from the Daily Mail... ?

    A ruling by Mr Lyon last year said: 'If a Member has his or her family living permanently in their constituency home and has modest accommodation in London big enough only for themselves, and which they use only when Parliament is in session, then it would clearly seem to be a matter of fact that Member's main home is in the constituency.'

    Please could you explain for us mere mortals, how Mr Lyon squares this ruling with yesterday’s exoneration of the Jacqui Smith? More to the point, in light of the above and the Michael Trend precedent- why were you so certain from the outset that she hadn’t broken any rules? No wonder Eric Pickles professed astonishment on the Daily Politics today.

    Furthermore, are we to assume that henceforth - MPs can claim primary residency at any address: rented room, hotel, motel or cardboard box under waterloo station, in London (or elsewhere in the country for London MPs) so as to maximize their expense claims, without any scrutiny? On the Daily Politics you did profess an interest in the wider subject of MPs pay/expenses and the issue of self-regulation in the H of C. You even mentioned some research in the area, any chance of a Panorama expose? I’m certain the public at large would welcome it. Indeed, almost everybody I know agree that Parliament would benefit from a good clean up (and clear-out). It would certainly do the BBC’s reputation no harm to be on the side of the electorate; you could even allow MPs to put forward the argument for public funding and a larger basic salary / fewer expenses. These positions do have some merit, although I am personally opposed. Of course, I understand the need for you to remain politically neutral – but your impartiality need not be harmed by this program – as there are numerous examples of Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dem sleaze – ditto examples of good practice in all three parties. So this program could be balanced. You could also allow MPs like Jacqui Smith, the Winterton’s, Derek Conway and their ilk to defend the status quo (if they wised or dared!)

    Anyway, just an idea! Do any of my fellow contributors support it? If so – let Nick know – we might yet finally shine some light on this subject.

  • Comment number 33.

    Jumped or pushed?

    Sacrificed to save the Permanent Secretary or his Boss!

    Much of this weird Banking 'science' started long long ago under a Prime-Minister who was himself a qualified banker! (John Major)

    So both political parties have different reasons to limit the blame game - and make no mistake this is a game with little connection to the facts!

  • Comment number 34.

    Nick

    Time to abandon the SS Titanic Brown

    It's sinking.

  • Comment number 35.

    Gordon's resignation would be "the right thing to do".

    Will you tell him, Nick?

  • Comment number 36.

    Just shows a few loud voices and public outrage can change things such arrogance from these men, Prescott so right if the tax payer had not bailed out they would not have a job therefore no contract and no bonus simple. These are extraordinary times because of these greedy men ordinary workers are agreeing to reduced wages etc and thousands have heartache worry and debt; let them join the ranks of the 60.50 per week jsa allowance like all these other people. As for their brains and so called expertise the word FAILURE comes to mind otherwise we would not be in this mess. Good performance equals good results;my take if they can find a better hole to crawl into i.e. another idiot organisation to take these failures on let them go they are hopeless useless just men in suits let some of the lower ranks with basic knowledge lead they will undoubtedly do a better job. I have worked in the past for firms because of lows in business have not had wage rises in three years they should be happy to work for nothing for all the taking they have done. Happy to see them on minimum wage I did not hear one second of anyone being contrite more like the eleventh commandment they have been found out and hopefully the powers that be because of public outrage ensure that these men are never allowed to put their hands on anyone's money again. The man Crosby was happy to be on the stage when he was being heralded when he got the fsa job now the heat is on has he gone to ground now obviously not got much to say for himself now!!

  • Comment number 37.

    I think he was pushed, with Gordon Brown demonstrating his unique people skills and loyalty by distancing himself from a person he personally appointed.

    The country simply cannot continue to be governed in this manner any longer.

    We need a fundamental change of approach, and the current government are simply not up to it.

    If Gordon Brown truely had the interests of the country at heart, he would go now and call an election. The future of the country is simply too important an issue to allow Gordon Brown to decide on it any longer.



  • Comment number 38.

    3 TAG

    "timing is everything"

    Indeed it is ! This whole episode seems to becentrally coordinated stage managed farce.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm sorry but Labour backbenchers come across as a mass of hideous atomatons programmed to ask whatever question the whips and the Golem want them to ask. They're frankly embarrassing and so are most of the "questions" they ask.

