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Cameron very defensive as he starts decoupling from Clegg

Posted on 9 May 2012 | 7:05am

It is a sign of the Prime Minister’s new found defensiveness that he is saying to the Daily Mail things they want to hear, and his team are stressing that today’s Queen’s Speech is no big deal compared with the ‘plan’ to get the economy sorted and growing again.

Indeed, such is the playing down of the significance of this legislative programme that The Queen would be well entitled to read the papers, take a peek out of the Buck House window at the teeming rain, wonder why she should be bothered, and go back to bed.

Yet when you fight your way through the defensiveness, there seem to be plenty of interesting issues coming forth, if not the famous ‘theme’ that is so hard to get when putting together what is inevitably a hotch-potch of measures to deal with a range of very different challenges. But, with the usual caveat about devils and detail, help for children with special educational needs, moves to speed up care and adoption, and family-friendly working hours all seem worthwhile (though the best family-friendly policy would be one that created jobs). Likewise they seem to want to do something on executive pay, though I suspect with less vigour than they want to make it easier to dismiss people from work.

Meanwhile, the PM’s interview in the Mail (no I haven’t bought it, but the Labour Party media brief tells me all I need to know) sets out what he cannot rather than what he can do with power. ‘So much I want to do but can’t,’ is the headline, the ‘can’t’ being the brake applied by the Lib Dems. It is rare for Cameron to highlight the downside rather than the upside of coalition, and this could be the first step in the decoupling strategy as the next election nears.

He emphasises that he wants to win the next election and lead a Tory-only government, and much of the message in the Mail is aimed at those on the right of his party who want him to head their way on the political spectrum. It is a sign of the weaker position he finds himself in that he appears to be ensuring a smile on their face this morning.

Similarly, Nick Clegg’s next big sit-down interview will be worth reading.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of “making it easier to fire people” I saw Michael Dugher and Grant Schapps on daily politics yesterday. Neil seemed to beat up Dugher and Schapps seemed to be defending himself well from Neil. Then they got into this topic. Dugher did the brainfree, crowd pleasing platitude well “I think the last thing we need at this time is policies that make it easier to fire people.” I suspect Dugher is intelligent so knows that is disingenious, but he knows the average voter will believe it. Schapps waffled about when he ran a business and making it more dynamic and better for him and the workers etc if he could get rid of people “without” firing them. So Dugher snatched victory.

    They never got to the fact – the easier to fire, the easier to hire = more jobs.

  • Olli Issakainen

    King´s Speech.
    According to Sir Mervyn King banks grew too quickly and borrowed too much, and light regulation did not prevent this.
    He added that “we should have shouted from the rooftops”.
    Alistair Darling criticized King´s performance during the crisis.
    Recovery in the UK is slower than expected. Lesson of the 1930s has not been learned.
    Current fiscal policy is not calculated to stimulate economy.
    Things were going well under Darling, but Osborne then took charge.
    Darling and Balls have been proved right, as the latest GDP figures show.
    According to NIESR “fiscal policy could be used to raise AGGREGATE DEMAND in the economy with little to no loss of fiscal credibility”.
    Recession plus austerity equals loss of political power.
    Coalition is now held responsible for declining living standards and double-dip recession.
    UK should now be growing 3% a year rather than the current double-dip recession.
    Output is lower and the deficit higher than the forecast.
    CBI says budget deficit will rise.
    Government borrowing will rise this year because slow growth is affecting TAX REVENUES.
    Deficit will be about £8bn higher than pencilled in March budget. Net borrowing will be £128.2bn.
    Cameron did not learn from Lamont on recession – early sharp cuts hurt.
    For 18 months there has not been growth. Output is 4% below the pre-crisis peak.
    Recovery is slower than in the 1930s.
    The official forecast in June 2010 was that the UK should be now growing at over 2.5%.
    Eurozone is not to blame. It has grown faster than Britain since 2010.
    UK exports to Europe have been doing well.
    Double-dip recession was made in Downing Street.
    Mr Osborne claimed that cutting deficit quickly would restore business and consumer confidence and allow lower interest rates which would lead to growth.
    But low intrerest rates created by QE of the BoE are a sign of weakness. Business is not investing.
    Japan has debt of 200% of GDP, yet it has low interest rates as no one is investing.
    Incompetent chancellor see low interest rates as a signal of confidence in his self-defeating austerity!
    Plan A is making things worse. You cannot cut, tax and save your way out of recession.
    Mario Monti (Bilderberg, Trilateral, Goldman Sachs) recently claimed that the eurozone crisis is over.
    But it is yet to start!
    People who have bothered to read my comments know that I have predicted an economic collapse in Europe due to austerity and banks.
    Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy will collapse.
    Italy´s collapse will cause a depression in the whole Europe. We are now moving in this direction.
    As a result United States of Europe will be created. EU, IMF and Goldman Sachs are using the economic crisis for political goals.
    We know from Wikileaks documents that the EU and the euro were created by the Bilderberg Group.
    Euro has been a political project from the day one. Its aim is to create a federation.
    Can we now say goodbye to austerity? No.
    M. Hollande´s victory is France changes nothing. He is pro-European with a Bilderberger as a special advisor.
    (Mitterrand, by the way, was a 33rd degree freemason and built a pyramid in Louvre with 666 glass panels.)

