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The truce is over

Nick Robinson | 08:39 UK time, Friday, 17 October 2008

The truce is over. The Tories have had enough of hearing that Gordon Brown is a super hero and they've decided to try to bring him down to earth.

David CameronIn a speech this morning, David Cameron condemns what he calls "the complete and utter failure of Labour's economic record". The American sub-prime crisis is only half the story of the economic crisis he says. Just as important was the failure, "a British failure", to regulate British public and private debt. The Tory leader promises to usher in an era of responsibility with greater control of both public spending and private debt.

So why this speech now? Is it because the Tories have been panicked by Gordon Brown's recovery? Certainly, in an interview I've just done with the Tory leader the question he appeared to like least was the one when I pressed him to give personal credit to the prime minister for his handling of the past couple of weeks.

In his speech Mr Cameron comes up with another of those metaphors that he likes so much to explain why the political truce is now over. He says that it was right to man the hoses when the house was on fire - in other words to back the government in a crisis - but that it's now also right to see who built the house. Is this the same accident-prone house that only recently had a broken roof? My feeling is that this metaphor's unlikely to last quite so well as the last one.

What matters much more, of course, is whether the Tory leader's argument proves sustainable. Can he convince people that Gordon Brown is the architect of their problems rather than the failures of the global financial system?


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  • Comment number 1.

    That's more like it ... there's nothing more boring (and phoney) than all the "National Unity" garbage.

  • Comment number 2.

    Well, David Cameron would know all about the failure to regulate the banks considering he is in favour of deregulation and his party is funded by the bubble bankers themselves!

  • Comment number 3.

    If anyone saw Question Time last night, most of the audience seemed to believe that the fault should be shared between the Banks, for lending the money to people who couldn't afford to pay the loans back, the people who borrowed beyond their means, and the Government for not regulating the Banks properly in the first place.

  • Comment number 4.

    To use an ugly expression, let him put his money where his mouth is. Cameron has a golden opportunity to win a nervous, even devasted electorate over. But, and this is a big but, he must demonstrate that he has real leadership qualities, and has a range of policies that can be applied to steer this nation through a really tough situation.

  • Comment number 5.

    Last night Robert Peston highlighted the fact that this countries total debt (personal, business and government) is equivalent to 4 times its GDP.

    That is not a global issue its Browns.

    We are convinced... regardless of metaphor.

  • Comment number 6.

    Everyone in this country knows our phantom prosperity has been been built on unprecedented levels of personal and Gov't debt.

    Debt is the central political issue for the future and only one politician is talking about getting it down to a sustainable level.

    Cameron also hit on the imbalances in our economy in respect of the North/South divide. Us Northerners need a "Barnett Formula" directly aimed as business development in the North. Tax business in the South and pass it on to the north to ignite economic growth up here afterall we have lots of skills, cheaper labour and premises and housing costs and were hard-workers too!!!!!!! The development of the SE should be halted!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    Correct, we need adversarial politics if we are going to move forward. Brown and his bunch of incompetents need to be challenged at all times and on all things.

  • Comment number 8.

    Because labour have proven over 108 years all they know about is wrecking economies. Tax & waste is Browns motto

  • Comment number 9.

    Gordon Brown a hero for saving the day??? The banks still aren't lending, the stock markets been crashing and the economy is heading into what looks a long and deep recession. God help us if GB has a bad day!

  • Comment number 10.

    He convinces me, anyway.

  • Comment number 11.

    "No more boom and bust."

    "No more boom and bust."

    "I say again Mr. Speaker, no more boom and bust."

    And 10 warnings from the IMF that the UK was living beyond its means.

    Brown says he needs an 'early warning system'.

    No, he needs to listen to others more.

    Brown regulated the debt management away from the BoE. Brown gave it to an organisation that patently was not fit for purpose.

    And the Tories warned him in '97 it was a flawed idea.

    Brown borrowed the money, gave away the gold, destroyed pension, taxed and spent.

    And now is borrowing more.

    Nail him Cam. Just nail him.

    We don't need more regulation, we need better regulation because Brown's didn't work.

    We need to know how we are going to re-pay it and how we start to rebuild our ruined economy.

  • Comment number 12.

    Cameron must have got all the contributions from the banks, so he can now join in whinging about them and the Government.
    By the way has he been on holiday over the past few weeks, he's been very quiet!

  • Comment number 13.

    Once again the Tory's show their true colours..trying to win cheap political points at a time of crisis for the UK.

    Perhaps Mr Cameron should spend his time working with the Government to help the country than to revert to cheap shots during worrying times for us all?

  • Comment number 14.

    Cameron is absolutely right - the government has presided over 10 years of waste, excessive borrowing, bureaucracy and takes hikes. In short Labour has helped cripple our economy. Brown is part of the reason we are in this mess and why the government cannot do more to help out the hard working people of this county. I just hope there is an election soon so we can kick this incompetent Labour government out of office.

  • Comment number 15.

    Of course Gordon Brown is the architect of these problems.

    It is not just about the banking crisis. It is Dafur, it is Afghanistan, it is Iraq, it is the report about false consultations, it is about Mandelson, Cash for Honours, loans to political parties, it is about 42 days detention, it is about the upcoming commons vote on abortion and the changes to the law, it is about CTV cameras, its about the unemployed being roof laggers, it is about the non referendum over the Treaty of Lisbon, not being at signings.

    I think that you get my drift, also how about human rights in China and the torch parade through the streets of London, foot and mouth, now that was a real crisis, caused by leaks from a government establishment. It is about Northern Rock continuing to sponsor a famous football club and paying a retainer to a former senior executive and then repossessing the homes of those people who should never have been given a loan in the first place.

    Well I am no fan of David Cameron, but there is a problem. If you say that you are not with me then you are against me is the mantra. I am straining every sinew to save the country and therefore by inference if you do not support me then you are undermining our country, which a true conservative would never do!

    So, we need a formal government announcement as to the policy in Afghanistan, because there is nobody saying about the elephant in the room about the effect that the war is having on the poeples of Britain.

  • Comment number 16.

    My take of Cameron's speech is that he's coming out of the starting gate strongly in the hope that he's able to capture the momentum by talking up innovation and society, the new business and kindness that I've been promoting all week in this blog. This is matched by a sideswipe which attempts to write off the economic and investment progress made during the Labour years, and extending his flanks to promise a rolling barrage of measures to help ordinary people with their everyday difficulties. It's a good set piece but I remain sceptical that Cameron fully understands what he's saying or genuinely cares for people.

    You can't just pull innovation of the air by edict. That requires the right management attitude to employees, a nurturing environment, and a credible level of loyalty. The Tories oppose corporate governance, fair wages, and employment security law. On that alone their words appear to be a cut and paste job from my comments over the past few weeks while their delivery on the ground remains the same old blank cheque for the CBI and shareholders.