  • Comment number 40.

    Crosby has submitted two papers at the governments behest. One was for the Treasury/FSA about UK mortgages and notwithstanding the current furore and conflict of interest regarding his relationship with HBOS, at laest it was his field.

    The second paper involved the introduction of ID cards. Eh! I had to read the paragragh again. Yes a former banker is now an expert on ID cards! Presumably this idiotic administration now resorts to using non-experts as most experts have said that the biometric ID cards is unworkable. Is it just me that finds it ludicrous to roll out ID cards for foreigners, and yet no scanners exist to read the things to see if they are authentic or not. Never mind that claims have been made that some cards have been cloned already, after all it is more important to spend Billions of tax payers money to foreign IT consultancy companies. I mean we would not want to employ people that live in the UK would we?

  • Comment number 41.

    #9 awooga 99

    How many jobs have the government created this month ?

    I'm looking for work. I can't even get an application form, let alone a job.

    Did anyone see Anthony Worral Thompson on TV recently? He's had to put 2 of his 4 restaurants up for sale because he can't get a business loan from his bank.

    If a high-profile person like him can't get funds, what chance have the rest of us got?

  • Comment number 42.

    Jumped? Pushed? I suggest he must have tripped over Gordon Brown's outstretched foot which was conveniently in his way just prior to PMQ.

  • Comment number 43.

    If this resignation was intended as a damage limitation exercise, we must hope it is not allowed to remain so. Crosby must be called to account before the Treasury Select Committee whether he remained in his post or not.

    On the surface, it would appear that the allegations of Paul Moore were "properly" investigated at the time and should have resulted in some mild embarrassment now that they have resurfaced, but for this to become a resigning matter shows either a serious error of judgement with Crosby's appointment in the first place, or evidence of something deeper going on.

    We learn that Crosby was also a key advisor to the Government on ID cards.

    Unlike other posters, I would hesitate to jump to a conclusion that he was pushed to resign - but Nick is quite right to pose this question given the pattern and timing he reports.

    True that we may never get an answer from a supine BBC, but to be on the safe side, I would advise Sir Crosby against going for walks alone in his local countryside.

    Does it come as any surprise that there will no investigation of their dishonourable Lordships and no further comment on the Home Secretary's domestic arrangements?

  • Comment number 44.

    #3 TAG

    Great post! An excellent observation.

    Whe I worked in banking I had to take exams - lots of them.

    Regarding parliament not caring, I think you've hit the nail of the head. George Monbiot (the man who tried to arrest John Bolton) wrote an interesting column yesterday which illustrates your point very well.

    If you're interested, just look him up - he's got his own website (I better not list the link) and he writes for the Guardian.

  • Comment number 45.

    re: 19, Colonel Digby

    "It's ironic that the first casualty of yesterday's select committee "trial of the guilty men" of British banking wasn't even there."

    If it's ironic, it is only because you yourself dubbed the committee hearing as the "trial of the guilty men".

    Which may be, in itself, ironic.


    Excellent point. But Nick's your typical biased Beeboid, he won't get it.

  • Comment number 46.

    Post no 10.

    "Nick

    You certainly have a light touch where Nu Labour sleaze is concerned.

    The outright indignation you showed during the cash for honours episode is much diminished."

    Course he does "light touch" the Beeb employees relies on HMG for a living,.... bite the hand, c'mon

  • Comment number 47.

    Et Tu Brute

    Here's a shock..

    Politician protects own reputation at expense of another...

    Now who would have thought we would ever see that!

  • Comment number 48.

    I've just seen on the BBC that Government ordered a report into the drug extasy. This has taken just over a year to compile, and guess what?

    This Report has come back to Government saying it should demoted to a Class B drug. The government have now decided to keep it where it is.

    Doee anyone know how much this farce has cost us? What a complete and utter waste of our money!!!

  • Comment number 49.

    He should never have been there in the first instance, he should have been with the other members of the bank before the committee yesterday as he was on the team during the build up to the crisis. He was with the organisation during the crucial years, yet this obviously never entered into anyones head, which is rather extrordinary. I was horrified to see that he was advising G Brown on the mortgage problems....well he was one of authors of the scenario so on reflection he should know a thing or two about the mess.

    It is interesting that G Brown surrounded himself with all of these people that have caused havoc with our ecomony?