    Ps. Blackburn Rovers relegated. It could not have happened to nicer people. I have now been hired for a project which will take my time for a while. Enjoy the summer!

     

  • Mark Wright

    The only ‘brake’ that’s been applied to Cameron is by the electorate who did not want to see the Tories in government with an overall majority and thus voted accordingly.

    Politically, the ‘Cameron Project’ has failed. Try as they might to put a brave face on it the fact that the Tories can only claim power by sitting alongside the Lib Dems on the green benches is a daily humiliation that will inevitably boil over.

    The drums are beating…

  • Anonymous

    More PR BS from Cameron.  His and Clegg’s cunning plan was to run as a joint party for the next GE, because they assumed that their joint polling would overtake Labour.  They didn’t take into account the utter collapse of the LibDem vote added to disenchantment with the Tories.  Bit of free advice to Cameron – that disenchantment is less to do with the average voter thinking that the Tories are too cosy with the LibDems.  It’s the fact that they recognise a bunch of incompetents when they see them.  The fact that they combine hypocrisy and nastiness with incompetence makes them even more toxic to the public.  Even the right wing press (although much less influential than it once was) is losing patience with their former heroes.
    It’s now convenient for both sides of this unholy alliance to blame the other for the utter omnishambles, that is they’re now trying to scapegoat each other in the way they have been scapegoating Labour.   No wonder they have lost credibility.

    Re Lynton Crosbie – he is well regarded by Tory high command for his successful campaigns to get the charisma-free zone that was conservative Aussie PM John Howard re-elected.  Interesting that you regard his extremely dubious dog-whistle tactics as over-rated.  I heard that even Crosbie felt he’d be demeaning himself by working with Cameron, which was why he kept turning down the huge amounts of money that Ashcroft was offering him.  Crosbie might be a diehard right-winger, but something about Cameron’s smug, ruling class hauteur evidently raised his Aussie hackles.

  • ambrosian

    Surprisingly little attention given to CallMeDave telling the workers in Essex “what you call ‘austerity’ and I call ‘efficiency’.”

    Austerity will never affect him or any of his colleagues of course.
    And imagine the media storm if Gordon Brown had made such a crass remark.

  • Ehtch

    Got the Daily Mail in front of me, and Cameron’s interview is predictably full of wooly flannel to play to the Tunbridge Wells disgusted gallery. Chip/bog paper it is.

    One point that gets me with it’s inaneness is when Cameron says when he keeps barking on like a mad dog about reform, student finances, social this that and the other set-ups, as well pensions and freezing public sector pay. Never ever mentions these directors in their boardrooms robbing their companies in greedy pay awards, as if returns for them is how good they are at fleecing mugs downstairs, including numbnut shareholders looking to see how big their next dividend girocheck will be.

    I remember a time when only true entrepreneurs got what they are now getting, pound adjusted, who set up and started their companies, and not these robbers round the water fountain, yapping shite and doing next to nothing to create wealth for their employees. They are corruptly minded, and need putting up against the nearest wall and frigging shot. They are mouthy small minded bastards.