    Another thing that the Tories don't get is the relationship between discipline and liberty. They talk tough on getting the job done and developing the regions, but if staff are to be skilful and work well together, and communities left behind by economic progress are to be raised up, they need to drill it into their heads that sound form or proper technique requires people to execute well and pay attention. That's rules and sensitivity by another name, and something they undermine when talking up licence, such as with their criticism of the government's upcoming communications bill, or policies on schoolchildren's behaviour. There is no capital growth in failed individuals or states.

    The sense of creativity and community the Tories are familiar with is the cleverness and greed they've soaked themselves in. But, genuine creativity and community is open minded and open hearted. It doesn't game the system or seek to build wealth up for itself. It opens itself up to spontaneity and kindness. Far from being the evil of the City or marketers, genuine creativity is life giving and loving, quality and sharing. This isn't something you can deliver with a bunch of words from a lectern but it requires insight, commitment, and a lot of letting go. This is essentially the feminine, or Yin side of the Tao, so is very firmly on the left of centre political spectrum, not the shiny and brittle right of centre on the Yang side of the Tao.

    Cameron has come a little way but his message isn't entirely credible nor is its sincerity tested, so I remain sceptical that the Tories are anywhere near fit for government. Unless their leading politicians, members, and friends and allies begin showing more of the qualities and sensitivities Cameron is trying to sell people, unless they deliver and take a little pain, I won't believe they're anything more than a bunch of spivs trying to sell double-glazing to an old lady.

  • Comment number 17.

    I am sure Vince Cable would have more credibility to criticise GB than Cameron (no I am not a LibDemer).

    Fundamentally the failure to regulate the financial markets reflects the sad naive worship of USA style free enterprise by the current and previous Prime Ministers that has and had consequences for formulating public policy across the board.

    Cameron is an unsurprising opportunist but so was Tony Blair when he was in the same doorstep position.

  • Comment number 18.

    Cameron will not be taken seriously until he acknowledges that the crises has been caused by the activities of free-market fanatics, not just in the UK but throughout the world. In view of the fact that the Tories are bankrolled by the bankers I have no confidence that he will.

  • Comment number 19.

    It is all very well Brown presenting himself as the only person who can save the UK (and the rest of the world as well!).
    But we shouldn't be in this mess in the first place!

    New Labours's basic failure is in not monitoring or managing the financial sector. They have allowed them to operate without restraint.
    It is all so obviously wrong now but it would have been just as wrong over the last 10 years if anybody had bothered to look!

    New Labour have failed themselves and failed the people in the UK in the process.

  • Comment number 20.

    This was long overdue.
    Even the man down the pub knows that Cameron is right about this.

    It was way overdue that someone stoood up and called this spade a spade and stopped him shovelling more garbage onto the pile

  • Comment number 21.

    At last Cameron speaks out.

    He is 100% right, and Brown deserves a lot of the blame. Very impressed and encouraged that at last Brown's hubris may be "outed" in public.

    No more boom and bust... HA HA HA

  • Comment number 22.

    The leader of the Tory Party criticising the leader of the Labour Party for embracing free market economics.

    He's right though we were far better under the heavily regulated markets that were the hallmark of Mrs Thatcher's re...ohh hang on.

    If elections are won on sheer brass necked hypocrisy then truly Cameron is home and hosed.

    And they wonder why people don't bother to vote. The tired Labour Party led by beleaguered Brown, the shamelsessly populist Tories led by the vacuously smug Cameron and Osborne and the ever less relevant Lib Dems led by the anonymous Nick Clegg and the odious Chris Huhne. I believe they call it Morton's Fork.

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm certainly prepared to overlook past failings by Conservative government because this new party leader does deserve a chance.

    And I think it's absolutely brilliant that, alone among MPs, David Cameron has the guts and foresight to speak publicly for those who have effectively had their livelihood STOLEN form them due the sudden collapse in sales in the 3rd qtr of this year, quoting from this website 'changes to the insolvency laws to protect sound but struggling businesses'.
    I happen to believe (and I have held this view since the early 90s) that there has to be a point where the state can no longer just wag an accusing finger at firms and individuals who have totally run out of money through no fault of their own while the 'better off' prosper more so than ever and chuckle to themselves about how prudent they_have_been..

    And I speak as one who recently posted a petition on the No.10 Downing St website. If you are at risk from Britains Dickensian methods of dealing with 'insolvency' The respected editor of 'Ripoff Britain' signed it today and I urge you to sign it too before the trainwreck hits all of us.

    Hear hear!

    Guy Croft

  • Comment number 24.


    You ask if Cameron can convince people that Gordon Brown is the architect of their problems, rather than the global financial system.

    It's blindingly obvious** that he is one of the chief architects. The downturn in global finances is not Brown's fault, but the way that it has affected the UK is down to the reaction of the UK economy. An economy that he has micro-managed for the last 11 years, an economy that has been regulated by the FSA that he introduced.

    ** to anyone but the most blinkered of Labour supporters, that is.

    I'm not suggesting that the banks and the general public are blameless in the least, but it's like looking after a bunch of kids in a playground. If you let them run free they cause mayhem. Likewise if you put in place an impotent and hamstrung regulator, you get an unregulated banking system.

    Anyone who claims that the Conservatives are simply 'the party of deregulation' is guilty of gross misrepresentation - the Conservatives are certainly keen on an economy that responds to free-market forces, but anyone can see that a totally unregulated market is just anarchy. The Conservatives don't want that. One of the left-leaning bloggers here likes to refer to the Conservatives as being driven by the acquisition of wealth, or words to that effect. Yes, indeed - but you need the market to be regulated for that wealth to be real and not just a hubris-fuelled bubble.

  • Comment number 25.

    Do you expect us to believe that if we had a conservative government now we wouldn't still be where we are? or even worse. I don't remember the Conservatives as being very keen on regulation and controling wreckless greed.

  • Comment number 26.

    David Cameron in favour of more regulation! Hypocrisy of the highest order. Here he is one year ago in his Tory Conference speech:

    ? “I don't believe in an ever larger state doing more and more.”

    ? “And I know that business wants to hear from the Conservative Party how we will reduce regulation and reduce taxation to give them more freedom in this new world… and we heard from Alan Duncan how we will introduce regulatory budgets to cut that regulation...”

    ? “[We will] get tax and regulation down for the long term good of our economy and that is the modern Conservative change for this new world of freedom.”

    Hitherto Cameron and his free market Tory allies have wanted more not less deregulation – they wanted the corporate world which has sailed us into today’s financial black hole to be freer not more controlled!

    The events of the last few months have shown undisputedly that what the corporate world needs is not, as Cameron tried to lead us to believe, less regulation but more. He was mistaken and the evidence of his error is all around us.

  • Comment number 27.