    It is incredible that the mud has not stuck to Gordon yet, remember teflonTony? It must be some trhick they learned! In truth you can fool some of the people some of the time.........

    The real tragedy is that we are going to have to put it all together whilst they go off into the suset with their grand pot they have built up and a pension that is outrageously generous, whilst our lives are marked for a decade or more. It is scandelous that any MP can claim anything that does not have a receipt attatched to it. There is no other situation where this is allowede. Just because the rules allow it, as you said this morning the rules are daft.

    On each occasion that a private members bill has tried to change it, the current government have managed to quash it, shame on all of you.





  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

    Got so carried away forgot to say 'When you lie down with dogs...' Be careful who you keep company with Gordon.

  • Comment number 52.

    Bankers, Politicians, Regulators,

    They are just doing their jobs.

    They have done nothing wrong.

    Not my fault, ummm but, don't blame me.

    Blind, Deaf, Dumb.

    Very clever, the rest of us will pay, not for their mistakes, for their success.
    Where are we now?
    At the mercy of these people.

  • Comment number 53.

    Why was he appointed in the first place ? Who should take the blame for appointing the wrong man ? Only our "well described by Jeremy Clarkson " prime minister, can answer the former, and is responsible for the latter. Like everything else this government does, it stinks of incompetence at the highest level. There is no excuse for a prime minister employing an obvious incompetent in a post of such national importance. Perhaps the self righteous John Prescott will now switch his attention from the misdemeanours of the bankers to the misdemeanours of his own government's employees. I see also that the peers who attempted to line their pockets are not now going to face investigation ( because they're already the subject of a house of lords enquiry ( cover up) ). Is anyone surprised ?

  • Comment number 54.

    Well it looks like Mr Crosby may yet find himself in front of the TSC (although I doubt he'll be too nervous at the prospect). There is certainly no chance that any select committee, or other government sponsored enquiry, will find anything to criticise the man.

    Be assured that he will find a new role in some quango or other before the year is out.

    In the meantime, those of you who have been missing CEH will be delighted to learn you can catch his pearls of wisdom over at LabourList. I think he may actually have been cutting and pasting from some of his previous posts on here.

    What a pric......eless individual.

  • Comment number 55.

    I think it’s time we analyse the triangular relationship of Companies, Auditors and the FSA.
    These auditing companies boost of having a high proportion of FTSE 100 companies as clients, in KPMG case its about 40% of their business comprising of FTSE 100 companies, to whom they also sell consultancy services, and to whom they also “Independently” investigate. Where is the ethics, the moral responsible behaviour, the transparency, the impartial judgement?

    I thought the numerous revised codes (the Higgs report, the Cadbury report, the Hamel report, report, report report!) was supposed to eliminate such errors, and create a more ethically sound and sustainable corporations. What actually have they achieved? NOTHING!! - except get us into a recession that could have been prevented or cushioned.

    The UK Banks, some Auditing firms, and the FSA should refrain from having a CSR statement, or displaying any sort of value statements, because quite simply, all they have are “enlightened self-interest”. They lack moral purity in their conduct and judgement, and should seek to re-evaluate their ethical standings and corporate accountability, to one that upholds honesty and transparency, then, all of their other fanciful dressings of CSR will begin to make sense, with trust and confidence in the financial system being restored.

  • Comment number 56.

    The government just nominated the guy who ensured that MP Damian Green's office was searched as the head of the Met.

    Surprise then that the police will not even bother to look into evidence that Labour Lords are corrupt? Mugabe watch and weep, these people are the masters of back-scratching!!

  • Comment number 57.

    Dear Nick,

    Here we are, watching ludicrous efforts to deny foresight of a credit crunch cause both bankers and politicians to go to extraordinary lengths of silliness.

    It’s remarkable, and tiresome.

    And, their denials are quite false. Many with more than a passing interest in economics knew something like the credit crunch was coming; K-Wave theory Sir, the work of Nicolai Kondratiev.

    Evidence of imbalances was shouting at us since 2002. By 2004 it was obvious. It was also obvious that we needed to do something to mitigate its impact – something Brown never did while Chancellor (because he liked rising house prices).

    Perhaps nobody knew that US Sub-Prime would be the first real failure (but those who sold US Sub-prime knew they were selling junk and should be jailed).

