Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Cameron tactical error in not going for jugular

David Cameron made a wrong choice in PMQs today in not criticising the government in a time of crisis. We are not in a war and the government is not immune from criticism. The Tories could have lent their support to the bailout plan and still kept Gordon Brown on the hook.

Today's announcement of an injection of up to £50bn in UK banks represents an extraordinary and abject failure of New Labour's management of the economy. It is the job of politicians -at the very least - to create a stable framework for the private sector to do its job of wealth creation.

There is absolutely no point in Gordon Brown to claim this crisis has blown in from abroad when it was they who allowed the culture of debt to develop to such dangerous proportions, when it was they who designed and maintained the regulatory framework that was supposed to ring alarm bells , when it was they who were only to happy to accept the plaudits for the long period of economic growth that the credit bubble brought about, when it was they who accepted the donations and hospitality of the millionaires the system created.

The public want some blood in return for their cash. There is palpable anger on the streets that this situation has been allowed to develop. David Cameron's job as leader of the opposition was first and foremost to express that anger to Brown and his cohorts who were sitting smugly on their benches as if the problems had nothing to do with them. It was as if the partial nationalisation of our banking system was just another policy announcement and not the turning upside down of the economic and financial system that has sustained this country for the last 30 years.

Do they not realise the calamity that this represents for the country? The shame and stigma of being brought so low will remain with us for a very very long time. Our political capital around and influence in far flung corners, where we for so long were considered to punch above our weight, will have been diminished, probably permanently. Cameron could and should have let the PM know that a day of reckoning was coming for him and his party..not to do so was an error of judgement and let Brown off the hook.

1 comment:

Nicholas said...

Hi Greg. Cameron may indeed have missed a trick here but had Labour been on the opposition bench for the last decade or so I doubt the situation would have been any better and commentators would have been criticising Labour in the same way we are today. But that's politics!

I don't disagree that there are elements of Labour that are at fault here and also the failings of the regulatory framework under Labour's watch. But had Brown or his government acted at the right time in a way you suggest (i.e. ultimately to reign in on the ease of provision of lending) he would have been criticised with the same vigour he is being criticised today.

I don't believe this is a time for partisan politics. The "calamity" is now a global one and this may have been on Cameron's mind during PMQs.