    When he talks about creating apprenticeships and rebuilding manufacturing I am immediately turned off. After all it was Mrs Thatcher who destroyed manufacturing in this country when she decided the economy should be built on the service industries. It was also the Tories who removed apprenticeship schemes; the Labour government reintroduced them and they are increasing year on year. Even Mr Cameron admitted that the massive increase in debt began before 1997 when Labour came to power. Looking at the Conservative manifesto in 1997, I see nothing to say they intended to regulate on debt. Nor was there any indication they intended to do so in the 2005 manifesto, which David Cameron wrote for Michael Howard.

  • Comment number 28.

    17. watriler wrote:
    I am sure Vince Cable would have more credibility to criticise GB than Cameron (no I am not a LibDemer).

    Very good point. I'm no Lib either, but Vince Cable, in my opinion is an able, and I believe sincere (if there is such a thing) politician. He is wasted in a party which is going nowhere and filled with nothings. If he joined either of the two main parties, he would bring a surge of new supporters to their cause.

  • Comment number 29.

    "Can he convince people that Gordon Brown is the architect of their problems rather than the failures of the global financial system?"

    Wrong question Nick. I don't believe he has to convince people of that.

    A better question is that posed by warning123 #4

    Cameron needs to trust the public enough to provide them with a full and proper and honest appraisal of the medium and long term outlook for UK plc and describe how his party will help us through this.

    As I mentioned on another post, while the bail out has improved the capital structures of the banks which will ease the situation somewhat; the fact remains that much of the interbank security is still tied up with toxic debt and as the economy slows and property prices fall the ratio of toxic to good will increase. Look at NR and the repossession stats.

    I found it amusing that the pimplies in stripy shirts working at their trading desks thought for a brief moment that the crisis was over, when the fundamentals haven't changed.

    We need to be told the full story; we need to know that Cameron understands the scale of the problem; and we need to know he "has a plan".

  • Comment number 30.

    I blame borrowers: for not sitting down and working out the real price of that holiday/ television/car once the interest payments have been added on top; the banks for lending in an incontinent fashion; for lifestyle television programmes hyping up "redevelopment" and how much money can be made if you just borrow £x thousand to do up an old wreck; for lifestyle magazines giving the poor they can live like millionaires; schools for not teaching finance .... and Gordon for presiding over it all. Especially Gordon, wrecking the pension market and encouraging people to think property can thprovide their pension. Nice one ... he collects more Stamp Duty that way!

  • Comment number 31.


    Ah the usual Hogwash mantra of "he stole my ideas"

    There is someone here who really needs to get overthemselves

  • Comment number 32.

    Of course Brown is the architect of many of our current problems. Let's re-iterate for the umpteenth time:

    1. In 1997 Brown created the regulatory framework which failed to stop irresponsible lending practices by the likes of Northern Rock. His baby, the FSA, was simply not up to the job.

    2. Brown irresponsibly spent and borrowed far too much during the years of growth. At a time when the Government should have been running a healthy fiscal surplus, he was borrowing to spend as though there were no tomorrow. Perhaps he believed his own rhetoric about an "end to boom and bust".

    3. The Government allowed the housing bubble to run away long after it was apparent that we were in an unsustainable boom.

    4. The Government has only belatedly started to get a grip on the current financial crisis, after a year of dither and irresolution.

    5. Under 11 years of NuLabour, the economy became completely unbalanced, relying on public and consumer debt, combined with a housing bubble to keep it afloat.

    Brown is just a big, boastful, bully and it is under his irresponsible stewardship of the economy that this country has gone down the pan!

  • Comment number 33.

    My points:

    1. The FSA were set up to regulate the financial sector. They had plenty of warning that there were problems in 2007 when HMG had to nationalise Northern Rock - why didn't they take a good look into the practices of the banks then?

    2. "Off balance sheet" lending MUST be stopped with immediate effect and never be allowed to return.

    3. One overall credit card limit to be applied to each individual, NOT each credit card and credit card providers to be made subject to the same rules as financial advisers - issuing a client agreement, completing a fact-find, proving affordability, etc.

    4. The practice of "revolving credit" (moving debts from one 0% for x months card to the next and so on, or re-mortgaging to move debt from high interest short term credit to lower interest longer term credit) to be addressed to stop the present disaster from recurring.

    5. Pie in the sky - Gordon Brown to own up to his responsibilities and accept a significant proportion of the balme for the disaster - the BBC's programme last night with "no return to boom and bust" - I'd laugh if only I could stop crying!

    6. Do something about closing hedge funds; it's legalised gambling, but with our money.

  • Comment number 34.

    It's about time Cameron took the gloves off. There should now be a concerted effort with the LibDems and disillusioned true Labour MPs to force a vote of confidence.
    People have had enough of Brown. He's lost the plot and it's time to go.

  • Comment number 35.

    When will people see that anything that comes out of david camerons mouth is meaningless! he states that the tories are the only ones to fix the economy yet supports browns recovery plan, he calls for unity when it'll get him headlines and drops it for an attack which will get him more headlines. He expresses all these wonderful ideas about regulation and setting up the 'office of budget responsibility'... are these idea's that he subscribes to or are they ideas that sound good and will win him supporters? look back at past tory manifestos, especially the ones he's been involved with...are those idea's there? no! The mistakes brown made over the economy in the past would of been made by cameron, if anything cameron would of made even bigger mistakes! but now its not cool to favour deregulation he pretends to be something else! he is a politician in the worst possible sense and i hope people see through him in time for any forthcoming election!

  • Comment number 36.

    For all the chaos of the last few weeks--there are still many thousands of people who really still don't know what's going on economically , find it hard to understand or maybe just don't even give a damn.
    When the election does--eventually come--it is these very same people who will probably say "Let's give the other lot a go".

    Thus-my guess it is this group that Mr Cameron needs to focus on. His speech here , full of economic jargon will now be simplified over the next few days by the tabloid press/ popular media.

    Nothing's changed, although the Brown bounce will probably seen as a flash Gordon within a week or three.

  • Comment number 37.

    It's nice to know not everyone lives in la la land where GB is the master of the universe. The Tories have a great shot now at illuminating GB and Labour's fingerprints which are all over this fiasco. To those who say the Tories are scoring cheap political points I say they have shown commendable restraint.
    If it was reversed, the socialists would have been heckling from the sidelines from day one.

  • Comment number 38.

    flan @ 11

    ... "Brown doobedoobedoo, gave away the gold, doobedoobedoo and doobedoo" ...

    He didn't "give away" the gold, he sold it at market price and reinvested the proceeds in interest bearing cash assets.

    Gold pays an effective NEGATIVE interest rate (costs of storage and security) - when you factor in the interest rate differential, you find that the price of gold has to almost double every 10 years in order for it to keep up. Made perfect sense to sell it and buy something else.

    Will you please amend and resubmit your post (without the gold bit) seeing as I've gone to the trouble of pointing this out?