  • Gilliebc

    Good solid info as always Olli.     
    Hollande himself is also a Biderberger.  No surprise there.  
    Hope you enjoy your summer too.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, boy – this is life raft politics.  And they’re arguing over who should get the last inflatable jacket.

  • charlie reynolds

    I remember when the Labour Government legislated to restrict boardroom pay….

    Wait. No. They didn’t did they?

    I remember when the Labour government set a new tax rate of 50% to pay for increased public spending back in 2003/4/5, rather than increasing borrowing to do so…

    Wait. No. They only did it 2 weeks before leaving office and then as a ‘temporary’ measure. Instead they borrowed – creating a structural deficit in the first place.

    I remember when the Labour Government took responsibility when setting out the detail of the public spending cuts they had planned.

    Wait. Guess what? No. They haven’t ‘done the detail’ on cuts, they just like being able to say how terrible everything is and how nasty the tories are.

    It’s this last one which would make it impossible to vote Labour at the moment.

  • Janiete

    I’m surprised you’ve fallen for this claptrap Reaguns. It is common practice for companies to take on employees, subject to the satisfactory completion of a probationary period. During this time an employer can terminate the contract without the need to classify it as a dismissal or redundancy, providing the contract makes that clear. Where there is doubt, an employer can extend the probationary period before confirming the contract as permanent, in order to ensure the employee is suited to the role. I noticed Grant Schapps didn’t mention this, no doubt because it would have undermined his argument. How come the ‘brilliant’ Andrew Neil didn’t pick him up on that one?
     
    Once an employee has proven their ability and the employer has made a permanent appointment, it is perfectly reasonable to require employers to have good reasons for dismissal, hence our employment laws. The real reason why the private sector and their representatives in Government, want to take away employment rights, is to allow companies to get rid of existing workers with decent pay and conditions of service and replace them with other more desperate souls who will work for less.
     
    This is yet another deceitful con. Wake up and smell the coffee!  

  • Chris lancashire

    Remind me again Mr Campbell, what was Mr Blair’s big “theme”?
    Was it foreign wars? Was it making friends with the Murdochs and Ecclestone? Or was it just fighting off Brown?
    Your commentary would be a little better with a touch of humility.

  • Chris lancashire

    Have a great summer. You will not be missed.
    By the way, who is it you dislike at BRFC? The working class fans? The Venkys? Steve Kean? The team? I think we should be told by the Helsinki Brain.

  • Michele

     You off on a mission then Olli?

    666 ….  aaaaagh the mark of the beast and blah blah blahdy blah.
    Dan Brown made a mistake re the number of panes of glass, let us know after your project whether you just enjoy the wind-up (or you know what happened to the missing panes if things have really changed).

  • Phillip

    Alastair, did you watch the PM speaking in Essex? I thought the image he was projecting was completely wrong. He should have been no tie, no jacket, rolled up sleeves instead of his well trained rhetoric and preaching from the pulpit hand gestures. He seemed out of place. 

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree Ehtch. CEOs have got it made these days. If they had a single owner, can you imagine them going to someone like Rupert Murdoch and telling them that though the share price had fallen and there would be no dividends, they were awarding themselves a bonus?! They’d get a bonus if they provided him with a return, or else they’d get sacked. But the way they have these institutional shareholders and pay bodies, this doesn’t happen. So reluctantly I think government should intervene. I think bonuses or pay rises for ceos should be capped at a percentage of share value rise or dividends. The only other time an owner would give a pay rise would be if someone was saving a failing company and wanted to leave for another – they might want to keep him. So have another rule that a CEO who wants a bonus outside of shareholder rises can submit his resignation and the shareholders can vote whether to accept it or make him an offer. This would stop 90% of them applying, and sack most of the ones who do.

    People don’t mind James Dyson or Steve Jobs creating new products and services that people want at an acceptable price, creating jobs and making millions, you are right and Ed Miliband is right. Ed knows economics well enough, you would think he would jump on this shareholder issue with some strong proposals.

  • Michele

    It’s a shame Cameron didn’t decouple from Liam Fox & Friend earlier than he did.