    No return to boom-and bust Brown can’t afford for the credit crunch to be seen as anything other than a mysterious phenomenon of the “global economy”. But it’s not that, its nothing like it. Many knew it was coming.

    If Brown did tell Crosby to resign then that is a quite astonishing sign of his political ruthlessness and sheer brass neck. But it’s not a surprise though; you don’t get to be PM by being a faint heart.

    Brown may have just shown us a glimpse of his ruthless instinct for political self preservation.

  • Comment number 58.

    The most pathetic thing is Brown, the FSA and Crosby attempting to use the KPMG report to say that it cleared Crosby. But the KPMG report had a narrow brief and did not deal with the substance of Moore's allegations - as KPMG have now confirmed.

    Using a report with a narrow remit to argue that it clears you of all wrongdoing is a well-known tactic for people in trouble - the various Iraq enquiries being the most egregious example.

    So far Crosby is the only one who has resigned. Turner and Brown next?

  • Comment number 59.

    I wonder if the shredding machines are working overtime in the corridors of power and at KPMG tonight.

  • Comment number 60.

    legged it..

  • Comment number 61.

    Jumped, pushed-does this matter. I suggest not an iota. We are facing one of the deepest economic crisis in the post war era. In these circumstances we only need to ask:

    a) Is the person in charge doing his best to solve the problems ? The answer is an emphatic yes.

    b) Do we have the best men to do the job-probably yes.

    I wouldn't trust Davis Cameron and his team to run an ice-cream stall in a heatwave. At a time when the country is looking for meaningful solutions, the Tory leader wastes time in utter trivia-i.e. researching date of birth of some obscure artist. I mean do these guys have any idea about the suffering of the ordinary people.

  • Comment number 62.

    Re: 60
    criminal slang disambiguation clarification identification station
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/leg_it

    English Verb
    (intransitive, slang) To run away, to flee.
    After stealing my handbag he just legged it.


  • Comment number 63.

    Dear Nick,

    Good story Nick, good day to bury bad news etc, but it does beg the question that, if he was completely innocent, they why did he need to resign (ET to Brutus)?

    I also saw you on The Politics Show when you had a go at the (2)HS story, money etc saying you've done your best but, in the end, they have not broken any rules so that's that.

    I think you might have missed the point a bit in the fact that THE RULES NEED CHANGING to stop this obvious lining of pockets with OUR MONEY!

    Xxxx
    ps
    2010 can't come too soon.

  • Comment number 64.

    #9 Awoooga 99

    I'm on new deal, doing a business that I had to moth ball because the bank stopped my O/D and had to sign on.Six months later here I am doing what I was doing, before having to be actively seeking work. You couldn't make it up!

  • Comment number 65.

    The days of ZanuLabia's rotten rule are drawing to a close.

    VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

  • Comment number 66.

    32. At 5:26pm on 11 Feb 2009, ngodinhdiem wrote:
    Hi Nick,

    I realize that you believe this to be a non-story, but have you seen this from the Daily Mail... ?

    A ruling by Mr Lyon last year said: 'If a Member has his or her family living permanently in their constituency home and has modest accommodation in London big enough only for themselves, and which they use only when Parliament is in session, then it would clearly seem to be a matter of fact that Member's main home is in the constituency.'

    Please could you explain for us mere mortals, how Mr Lyon squares this ruling with yesterday?s exoneration of the Jacqui Smith? More to the point, in light of the above and the Michael Trend precedent- why were you so certain from the outset that she hadn?t broken any rules? No wonder Eric Pickles professed astonishment on the Daily Politics today.

    Furthermore, are we to assume that henceforth - MPs can claim primary residency at any address: rented room, hotel, motel or cardboard box under waterloo station, in London (or elsewhere in the country for London MPs) so as to maximize their expense claims, without any scrutiny? On the Daily Politics you did profess an interest in the wider subject of MPs pay/expenses and the issue of self-regulation in the H of C. You even mentioned some research in the area, any chance of a Panorama expose? I?m certain the public at large would welcome it. Indeed, almost everybody I know agree that Parliament would benefit from a good clean up (and clear-out). It would certainly do the BBC?s reputation no harm to be on the side of the electorate; you could even allow MPs to put forward the argument for public funding and a larger basic salary / fewer expenses. These positions do have some merit, although I am personally opposed. Of course, I understand the need for you to remain politically neutral ? but your impartiality need not be harmed by this program ? as there are numerous examples of Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dem sleaze ? ditto examples of good practice in all three parties. So this program could be balanced. You could also allow MPs like Jacqui Smith, the Winterton?s, Derek Conway and their ilk to defend the status quo (if they wised or dared!)