  • Comment number 39.

    This Government has destroyed this country financially and socially. They have been engaging in a massive experiment over the last 11 years with social engineering and top down control over the populations liberty. We need to vote these dangerous Labour politicians out before it is too late for this once great nation.
    I for one are genuinly worried about the Labour parties agenda.

  • Comment number 40.

    It is good that they are going to take on the government again.

    I think it was a very poor start (no clear message... sound bites aren't all bad when you want headlines...) - but I guess 'it can only get better'

    When the ship is sinking and the PM has called "abandon ship", everyone has to 'support' the crew in manning the lifeboats.

    But getting bogged down in questions of exactly what you said (supported/objected to) earlier about the labour-voyage is a complete waste of time when if you had been in charge you would have flown anyway.

  • Comment number 41.

    I fully understand David Camerons concerns here & commend him for reminding the public just who is responsible for the country being in the mess it's now in.

    Too many have held Brown up as the 'Great Rescuer' because he brought about a rescue plan for the banks. They have quickly forgotton that, had it not been for Browns shoddy policies in the first instance, a rescue plan may not have been required.

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

    Does this mean the Tories are now retracting the accusation that Gordon Brown had been following Ken Clarkes policies as Chancellor?

  • Comment number 44.


    PMQs, 8 Oct:

    Cameron: Should not the Bank of England be restored to its proper role... so that this never happens again?

    Brown: Of course... but I have to remind him of what he said on the “Andrew Marr Show”:

    “What you won’t hear from me this week is sort of easy, cheap lines...beating up...the market system, bashing...financiers.”

    Brown scores a cheap point. Huge laughter from the Labour benches. Blood boils on the Tory benches. Truce over.

  • Comment number 45.

    Try some of these numbers for size.

    If you look at what the 20 largest financial institutions from all over the world have reported, the write down in capital is in excess of $200 bn. Since that inexorably leads to a reduction in liquidity (the cause of trhe problem), and using 20 times as a consrevative multiple, that means that the lending capacity has been reduced by $4 trillion.

    Those are conservative estimates, and obly focusing on the largest US, UK, French, German, Swiss, Dutch and Japanese banks.

    This figure is still larger than the $3.2 trillion that has been pushed at the problem by the governments.

    It should illustrate that politicians looking for rewarding headlines, and something to get their teeth into, should avoid hasty action and intemperate language.

    By no means is the 4 trillion figure an estimated total loss, but it is an immense financial burden that needs to be worked around. The banks are the providers of liquidity to everybody, including the government.

    The government, at all levels, has been lax in its supervision, and now we are paying the price. The intervention is going to cost us more, because what has been thrown in isn't enough, and we are now locked in.

    Where is this government going to find money to pay for all the public services they keep promising us, you know the world class health service and world class everything else.

    They've kept quiet about it so far, but as the oil price drops, so does the government's tax take, making the domestic budget deficit even worse than it was.

    Darling's autumn budget statement is going to make interesting listening.

  • Comment number 46.

    Gordon Brown is suddenly popping up in the Midlands saying that a manufacturing base is the centre-piece of a strong economy. Where was he when the Peugeot shut down and 4500 jobs went ?

    Already with government owned banks the strings are being attached to business - Yes Lloyds can merge with HBoS - but only if jobs are protected in Scotland.

    If Gordon Brown truely wants to help the economy of this country he should call an election.

  • Comment number 47.

    Sounding Brass

    David Cameron is merely the leader of the oposition.

    He will not be called upon to make any serious decisions about anything for at least the next 18 months - maybe not at all.

    This is a serious situation that is far too important for juvenile party politics.

    We need to know what the government is going to do: the rest is a distraction - just a side show - and we should treat it as such.

  • Comment number 48.

    At last - this has been long overdue.

    It has been galling to see Gordon allowed to pose as an economic superstar and our saviour - when we all know he is a major part of the problem.

    Hopefully the media will no longer pussy foot around Brown and take him to task over the disaster he has created.

  • Comment number 49.

    What came up in Question Time was a small but much needed debate about the advancement of the BNP with nine seats in Stoke for instance.,

    If you look at it academically, it is the act of people in desperation due to the inadequacies of this government.

    Last time I mentioned this I got moderated. Why?

    This government does not like people stating the bl****ng obvious.

  • Comment number 50.

    3. shellingout

    Fine except:

    People behave like people (stupid and greedy)

    Bankers behave like bankers (clever and greedy)

    The government should behave like government (take an evolved position and exercise control)

    Government failed.

    Last night I heard Ed Miliband explain how the government is going to increase its targets on the environment, despite the downturn. How recession was not an excuse to row back on these issues.

    That is evolved leadership. Sometimes you have to tell the people what they don’t want to hear for the greater good.

    Shame Brown didnt do this on the economy.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    So who was it that got rid of all the regulations for Banks & market traders why Maggie Thatcher on big bang day 1986 let the market be free she said,also she said about the increace in house prices "it's nice for people to think they have somthing of value" the only thing that Gordon Brown did wrong was to follow Tory policies.

  • Comment number 53.

    Brown is part of the problem, he is not part of the solution.

    Thankfully normal politics is resuming.

    I for one think Brown should be held to account for his shambolic running of the economy. The public needs to know before the next general election why we got into this mess and who played a major part in it.

    The encumbent of, first 11 Downing Street and now 10 Downing Street is where all eyes should be focused.

  • Comment number 54.

    Reired people and those approaching retirement with investments in stocks face ruin and financial restraints. Pension providers will also be adjusting their annuity rates.
    "Crash" Gordon cannot deny that whilst he contantly bashed on about "no more boom and bust", the truth is that he was the overseer of the economy for 10 years and was quite happy to ride the global economic providence, but is now lame and reticent to even acknowlege that some of the UK's economic problems are due to his management over the last 10 years.
    Come on Gordo, let's have some mea culpa

  • Comment number 55.

    I have been following events pretty closely: but have I missed the ideas from the Tory leadership about their specific, uniquely Tory policies which should be implemented NOW to get the banking system working again and minimise the depth and length of the recession? Certainly Osborne seemed bereft of such ideas when pushed hard on Today this morning. He and Cameron are still stuck in a 'how to get to Dublin' mantra which just does not wash, and they have hardly been in the vanguard of tight finacial regulation and abstemious, credit-free life styles.
    The markets clearly cannot solve everything and apparently the society which does not exist is clear blue water between the present leadership and Mrs T....most embarassing

  • Comment number 56.

    Another cause of the house prices going through the roof and making them inaccessible for many young people is - wait for it -

    Mothers working. Wait, let me clarify before you go all PC on me.....

    Because millions of mothers feel they have to go out to work, some even three months after their baby is born, it means the income of the two parents keeps the house prices high BECAUSE THEY CAN AFFORD IT.