    Incredible conversation been going on during first 15mins or so of WatO re the new switchback to Harrier. 
    ‘We’ sold the ones we had for pennies to the Americans and the reason ‘we’ chose the replacement supplies needed us to be riding on the back of American developers who’ve got way behind schedule. 

  • Anonymous

    Sigh… Alastair in Brussels today hence has no time for us plebs back home… this is why we shouldn’t have a European parliament 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Yet another toothless inquiry. Inquiries have been used by Thatcher, Blair, Cameron and countless others for one purpose: To make it look as if they are doing something when they are doing nothing, in other words for a cover up. Really they should either use law or democracy, not this fudge of neither. Either have Murdoch (and his many, many courtiers) before the law, or before democracy (referendum on whether he should be allowed to own so much media anyone?)

    Inquiries and competition bodies are as ineffective as they are at everything else.

    Look how happy the telegraph are at how Andy Coulson has brushed Leveson aside. When you put these guys up against the likes of Coulson, Murdoch or indeed Campbell, who’s going to win? Its like when you put the pigeons from government amongst the cats from finance.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/robertcolvile/100157358/andy-coulson-at-the-leveson-inquiry-the-government-might-just-get-through-this/

  • Anonymous

    I feel a eurostar blog coming, poor Alastair seems to be having a horrendous journey according to Twitter.

  • Janiete

    Cameron’s problems are going from bad to worse. Blogger Sturdy Alex has spotted something very interesting. http://t.co/WDbos3Bx

  • Anonymous

    I have missed nothing and fallen for nothing Janiete.

    Its true what you say, people can still be removed in that first month, and indeed thereafter with suitable reasons.

    However people need to decide what they want. This is no time for a Boris Johnson “pro having it and pro eating it” approach to cake.

    You can have all those laws to protect workers, and they will make things better for the workers in employment. Thats fine, it can be logical to support this position, especially if you are a worker.

    Or you can have a free market position, which will mean many more workers will be employed. And thats a fact. Look at Germany’s Gerhard Schroder, of the Social Democratic Party no less.

    In the former you will have better conditions for workers, but less workers, in the latter worse conditions but more jobs, more workers.

    The evidence is crystal clear on that, both left wing and right wing economists agree.

    But of course politicians of both types pretend we can have both.

  • Michele

     Are you talking about the years when these companies and banks were 100% private and so their business was entirely their own business?

    Why are you not celebrating the fact that the coalescence has the right to interfere now (and ONLY  because of the companies’ rescues by the coalescence’s predecessors’ actions).
    I think if you read this blog much you will know some here think they should have been allowed to go bankrupt.  How constructive.

  • Yaktyyakyak

    Spoken like a true Tory voter then Charlie, bet you have never voted Labour in your life….are you one of Camerons posh toffs? Let me remind you the deficit under the Tories in the last 2 years has “risen” or will you just blame that on Labour too!!  18 years off Tory rule; I remember the mortgage rate being at 15% under the Tories, I also remember the “Poll Tax” and could go on and on. Tony Blair was the best Prime Minister this country has had in my humble opinion, and I think History will show this given time. The Condems haven’t stuck to one promise they made! Cameron makes policies on the spot in  TV Studios, ill thought out, he has more faces than the town clock depending on what audience he is talking to in different parts of the country; remember the promise “the NHS is SAVE in his hands”….all lies…”we are all in this together “….all lies…or is this Labours fault too!!  Labour are NOT perfect either, but on balance, for talking sake, if you are a genuine “disabled” person, and I mean “genuine” through no fault of your own…then don’t vote Tory….Labour is the only party that will make sure you are treated with dignity and not made to feel like “a waste of space” or a “scrounger” and the NHS is always save in Labours hands…just a small example but a huge difference my friend.

  • Michele

     I quoted Dan Brown which might imply I’ve read ‘The da Vinci Code’, not to my taste.  Apparently there’s a lot in it about Bilderberg as well as quite a bit about the Knights Templar.

    I hope Dan Brown didn’t want to be taken as seriously as he seems to have been with it, given that Bb conspiracy theories and KT are ‘gaining’ prominence and this Spring is showing that mainland and northern  Europe is no less free of racism than the UK is. 