    Anyway, just an idea! Do any of my fellow contributors support it? If so ? let Nick know ? we might yet finally shine some light on this subject.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Excelent post full of points that need addressing. Count me in.

    NICK

    ADDRESS THIS ONE.
    IF YOU CAN'T THEN WHERE DO WE GO FOR REDRESS?

  • Comment number 67.

    With reference to those of you wondering where Golden Gordon's moral compass is,I have it on good authority that it was mislaid during the house clearnce at 11 downing street and can be found in a lock up in Peckham.

  • Comment number 68.

    Whilst everyone gets excited, the most pertinent point made by GB in PMQ's is that at every opportunity the Tories have always called for less regulation of the financial services sector. There is every reason to think the catastrophe of HBOS/Bradford and Bingley/Noerthern Rock etc would have been even worse under a Tory government. After all they allowed Building Societies to de-mutualise. It is these organisations that have been most dramatically compromised.

  • Comment number 69.

    If you haven't done so then please read Moore's full statement below. It shows how rotten to the core the banks and the regulators have been. Just one example: HBOS appointed Charles Dunstone (head of Carphone Warehouse) to the risk committee despite the fact that his expertise lay in sales and retailing rather than in banking. Oh and not by coincidence Dunstone was a friend of the HBOS CEO, Andy Hornby.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7882581.stm

  • Comment number 70.

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

  • Comment number 71.

    re: 54, obangobang

    In the meantime, those of you who have been missing CEH will be delighted to learn you can catch his pearls of wisdom over at LabourList. I think he may actually have been cutting and pasting from some of his previous posts on here.

    Just as well nobody reads it!*


    *I refer of course to CEH's smug bilge and the deluded ramblings of the cuckold.

  • Comment number 72.

    re: 61, Palanni

    HAHAHAHA pull the other one! Return to LabourLost, mindless drone! Draper wants you to peel him a grape!

  • Comment number 73.

    the establishment (aka overfed, white, upper middle class, male buffoons) have failed us - they are shown to be what anyone with half a brain has known for ages - EMPTY SUITS - the only way out of the mess is to bust them back to the paddy fields and put the previously disenfranchised in their place

  • Comment number 74.

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

  • Comment number 75.

  • Comment number 76.

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

  • Comment number 77.

    I cannot believe the Bank of England is actually thinking about manufacturing money (printing notes) to help out the banks/government debts. The banks have already proved they cannot manage the finances, it will do nothing to stimulate the economy and the banks still won't lend anyone any money. GIVE IT TO THE TAXPAYER!!! like me. The banker who defended their bonus the other day said they deserved it because, after all, their salary was only £95,000. So give a years salary to all the taxpayers - that will stimulate the economy - mortgages can be paid, debts recovered, money spent on new cars, might even have a night out. This would reduce demand on loans so the banks will be begging small businesses to borrow money from them. Some people may be able to retire making space for other workers, pensioners will be able to have a decent standard of living...the list is endless.. it is the customer/consumer spending money that will get the economy moving again so bypass the banks and give it to US ... it will all eventually end up in the banks anyway so cut out the middlemen !

  • Comment number 78.

    Still no comment on Jacqui Smith then?

    Does that imply that you don't see anything at all wrong with this snout in the trough?

    Most of your readers see it as little better than benefit fraud.

  • Comment number 79.

    Is it true that, rather than see his beloved political party collapse under the weight of its own mediocrity in dealing with the economic crisis, derekbarker has emigrated?

  • Comment number 80.

    Portcullisgate

    Count me in too.

  • Comment number 81.

    #68 peteholly

    Whilst everyone gets excited, the most pertinent point made by GB in PMQ's is that at every opportunity the Tories have always called for less regulation of the financial services sector.

    ....................................................

    It makes no difference - we're still up S**t Creek.

    ...and your point is?

  • Comment number 82.

    PUSHED BY CYCLOPS!

    SHAME CROSBY DIDNT TAKE HIS MASTER

    WITH HIM?