    Now, I know, some mothers just have to go to work because the father is poorly paid or, indeed if there is no father on the scene (disgraceful in many cases). It is not those about which I speak.

    Labour didn't and doesn't look into social and economic factors, it actively encouraged young mothers to return to work and have their children "group reared". Scandalous.

  • Comment number 57.

    Too little too late. The point of a laissez faire system is that the banks that took the risks that put them in such peril should be allowed to fail. The amount of money thrown at the failing economy is frankly immoral as it rewards failure and encourages debting institutions to go into further debt, as your colleague Robert Peston said. However, creating a regulatory system now is rather like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted , to use an old cliche. The sooner the system crashes, the sooner it can be repaired, rather than the drip, drip that is happening at the moment.

    The Conservatives have been particularly quiet for some time, they should have been, frankly, MORE vociferous in criticising Brown's economic policy. Now it just looks like a cheap attempt to score political points. Especially when more than one of them are talking about burning houses like a poor Gregorian chant.

  • Comment number 58.

    Of course Gordon Brown is the architect of these problems.

    Gordon Brown is also the architect of 'soft power' and 'fair trade' which is an effort to supplant the militarism and transnational corporatism which has helped cause so much destruction and poverty.

    As the Japanese say, people make mistakes and have difficulties, and campaigns like Iraq and Afghanistan take time to unwind. You don't want to create a power vacuum for warlords. Finishing the job to a satisfactory level can help that.

    In my earlier post I mentioned liberty versus licence. Some folks confuse the two, not realising that sound rules are the basis for a good life and civilisation. While one may have minimal influence on nations, less banging on about it in here would be less disruptive and encourage more calm.

    The Tao teaches that influence extends from the self outwards, so better focus and sensitivity in the self spreads out like the ripples created by a small pebble being thrown into a pond. More calm increases happiness. More happiness increases kindness and, maybe, a nicer policy.

    Speaking of threats: "If a man throws a grain of salt into a little cup of water, the water in that cup would become salty and undrinkable owing to that grain of salt. But if a man were to throw a similar grain of salt into the river Ganges, because of the great mass of water therein, it would not become salty and undrinkable".

    The lesson here for folks getting uppity about Cameron or foreign terrorists is that too much focus on problems tends to magnify them, but by developing inner calm and expanding its sweetspot, one develops more perspective so these things don't even cause a hiccup. This view would also be usefully applied to businesses and communities trying to look beyond the immediate economic issues.

    All you need is love. RAT-A-TATA-TAT.
  • Comment number 59.

    guy @ 23

    ... "Britains Dickensian methods of dealing with insolvency" ...

    That's an interesting comment. I thought we had a fairly lenient approach, these days, to bankruptcy - you know, walk away from your debts and start again after a period (quite a short period too).

    Brought in to encourage entrepeneurship, I've heard the perceived laxity around this being cited as yet another of the factors which has encouraged the frothy, debt ridden economy we are now landed with. Not a subject I have too much knowledge of, however, so I'm wondering (given that you seem to be saying the opposite) if you could elaborate on your concerns a little?

  • Comment number 60.

    Any proper consideration of what the economic policies of the last decade have produced leads us to three simple words: we need Cable.

  • Comment number 61.

    All Cameron has to do is Rubuke the statement by J. Smith and Hoon, about closer monitoring of the publlic.

    The electrate will be all over that like a Tramp over Hot sausages.

    Please Labour remember you are in Office not Power.

  • Comment number 62.

    Cameron makes a strong and cogent critique of Government economic policy under Brown and all Yvette Cooper can do is call him "juvenile". I think the Government has to do better than resort to petty name calling - how about a bit of mea culpa for the mess they have created.

  • Comment number 63.

    carrots @ 50

    ... "Bankers behave like bankers (clever and greedy)" ...

    They're big (a lot of them) but they're not clever.

    Seriously, the intellect of people who work in the City is as overrated as Gordon Brown's has been - and that's saying something.

  • Comment number 64.

    I watched it this morning, and it was disappointing. So far as I could see there was a lot of generalisation, but few specifics - and most of those were things the government and its agencies is already doing or has announced that it will do (see for example Adair Turner's statement yesterday, and the announcement on the 80% reduction in emissions by 2050). The only* real specific was the new quango to advise the government as to whether it is borrowing too much - Osborne obviously thinks that is a big idea, but I can't see how it really adds anything new. It will have no actual power, and there are already a lot of people doing the same thing. We had the usual mantras about broken society, broken politics, etc - but not acknowledgement of the great improvements in recent years (eg crime, including violent crime, at historically low levels).

    It was worrying that when the bankers(?) in the audience asked detailed questions, Cameron gave every impression of either not understanding the question or not having any sort of answer; the first one he passed hurriedly to Osborne, who then talked about the advisory body on debt, which had nothing to do with the issue raised. If it had been an exam, they would both have failed, I think.

    * No, I forgot that Cameron also announced a commitment to building high speed rail lines to several parts of the country.

  • Comment number 65.


    "So why this speech now?"

    Because he's Leader of the Opposition, of course.

    Brown has had a relatively good week or so but that doesn't mean Cameron should not do what the Opposition is supposed to do, ie oppose. He did the right thing to suspend hositilities for a short period but why should he give Brown an easy ride?


    "the only thing that Gordon Brown did wrong was to follow Tory policies"

    Not the only thing, but certainly his policies have been way to the right of Cameron.

  • Comment number 66.

    Well, looking at the markets it seems that the city has taken David Cameron’s speech this morning very well indeed.

    Could it be that we need a Conservative government to give the banks the confidence they need to lower the LIBOR rate?’

  • Comment number 67.

    I admit to be conservative (with a small 'c'). However, I'm still skeptical about the Tories. Where were the Cameroons over the past few years, telling us how bad the situation was (potentially) and how poorly Flash Gordon was performing? Hammering the Labour Party from backside to breakfast time in the best interests of the British people?

    I seem to recall the Tories basically saying "Trust us. We're like Labour, only, er, different a bit ...". Same public spending plans, focus on public services (rather than wealth creation), no tax cuts etc etc.

    Now, all of a sudden, we're supposed to believe that the Tories were/are radically different, or are going to be. Well, are they? What's going to be different?

    Like many voters of my instincts and persuasion, I want to see a serious statesman emerge from this debacle, capable of full-blown strategic thinking, planning and implementation, who recognises the huge economic and social challenges that lay ahead, who realises that the end of cheap energy is the next "global meltdown", closely followed by the adverse effects of mass global migration, and who sides with citizen-taxpayers to deliver small government, low taxes and genuine freedom to all of the good people of the UK.

    Gordon Brown has indeed been a Stalinist disaster for this country. Simply having the Tories offer us more-of-the-same-but-different just will not work.

    Are you up to it Mr Cameron?

  • Comment number 68.