    There were a few days when it seemed possible Le Pen’s voters would ignore her instruction to return blank voting papers.  They can’t have wanted Hollande’s victory yet they seem to have followed her order, I’m not sure we should feel comfortable.

  • Michele

     You don’t seem to appreciate what’s non-showy.

    I skimmed in and out due to preparing for a late night:
    It was exposed that Coulson had LOL forgotten about £43k-worth of shares in NI while at the heart of No10 during BSkyB possibilities being considered.
    It was exposed that he had attended security meetings he did not have clearance for and that he had free access to plans and documents.

    It’s been established that his employers were negligent (just as it’s been exposed T May did get the deadline wrong and neither she nor Green understand what Immigration is about).  Oh if only none of it mattered.

  • Anonymous

    Question Time. One of the better Labour MPs Chris Bryant, up against one of the worst Tory MPs and hot favourite for the reshuffle chop Caroline Spelman.

    Some say the economy is like a household – you cut your cloth accordingly, you know that earning and saving as much as possible is good, borrowing and spending should be minimised. This is actually correct.

    Stimulus apologists and others say “The economy is not like a household its more complicated”. This is incorrect. But even those who swallow this must recognise that the first narrative has gained a foothold with the public.

    Tonight Christ Bryant made the best voter defence of spending. He said that even within a household, if your car broke down and you couldn’t get to work without one, you might borrow money to buy a car so that you can keep earning money in your job. The short term debt will enable you to earn more, pay off the debt and then some. This was actually the first time I have heard a politician make this common sense case for debt. I still disagree with governments borrowing money to the extent ours does, but this was at least a simple and logical defence – well done Chris.

  • Ehtch

    Labour’s proposal has been the “have cuts, but not too deep and too fast” one, which is sensible. You have got to remember we are competing with other first World countries for an economic position, so if the degree of cuts is too extreme, more extreme than competing countries, many in a much worse position, we will be going backwards, as we are seeing.

    The one critisism I have on the Blair/Brown governments, is that they allowed personal dept to run out of control, on credit cards and mortgages. Mortgages used to be based on three-times earnings, but when it got to be allowed on say five-times earnings, you just knew that was not sustainable. That then fuelled rising property prices, as in some sort of vicious cycle. This personal hidden debt was worrying, and what instigated the collapse which started in the Republican’s managed property bubble in the US, what with all the games and smoke and mirrors banks got into there. But the UK was heading that way too, you could say. Also, water, gas and electricity prices by these infrastructure companies went out of control – and thanks to new ISP internet companies, they sorted BT from going out of control with their prices.

    And what have the Coalition done to try and get manufacturing industry going in the UK? Labour did more, but this Coalition are doing next to nowt, just coming out with hot air as usual.

  • Dave Simons

     Have you thought of following suit? You wouldn’t be missed either. What’s the point of continually making these hit-and-run snipes? They make absolutely no contribution whatsoever to this blog other than causing temporary and minor irritation, which one scratch is usually enough to relieve. Yes – take the summer off and read a few books, then come back and try to elaborate some kind of argument. Or will you just carry on as you have for the last umpteen months with your useless and pointless one-liners, like a jammed needle on an old record player? I suspect so.

  • Ehtch

    Posh trains, crap service – this side of the tunnels? Twix and a bottle of posh water – made me laugh that did.

  • Ehtch

    …and furthermore Alastair, don’t fall into the trap of libellious tweets against you, forget it. Just let us all judge for ourselves who is the mug here. Even if the temptation is there to have him locked up, dropped soap in the showers and all that…
    : )

  • Chris lancashire

    Oh, I think you’ll find Gordon was a lot crasser. How about “we’ve put an end to boom and bust”?

  • Chris lancashire

    Tut, tut Dave. I may be irritating (hope so) but at least I’m brief compared to the loquacious Finn.

  • reaguns

    But what’s it going to do about any of those things?

    P.s. May doesn’t understand immigration – in what sense? Anyone think she’ll be for the chop in the reshuffle?

  • Dave Simons

     Thank you for confirming my last two sentences.

  • Michele

     Good grief, do you really need to have such comon sense fed to you?

