Vince Cable says this of the recapitalisation of Barclays:
This is a scandal of mammoth proportions. Here is a bank which relies on the taxpayer to bail it out if the going gets rough but which has offered Middle Eastern investors a much better deal than the banks are offering to the British taxpayer.
The FT doesn’t mince words – “Vince Cable, Loony” :
We have to ask why Barclays is willing to offer a better deal to foreign investors than the British taxpayer… The answer is simple: they don’t want the British Government stopping them from paying massive bonuses to their executives.
So apparently the LibDem Treasury spokesperson would rather the UK taxpayer was taking the risk here. Odd, because not so long ago, Cable was thundering on about the unbearable burden the taxpayer was being forced to bear. More than the other banks, Barclays operate a high-risk casino operation which makes the bank particularly unstable but which gives very rich pickings to the top executives. The British Government must not simply let this pass.
You heard it: only the mediocre will do. Too bad they’re otherwise engaged in the LibDem Treasury team.
Guido has said it before; Vince Cable’s real expertise is in soundbites and faux gravitas.
“National debt is low and we’re able to borrow to do it.”
This is just delusional, he has run up the debt burden during his decade of unfunded spending, we have the biggest national deficit of all time, the books have never been so unbalanced as they are now. He fiddles the statistics, we know that, the Office of National Statistics even says so. Journalists know it. His own cabinet knows it. The Civil Service knows it. The City knows it. Foreign investors know it. This is why the pound has plunged against almost everything apart from the Icelandic Krona.
Guido Asked the PM to explain why, for example, the unfunded public sector pension debt is not government debt and hopes he can answer it without evasion. Because if he can’t he must either be (a) bonkers (b) a liar. Which is it?
The Fink had a go at “punk tax cutters” yesterday despite always claiming that he is in favour of lower taxes (in the long term) – it is just that those pesky voters don’t believe politicians who promise them – so don’t promise tax cuts – is his argument. Well a new poll from ComRes suggests he is wrong and that if a credible politician made a credible promise, it would be popular. It found that:
Guido started writing boom to bust pieces in September 2007, Fred Harrison, the Renegade Economist, made his prescient call on the property market in 2005. His 2005 book has just been re-printed, Boom Bust: House Prices, Banking and the Depression of 2010.
He has also produced this video accusing Gordon Brown of covering up his cupability. It is apparently the first in a series. Fred’s diagnosis is interesting, Guido is not sure however that his tax reform proposals are that appealing. Definitely worth seven minutes of your time.
The London based punditry are out of touch, they talk too much to each other. Our old friend Tom Watson has been briefing the press that Labour will win Glenrothes and this will be a great victory for Gordon. He has convinced Gordon to stake what little political capital he has on a Glenrothes comeback campaigning in the constituency. However, as Ben Brogan has detected, so chronic is the shortage of local activists and supporters Labour are press-ganging English Labour MPs and Northern CLP activists to trek past Hadrian’s Wall to help in the constituency. Not exactly a sign of a forthcoming resounding victory.
Guido thinks the punters not the pundits are right, again. Gordon’s personal visit should, if the curse of the one-eyed son of the manse still holds, have doomed Labour’s candidate. Labour are throwing the kitchen sink at this, heck the 10p tax bailout cost a few billion during the Crewe by-election, this time the bailout of Scottish banks cost tens of billions for this by-election. It will be close…
We know, as Trevor Kavanagh reminds us, that Mandelson is a proven liar, however he is not an idiot. He no doubt has heard the rumours of tapes and boasts by oligarchs that they have western politicians in their pocket. So perhaps the explanation for his reticence in answering the question, and uncharacteristic aversion to risking a lie to deny ever discussing tariff cuts worth billions to Deripaska, is the fear that he will be contradicted.
Paul Waugh reckons “the only sensible conclusion to draw is that Mandelson did indeed discuss the tariffs.” He is surely right.
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Sarah Vine writes of Esther McVey…
“McVey told Grazia that she hasn’t married or had children because she ‘never found anyone to wind her biological clock’ … If I remember rightly, half the current Cabinet would have cheerfully ‘wound her clock’ if she’d given them a glimmer of a chance.”