    HONOUR IN PUBLIC LIFE?

    USED FISCAL PRUDENCE LAVATORY PAPER

    MORE LIKE.

  • Comment number 83.

    Nick, thanks for not staying neutral and not trying to save our drowning PM.

    Gordon Brown looked on the ropes today. He looked tired, out of his depth.

    He had to resport to planted questions to give the illusion of some sort of control over PMQs. All the other questions were critical of him and I doubt if he can cope under those circumstances.

    His weakest response has to be in reply to Angela Watkinson regarding Glen Moreno's links to secretive Lichtenstein banks. Oh, so he's only ACTING chairman, so thats alright then? AN acting chairman doesn't do the job, or have the same responsibility as a "proper" chairman? It has to be the weakest response I've heard in PMQs ever!

    The knives are out for this government and the more that is carved away, the more rotten the flesh that is exposed underneath.

    Tell me Nick, does your change of tack, the off-message soundings of Labour MPs and the over zealous TV exposure of John Prescott an attempt to pander to the North to try and keep core voters on-side, or tell us that a Labour coup is developing?

  • Comment number 84.

    The government is not interested in helping the people that are suffering due to unemployment and lack of business. Instead they are pumping billions into the banks which will proceed to repay their debtors - many of whom abroad. The government IS the banks and they are only serving themselves.

  • Comment number 85.

    JUST LIKE THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT WITH

    ANDY PANDY & CYCLOPS AS FEATURED

    GUEST APPEARANCES.

    WHAT UTTER UTTER GARBAGE.


    RESIGN GORDY RESIGN!

  • Comment number 86.

    ngodinhdiem at 32 wrote:
    "A ruling by Mr Lyon last year said: 'If a Member has his or her family living permanently in their constituency home and has modest accommodation in London big enough only for themselves, and which they use only when Parliament is in session, then it would clearly seem to be a matter of fact that Member's main home is in the constituency.'

    Please could you explain for us mere mortals, how Mr Lyon squares this ruling with yesterday?s exoneration of the Jacqui Smith? More to the point, in light of the above and the Michael Trend precedent- why were you so certain from the outset that she hadn?t broken any rules? No wonder Eric Pickles professed astonishment on the Daily Politics today."

    Absolutley and totally agree with you ngodinhdiem.

    Also;digitalabingdonian @ 67 wrote:
    "With reference to those of you wondering where Golden Gordon's moral compass is,I have it on good authority that it was mislaid during the house clearance at 11 downing street and can be found in a lock up in Peckham".

    Is there a claim for 2nd home allowance on said lock-up in Peckham?




  • Comment number 87.

    68 Peteholly

    Err I don't think there's been any Financial Regulation at all under Nulabour.
    The Mansion House speeches are a historical record of Gordon Brown's position and incompetence.

  • Comment number 88.

    #68:

    Rubbish!

  • Comment number 89.

    32. At 5:26pm on 11 Feb 2009, ngodinhdiem wrote:
    "Hi Nick,

    I realize that you believe this to be a non-story, but have you seen this from the Daily Mail... ?

    A ruling by Mr Lyon last year said: 'If a Member has his or her family living permanently in their constituency home and has modest accommodation in London big enough only for themselves, and which they use only when Parliament is in session, then it would clearly seem to be a matter of fact that Member's main home is in the constituency.'

    Please could you explain for us mere mortals, how Mr Lyon squares this ruling with yesterday?s exoneration of the Jacqui Smith? More to the point, in light of the above and the Michael Trend precedent- why were you so certain from the outset that she hadn?t broken any rules? No wonder Eric Pickles professed astonishment on the Daily Politics today.

    Furthermore, are we to assume that henceforth - MPs can claim primary residency at any address: rented room, hotel, motel or cardboard box under waterloo station, in London (or elsewhere in the country for London MPs) so as to maximize their expense claims, without any scrutiny? On the Daily Politics you did profess an interest in the wider subject of MPs pay/expenses and the issue of self-regulation in the H of C. You even mentioned some research in the area, any chance of a Panorama expose? I?m certain the public at large would welcome it. Indeed, almost everybody I know agree that Parliament would benefit from a good clean up (and clear-out). It would certainly do the BBC?s reputation no harm to be on the side of the electorate; you could even allow MPs to put forward the argument for public funding and a larger basic salary / fewer expenses. These positions do have some merit, although I am personally opposed. Of course, I understand the need for you to remain politically neutral ? but your impartiality need not be harmed by this program ? as there are numerous examples of Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dem sleaze ? ditto examples of good practice in all three parties. So this program could be balanced. You could also allow MPs like Jacqui Smith, the Winterton?s, Derek Conway and their ilk to defend the status quo (if they wised or dared!)