    All these comments about scoring "cheap political points," funny I seem to remember John Smith being absolutely merciless on Major in the aftermath of Black Wednesday and quite rightly so! What goes around comes around.

    Re. regulation. The irony here is that Labour have let the markets rip over the last decade while at the same time they have piled costs and regulation on to the real economy by gold plating EU directives to a degree which no other EU government has done.

  • Comment number 69.

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

  • Comment number 70.

    the truce is over and it was as expected as rain. to be honest they make me laugh these parties do, each party is a joke and as a whole i wouldnt trust any of them to run for a bus let alone run the country.
    partly to blame for the problems we have today is party politics.
    as organisations they are moraly corrupt and financialy inept, example labour has a large deficit in its accounts due to overspending in the last election but they won and are expected to manage this countries finances when they cant even balance there own books, the tories and others are no better.
    theyt cannot be trusted and have shown they concider themselves first above all else.
    can this country afford to keep these organisations and continue to suffer poor governments ?
    no i think change is needed and the people of this country deserves a government that will think of the people first and foremost.

  • Comment number 71.

    I was beginning to warm to Cameron but now I've cooled off. I was not impressed with Brown up till recently, the way he stabbed his mate in the back was a bit too tory for me, but his recent actions have proved him capable as Chancellor at least.

    Ozzy as chancellor? I don't think so. He doesn't seem to have a grasp of the reality of the situation and contents himself with trite comments. Just imagine Ozzy and Shameron in Downing street. No thanks.

  • Comment number 72.


    So according to you the fault lays 22 years ago in 1986 when there was some deregulation.
    What you fail to see is that Labour have been in power for half of that time 11 years, and therefore had the power to change things.
    This they did. they further deregulated put in place the tripartate agreement took powers off the Bank of England and gave them to the toothless FSA and quite frankly failed in their responsibility to the people of this country.

    Two drivers share a car for Le Mans driver one says we can go faster if we set the car up this way and it will stay on the road. The next driver gets in the car changes some settings and removes the brakes to save weight to go faster. at the end of the moulson straight he goes straight on into the barriers and destroys the car. Who is at fault?

  • Comment number 73.

    All this talk of 'rebalancing the economy'....

    who destroyed our manufacturing base?
    who destroyed our ability to exploit our main indigenous energy source?
    who sold off the utilities ( and thereby opened the door to foreign ownership)?
    who privatised the railways at the 11th hour?

    If the Tories are so keen on history, it did not start in 1997.

    Is the collapse in UK banking/finance unique to the UK? Nope. So how come the policies of G brown et al are responsible?. Are Cameron and Osborne really selling us the idea that fixing that b****y roof would have defied the hurricane? Dream on boys, and just keep out of the way while we move on from here.

  • Comment number 74.

    Surely Cameron's speech is really an anti-Thatcherism speech.

    Proper regulation of the financial markets.
    Sensible borrowing and lending policies.
    Reward for the long term, rather than short term.

    The need for industries other than finance.
    The need for a balanced economy outside London. Even trying to develop a manaufacturing sector.

    The argument that crime, poverty, deprivation, improving education need to be tackled before giving out tax breaks.

    Mrs T would be spinning in her grave. Erm I am sorry she's not dead yet.

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    island @ 32

    ... "The Government allowed the housing bubble to run away long after it was apparent that we were in an unsustainable boom" ...

    It got out of hand the last couple of years but, prior to that, most of the increase was a perfectly rational bidding up of prices in response to extremely (and artificially) low interest rates and the democratisation of credit.

    There were excesses, no question, but the last thing I want to see now is for us to go kneejerking back to the old days where reasonable credit was the preserve of a privileged few.

  • Comment number 77.

    Personally I'm not convinced Brown is the saviour at all. I'm thinking it was more politics in Washington that he stepped forward and said he would announce the bail out here, with the recapitilisation and nationalisation of the banks as he is so arrogant and believing this to be the 'right' thing to do. It also went completely against the grain of the free market and therefore the US would have wanted someone to go first - ie. Brown. And he'll probably get some sort of Nobel prize for it!!!
    Secondly he has played some juvenile politics himself with the oil companies yesterday.
    So now on to Cameron's speech. He called it as it is - Brown is to blame, we are in for tough times and still have Brown in charge spending like a madman. Nothing juvenile but being refreshingly honest with the British people.

  • Comment number 78.

    "On regulation, the challenge at home is to match our risk based approach, which now extends from the risk based regulation by the FSA and HMRC to local authority inspection, to actual delivery on the ground. Like all advanced industrial economies - and this is what I hear every time I visit America - you know as do I that this requires a cultural change, a change of mindset, a rejection of the old model of blanket, untargeted, heavy handed intervention -- in favour of a new view of the corporate world, founded on trust in the responsible company."

    G Brown - CBI Annual Dinner - May 2007

    "What I said when I made the Bank of England independent remains even more true today, I said that our new monetary and fiscal regime was founded on stability first, foremost and always, stability yesterday, today and tomorrow. And I will be honest with you, many who advised me including not a few newspapers, favoured a regulatory crackdown.

    I believe that we were right not to go down that road which in the United States led to Sarbannes-Oxley, and we were right to build upon our light touch system "

    G Brown - Mansion House Speech - 2006

    It is absolutely right that Cameron should seek to draw a line under the immediate measures to prevent a full-scale collapse through the largesse of the TAXPAYER not Gordon.

    There needs to be a focus on how we were able to enter this "age of irresponsibility", given that G Brown and co have been at the helm for the last 11 years and made absolutely zero effort to understand what was driving the growth (in reality maxing the credit cards on a national scale).

  • Comment number 79.

    Thank you Charles_E_Hardwidge for a superb post there.

    For a minute I was going crazy:

    "Cameron is right" etc etc.

    Maybe he is, but if you think he represents an actual alternative you are absolutely bananas. As Charles so rightly points out, Cameron is an avid spporter of the exact same types of policies that created this mess.

    For example, how can you possibly stop another sub-prime type investment disaster if you propose LESS regulation for corporations and banks?

    It makes no sense whatsoever. In my view this is a very,very bad move from Cameron at this time. Whether true or not, whether he likes it or not, Brown has a rock solid reputation on the economy, and one way or another it's to his credit that this remains pretty much untarnished.

    Just at the moment not just Europe but the U.S. are listening to, and copying some of our proposals. In short, however briefly, we are leading the world in something political for the first time since Thatcher.

    Therefore attacking Brown for his management of the economy, just at the time of Brown's resurgence, and given the party he himself leads, simply makes it look like he is:

    a) Throwing cheap shots.
    b) Showing surprising and unpleasant signs of desperation/opportunism.
    c) A certain level of Hypocracy, namely trying to blame Labour for an economic system built by Thatcher, and in all the really important areas, 100% supported by himself and his party.