    Why do some of us take on mortgages? 
    I know some do so in order to have something they refer to as their portfolio and to acquire more than one property (cough ….. Buy to Let mortgates ring a bell?)
    but most of us do it to buy a REAL home (not what you referred to as one a couple of days ago, bought with that extra mortgage availability).

    I’ve asked you before but you have not responded, IF the last  Govt had not put into the banks what it did in 2008, exactly how would this lot be able to intervene re bonuses / payments?

  • Michele

     Nice one Ehtch; I think Toady aspires to be a bit of a Robert Jay (swoooooon).

  • Michele

    If you don’t know, how dare you criticise their MO? 
    Do you really not get the elegance of them all? 
    Would you get it more if there was a thundering soundtrack?

    You overlooked the capital; I typed Immigration. 
    Brodie Clark understood it and its organisation.
    T May dared to think the superficial view she has could be better than his experienced, organised and efficient proactive one.
    Why do you think Govt settled with him out of court?  What he would have had to expose, in his own defence, so close to imminent events had to be bought off.
    I hope he has a book deal.

  • Ehtch

    Someone tell Eurostar it should have been a marathon/snickers or a topic, kingsized, not some twix pair of fingers. Their full of nuts, much more sustainable. And as long as the posh water is a bottle of posh welsh water, from the Brecon limestoned sourced Beacons, I won’t complain. Even a fruit and nut bar though, thinking of it, even more sustainable, dried fruits, from that factory in Bourneville in the midlands, if their manufacturing lines of it has not been transfered to Hungary, or something, that is.

  • reaguns

    Gaarrgghhh! Obviously I know the times when a country, or a person/household can sensibly get into debt! I meant that this was the first time I’ve heard a politician put it across in a way that voters could understand! We are talking about numbskulls on question time heh heh heh.

    Just so you know, the times its acceptable for a country to go into debt are:
    – When you need money to fight a war.
    – When you need to borrow to make capital investments, ie investments in plant and machinery which will later be used to make profits.

    The times its acceptable for a person are the same, if going into debt now for a car or a house will earn or save you money in the future then go for it, whereas if you go into debt to buy a flat screen tv then you are an idiot.

    When have you asked me that question before? If the government in 2008  had not acted in 2008 then we would have a situation so beautiful that Michelangelo would come back from the dead to paint a picture of it. A situation where Fred Goodwin and his ilk would all have lost their jobs. Smaller, leaner banks would have risen up in their place and would have had to only pay CEOs based on performance. So if the govt hadn’t done what it did in 2008, there would be no need to control bonuses because any bonuses would be earned in the free market way (in general.)

    Even if you support what the government did, then all contracts should have been renogiated downwards, I’ve suggested a 20% cut across the board, or indeed you could tax them all 20% extra directly and put that towards paying off the bailout money.

    The likes of Stephen Hester should have been told either “This is your salary, if the shareprice goes up by 20% from today, it goes up by 20%. If it goes down by 20%, your salary goes down by 20%.”

    Or, if you want to say “No but he was brought in to make the bank stable, sell off bad parts, and eventually either pay off the bailout or return the bank to the private sector” fine – then pay him a salary only pay him a bonus if, and only if, he reaches the objective and not a day sooner. He certainly deserves no bonus at the minute.

    Why do socialists want to save bankers!? Grrrrrrrrrrr

  • Michele

     …..” ….Just so you know, the times its acceptable for a country to go into debt are:…. ”
    Just so I know?
    In what, the world according to you?

    …..”Why do socialists want to save bankers!? GrrrrrrrrrrrWhy do socialists want to save bankers!”……..
    Which socialists are you talking about?
    Who wanted to save bankers?
    The BANKS had to be saved, not much chance of changing something that’s gone down the drain is there?
    Would Camclegg be able to put pressure on bankers about their pay and bonuses if the Govt had not become those banks’ part owners?

    There simply is not enough acknowledgement from Camclegg or even Cable about what it IS possible to place pressure about nowadays compared to before Govt rescue.
    Not enough acknowledgement of how those new possibilities might have been being used by the different possible Govt (or even the different coalition).
    So ….. you?