    Anyway, just an idea! Do any of my fellow contributors support it? If so ? let Nick know ? we might yet finally shine some light on this subject. "


    Absolutely agree - how Jacqui Smith can claim that the spare bedroom in her sister's house constitutes her "main" home simply beggars belief. And it's far too similar to the Michael Trend case to be ignored by Parliamentary Standards - if it is then it's proof that this government and its appointees are utterly corrupt (and brazenly so!!!)

  • Comment number 90.


    Re 72 Power to the people

    Translation please ?

  • Comment number 91.

    Hi Nick

    Thanks for the last point on the Labour Lords. Can we have a full blog on this please?

    At the very least the police attitude seems somewhat restrained compared with their approach to Damian Green. Surely Labour Lords aren't treated differently to Tory MPs are they?

  • Comment number 92.

    power-to-the-ppl @71

    I noted Chuck Hogwash's posts and praise of Dolly Draper and Mandelson.

    I drop in from time to time to take the pith...

    Very amusing.

  • Comment number 93.

    The BBC reports that: "A Dutch MP who described the Koran as a "fascist book" has been banned from entering the UK amid fears his presence would endanger public security."

    Funny how we allow so many Islamists into the country that our capital is called 'Londonistan', yet a democratically elected MP of an EU nation is barred.

    We are truly doomed if this is how we defend our freedoms.

  • Comment number 94.

    Quotes from your BBC website:

    "What does HBOS say?"

    "It refutes Paul Moore's allegations which it says have no substance or merit. Rather than being sacked, it says Mr Moore was made redundant as part of a restructuring process. It says the person employed to replace him had 20 years experience in banking and reported directly to the chief executive and the appointment was approved by the HBOS board"

    Err, let's see - you make someone redundant as part of a "restructuring" and then you immediately appoint someone else to take that job? - yeh, right, and replaced with a loyal crony with 20 years "anything you say sir" service who will rubber stamp anything the board says !! I truly hope these people get what they so justly deserve !!!

  • Comment number 95.

    The Guardian headline tomorrow "Brown's black day".....

    ........ Brown doesn't care. He is still sacrificing people like Crosby so that he can keep his job for a few more days.


    P.S. Nick - good spot on the attempt to bury the 'bad news' ref the Lords for cash.

  • Comment number 96.

    Nick,

    Your colleagues on the radio have just reported that KPMG have formally stated that their report (which the FSA and James Crosby are using - continuing your mixed metaphor - as their fig-leaf) was "narrowly limited to HBOS's compliance with FSA rules" - i.e. the report is not even a fig-leaf to excuse them. So all three, the FSA, James Crosby and Gordon Brown are completely naked, with the British public justifiably ready to kick them in a very painful location.

  • Comment number 97.

    Wow, a bit of a queue here! Two and a quarter hours to get past the moderators....

    Oh well for what its worth... jump or pushed?


    Encouraged, compelled, nay, instructed even (at gunpoint probably) to jump. Blindingly obvious.


    Just been watching McNulty squirming on Newsnight. Horrid. Pathetic. Mind you, thats the most animated I have seen any crowd on a political programme on the BBC for some time. About time the politicians of all flavours incidentally realised just how pee'd off Joe Public is and just how real that anger is.

  • Comment number 98.

    It is evident that asking Brown a question in westminster has not a snowballs chance in hell of producing an answer. Perhaps it would be a more effective way to score a point if the questioners got together and agreed to not turn up in the first place. This would surely suggest to Brown that no one has any interest in what he has to say and save wear and tear on the furniture.

  • Comment number 99.

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

  • Comment number 100.

    The list of people Gordon Brown has shafted to save his own skin seems to grow by the day. How long before they decide his fate is sealed and therefore no longer a threat or of potential advantage and they start to exact their revenge? Are you receiving juicy extracts of their forthcoming books yet Nick? If not I imagine they will soon start arriving with you.

 

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