    It's about time the cosy Cameron love-in stopped. As much as I despise Labour, I still remember the Tories in power, and I have no desire to see this country sleepwalk into another 18 years of that awefulness.

    I'm already getting a distressing reminder of what it was like with Boris Johnson's current stewardship of London, Government by the rich, for the rich, and the poor can count themselves lucky to be tolerated...but don't be expecting any respect, or help, or understanding or anything. Stop and Search is the best they deserve.

  • Comment number 80.

    Dear Nick
    Lets not beat about the bush, "The Tories are responsible for the deregulation of the Banks", under Thatcher, The party has been bank rolled by the City for eons, But NOW THE BANKERS HAVE BEEN ISOLATED AS THE VILLIANS IN ALL THIS, and politicians do not want to be aligned with the ramifications, as NOW the public are now only too well aware.
    The banks have created a monster, and whistle blowers have now named the culprits and what they have been doing to rip the public off.
    " Bankitus " the public are notifiably causcious of the way banks have been allowed to spend, uncontrolled by the watchdogs, WHO ARE THE CAUSE OF THIS FIASCO.----BY assossiation.
    Whilst ordinary people are loosing their Homes because of their lending schemes and scams.

  • Comment number 81.

    So you're saying what exactly? The so called 'Master of The Universe' doesn't have a mind of his own and is nothing short of a copycat. Serious stuff? To try and lay the blame for all of this at Thatcher's door smacks of desperation to me. I'm no supporter of John McCain but when he said to Barack Obama in their televised confrontation 'It's me you're opposing here not George Bush' it struck home nicely. I'm glad that David Cameron has finally spoken out. It's only what many of us have been saying on here for a long time. He couldn't let Gordon Brown get away with all this misplaced glory worship for ever however grave our financial circumstances might be.

  • Comment number 82.


    Agree with 1, this is much more fun.

    Ref gold:

    You clearly didnt watch the video on debt that I sent you.

    Gold has increased almost 200 percent in the last 8 years.

    You are right Gold offers no interest but its price has risen hugely. Wonder why.

    When its price rises it says confidence in markets is low. Its the markets red light warning.

    There is a finite supply of gold. This keeps it honest and its a safe haven in troubled times.

    Gold is tipped to hit 1000 dollars an ounce.

    Ask Gordon Brown. He achieved what most dealers can only dream of. In 1999, he spotted the bottom the market, a 20-year low. WOW!! The trouble was, Brown's order was "sell". He told the Bank of England to dump nearly 400 tonnes of British gold, since when the price has shot up and cost us billions

    What are the products that Brown used the proceeds to invest in worth now then.. any idea?

  • Comment number 83.

    its not for cameron to "prove" anything... he has not been in control of the nations finances for 11 years.

    it is for brown to prove he did not cause the problems we have.
    "responsibility" brown urges in his speeches, lets have a look at brown's responsibility:

    * the FSA had the power from day one, to step in and stop "off balance sheet" borrowing - they did nothing
    * in the past two weeks brown has said "the FSA did not know about all the borrowing as the banks didnt have it all on their books!" now the labour spin machine is pushing out the story, "the FSA wasnt upto the job"

    compare the "off sheet borrowing" model of the banks, to the government's own borrowing model - they are exactly the same!
    the government are "off sheet borrowing" to the tune of billions of pounds - which shows clearly that they are playing the same game as the banks only with the nations finances, and no regulator to keep tabs on them.

    its been a case of "everyone else to blame but us" from the labour party, we are told to be responsible, the banks are told to be responsible, but labour havent dared mention anything about the government being more responsible!

  • Comment number 84.

    Before getting carried away with "he was following Tory policy" remember the regulatory regime Brown installed was all his own work!

    Brown was chancellor for 10 years.
    Brown created FSA - a toothless tiger
    Brown is directly responsible for the regulations that made the current situation possible
    Brown is using money that does not exist (borrowing) to bail out the banks
    The money does not exist because 10 years of Mr Brown's policies which have left the piggy bank empty
    Brown claimed an end to boom and bust....

  • Comment number 85.

    63. sagamix

    Bankers... They're big (a lot of them) but they're not clever.

    Mmmm perhaps, I know a few who are very clever, but they are all cleverer than the average Joe.

    As they are there doing it to others rather than having it dun unto them.

    Not nice perhaps, but tis the way the world goes around.

    And I wouldnt trust Browns interpretation of clever.

  • Comment number 86.

    We need an economy that has greater variation in its activities, so that if one sector catches a cold, the others will continue to prosper. Shipbuilding, steel industry and car making has largely been replaced by financial services or service sector call centres - in other words pretty much the same activity. In past labour governments public investment kick started new industries such as Concorde.

    Why? Because most MPs had previous work experience, before they became politicians. Most MPs now are what I call professional politicians, and have never had a real job such as Brown, Milliband etc. By and large MPs are currently either ex lawyers, ex local councillors, or trade unionists. The latter I have time for, even if I disagree with their politics as do know which side is up.

    Brown talks of investing in business to kick start the economy but it is just that - talk. A Tony Benn (who is still inventing things bless him) would have ideas by the score from totally wacky to quite sensible. I cannot think of any MP of either party that could fill his shoes.

    Why are we not more dominant in computer software? There is a huge research facility part funded by Bill Gates (Microsoft) in Oxford or Cambridge Universities - yet where is the tangible commercial benefit? The Germans have hooked up with a company in Abu Dhabi in a revolutionary venture in solar power - we are content to build eyesore wind farms that decimate the local bird life.

    A lot of government investment of late has revolved around computer databases, of dubious added value to the economy but usually farmed out to foreign consultancy companies. Given the number of projects has no one had the gumption to suggest in house solutions? Better value for money perhaps? Its not exactly a ringing endorsement of the British work force is it, if the government is always going to resort to outsourcing?

    Brown seems to think that a new policy or soundbite a day is what his job entails. No, he is the Chief Executive of UK plc. He is responsible for making sure that people are doing their jobs and has clearly been remiss as regards financial services. As an economy the UK over the last 10 years has been merely motoring on at a sedate 20 mph. Now we have a flat tire, and the spare wheel has not been fixed yet.

    But we do have the potential, whch makes it all the more frustrating. We need a leader with imagination or at least someone who will listen and consider other peoples ideas as new options for the future. Privatisation is a good way of raising funds for government spending, but it only works long term if new industries are created and supported by government investment and subsequently privatised etc. I got the impression that Blair saw this, but Brown never cottoned on.

  • Comment number 87.

    Eleven years in charge of the economy! No need to say anything else

  • Comment number 88.

    But... but...

    ...I thought Labour had merely inherited Ken Clarke's wonder economy... least, that's what the Tories were saying until about a year ago.

  • Comment number 89.