  • Anonymous

    Michele, I’m sorry, but I have to burst your bubble. You are refusing to look beyond the parameters you have set yourself for this. In your cosy little example you have set up for yourself, Cam/Clegg can now pressurise the bankers to lower their bonuses because good old Gordon bailed out the banks and took a share in them. And according to your world view this could not have happened without Gordon.

    Two minor problems with your analysis.

    One: Why didn’t Gordon have a real smackdown on those bankers at the time? Reduced salaries all round, jail for worst offenders?

    Two: Why don’t Cam Clegg do it now?

    One major problem with your analysis however.

    Under free market capitalism, there would be no need for Cam Clegg Brown to exert pressure, because the market would deliver far more furious punishment upon the bankers. Most would have lost their jobs, some of the banks would have went under, and their operations would have been bought up by leaner, fitter corporations, whether from within banking (Barclays, HSBC etc) or without (Virgin.) There would be no need to reform, the market would perform far more harsher reforms, as it has done many times in the past, under the process called “Creative Destruction.”

    Essentially Cam Clegg Brown are debating whether or not to at the banks with a government pea shooter, whereas what they should have been facing are the machine guns of capitalism.

    I hate banks, bankers, CEOs, big business, layers of management, cronies, corporatists – thats why I love their nemesis: capitalism.

  • Anonymous

    Michele, I’m sorry, but I have to burst your bubble. You are refusing to look beyond the parameters you have set yourself for this. In your cosy little example you have set up for yourself, Cam/Clegg can now pressurise the bankers to lower their bonuses because good old Gordon bailed out the banks and took a share in them. And according to your world view this could not have happened without Gordon.

    Two minor problems with your analysis.

    One: Why didn’t Gordon have a real smackdown on those bankers at the time? Reduced salaries all round, jail for worst offenders?

    Two: Why don’t Cam Clegg do it now?

    One major problem with your analysis however.

    Under free market capitalism, there would be no need for Cam Clegg Brown to exert pressure, because the market would deliver far more furious punishment upon the bankers. Most would have lost their jobs, some of the banks would have went under, and their operations would have been bought up by leaner, fitter corporations, whether from within banking (Barclays, HSBC etc) or without (Virgin.) There would be no need to reform, the market would perform far more harsher reforms, as it has done many times in the past, under the process called “Creative Destruction.”

    Essentially Cam Clegg Brown are debating whether or not to at the banks with a government pea shooter, whereas what they should have been facing are the machine guns of capitalism.

    I hate banks, bankers, CEOs, big business, layers of management, cronies, corporatists – thats why I love their nemesis: capitalism.

  • Anonymous

    Got to agree Ehtch, I actually prefer the taste of Twix, but if you’re hungry, can’t beat a Snickers. Why not a Twix and a Snickers, eh? Surprised they didn’t try and fob them off with some crap eurochocolate… then again… I think the belgians might make some decent chocolate allegedly… couldn’t be as good as a snickers though surely?

  • Anonymous

    Got to agree Ehtch, I actually prefer the taste of Twix, but if you’re hungry, can’t beat a Snickers. Why not a Twix and a Snickers, eh? Surprised they didn’t try and fob them off with some crap eurochocolate… then again… I think the belgians might make some decent chocolate allegedly… couldn’t be as good as a snickers though surely?

  • Nick

    “Some say the economy is like a household – you cut your cloth accordingly, you know that earning and saving as much as possible is good, borrowing and spending should be minimised. This is actually correct.”

    It is correct with the crucial difference that, unlike a household, in an economy the total spending and the total earnings are the same thing. So cutting spending can lead directly to lower income. At this point, the analogy breaks down and proposals based on treating an economy in the same way as a household without recognising this difference tend to be ineffective.

  • reaguns

    Wrong, and I’m not sure I can be bothered to debate it with you, been through this so many times – no one ever changes their mind.

    There are various economic schools of thought on this, I favour those who:

    1. Predicted the economic crash in 2008 rather than those who didn’t (so that rules out Mervyn King, the Fed, Paul Krugman etc)

    2. Have put forward the ideas which created the biggest economies in the world.

    These schools / economists will say that you cut your cloth accordingly, you make your spending match your taxes and not vice versa. We should give departments their share of tax in percentages, then it can go up during growth years, down during recession years.

    Total spending and total earning most definitely are not the same thing!