    It's about time someone starting holding Brown to account for his time as chancellor. Ten years of tax, borrow and spend, ten years of pouring money into the public sector with poor value returns, ten years of allowing the economy to ride a wave of unsustainable house price rises, cheap Chinese imports and huge amounts of debt.

    People look to their shiny new local schools and hospitals not realising they won't be paid off in years thanks to PFI, and private sector employees are fed up with seeing their pensions decimated whilst having to stump up for the ever increasing public sector pension committments.

    Gordon allowed the fires to grow out of control and now wants a pat on the back for helping to put them out. His mendaciousness and arrogance is astonishing.

  • Comment number 90.


    If you knew your Maggie properly you would know that all those things are what she advocated.
    The only manufacturing that she didnt like was government subsidised. Surely even you can see that there is no place for unprofitable businesses.

    When the tin mines closed they put them in moth balls for such a time when tin mining could be profitable again, and that is why those mines will reopen. The same will go for coal.

    Proof of this concept comes from venezuela where they know that unless and until oil is over 75dollars a barrel it isnt worth them extracting it. As oil reserves wind down they have plans to bring their oili to market.

  • Comment number 91.

    It would help if the BBC and Nick in his blog could indicate what sort of audience Cameron's speech was made to. I know these well signalled/sign-posted publicity led set speeches are meant for the wider audience, but who were these invited people who could have sat through this hubris without shouting "rubbish". Was the early hour meant to catch them still asleep ?

  • Comment number 92.

    This is such an obvious line to start spinning now - I find it insulting and frankly embarrassing. Cameron is obviously backed into a corner at the moment. If he and Osborne had been shouting these claims 12-18 months ago then they may hold some credibility but unfortunately for them this is just not the case. Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it? Lets face facts, George Osborn and the Tory party didn't even have an economic policy until last month! In fact up until very recently Cameron was still touting that a new Tory Government would match Labour spending plans for the first few years of them taking power. This speech from Cameron is just another example of the Tories knee-jerk, petty, party political nonsense. As usual there is no substance to any of it.

    I shudder at decisions Cameron et al. might have made faced with the recent banking chaos had they been in charge. Look at his response to the Labour plans to rescue Northern Rock back in February, "The nationalisation of Northern Rock is a disaster for the British taxpayer, a disaster for this government and a disaster for our country". Was it? What would have happened had this action not taken place? Based on this earlier response, would the Tories have taken the massively bold and decisive action to partly nationalise the rest of the UK banking industry as Brown did last week? Would Cameron have led a global movement to encourage other nations governments to follow the same course of action? The answers, I am certain would be NO and NO!

    Now is the time for forward looking, positive, decisive leadership not retrospective, half-baked, inessential rumblings.

    You really must try harder!

  • Comment number 93.

    When will the general public be willing to take some of the blame for borrowing to excess? Sure the government should have had greater regulation of banks, the banks should have been more careful who they are lending to, but without a general public who were willing to lap up all this easy credit, we'd have never got into this situation. Take out any one of these three things, we may have been ok.

    We are all (or nearly all) to blame.

    It is about time people recognised this, try to get us out of this mess TOGETHER. Apportioning blame is no good at a time like this.

    Cameron may well blame the government, but he should blame the banks and electorate too. He should outline hard policies as to what he would do to resolve the situation - not simply say "it is your fault"!

  • Comment number 94.

    Under previous Labour governments, public spending was funded by massive levels of direct taxation. At one time the top rate of Income Tax was 98%. New Labour tried to con the elecorate into believing it was not raising taxes by introducing a series of stealth taxes whose effect on the economy has been really damaging. There is a direct link between house price speculation and the early measures Gordon Brown took to rifle pension funds and to make some investment income payable in advance of its receipt. The cult of celebrity and programmes such as Big Brother have also led to the idea that overnight wealth and fame are possible, without being remotely deserved. It is time to go back to sound money and sound values.

  • Comment number 95.

    Panorama last night summed up Gordon Brown; endless shots of him preaching no more boom and bust (in several different locations); endless droning on about lighter touch regulation and the wonderful spirit and talents of the city.

    After watching for an hour one got the impression a ciy trader could have sold a used car without wheels or an engine and the dear leader would have been so bedazzled he'd have jumped straight in.

    He's greedy, gullible and a hypocrite to suggest he did not cause the bubble. He was pouring in the jet fuel for ten years and strapping on the after burners.

    Gordon Brown will be in the history books for being the guy nobody liked at school who suddenly had everyone's attention and stuffed it up. Want some money? Have some more of mine.

    Call an election please.

  • Comment number 96.

    I think that David Cameron has done the right thing by highlighting that Brown's Britain isn't such a wonderful place, and one man more than most is responsible for this state of affairs.

    Lets face it, who would want to be involved in any kind of truce or agreement with someone as untrustworthy, evasive and duplicitous as Gordon Brown ?

  • Comment number 97.

    All this talk of 'rebalancing the economy'....

    who destroyed our manufacturing base?
    who destroyed our ability to exploit our main indigenous energy source?
    who sold off the utilities ( and thereby opened the door to foreign ownership)?
    who privatised the railways at the 11th hour?

    If the Tories are so keen on history, it did not start in 1997.

    Everyone pretty much knows that the CBI, City, and their Tory pals screamed from the rooftops whenever the government tried to hold them to account, with all the threats that it would reduce investment or they'd ship jobs overseas.

    The huge shift of income from the bottom to the top has been the biggest heist in history, and the communities ravaged by lack of attention is a callous abandonment. Labour have done what they could but it's only now the crisis has blown the CBI, City, and Tories apart that they have a free hand.

    For Cameron to forget what his parties policies were only a few weeks ago and try to present the "Brown Plan" as his own is the biggest brass neck I've seen in a while but amateurs tend to big it up and rush in too fast. He'll never admit it but I bet he's terrified of being shown up as fools gold when Labour deliver the real deal.

    Gold bricks for a fiver...
    Gold bricks for a fiver...
    Got 'em 'ere in me van!
    Gold bricks for a fiver...

    Weee-waaah! Weee-waaah! Weee-waaah!
  • Comment number 98.

    Well it looks like Poor General Sir Richard Dannatt(Current head of the Army), will be off next July. Overlooked for promotion, becasue he was overly concerned about the welfare for his men.

    Didn't see the ghastly Des Brown or any other Government official/MP/Minister.

    Unlike Ian Blair who where they of course were properly angry at such treatment to a truly excellent copper?!?!?!?!

    Lets Hope General Sir David Richards, keeps Dannatts ethos going. Spelling out to the government, that it is not to take the Army for granted.

  • Comment number 99.


    No relation to L_Greenhalgh of Afghan fame?

  • Comment number 100.

    Davi Cameron is for the family. Heaven knows he has said it enough times.

    Brown was not a family man until recently. He has had years in which he could not fully empathise with the lives of ordinary family men and women.

    The government has actively encouraged mothers to work - not for laudable or women's lib but for:



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