Paul Hackett, a wonk who has written some pamphlets for the Sith, is the “acting director”. The offices are closed and Guido has confirmed that the Smith Institute will no longer be based at the New Statesman’s offices. The rumour in wonk-land has it that the IPPR has taken pity on them and will be giving them space at their offices.
“Taxpayers have every reason to be angry: with the private-sector managers and directors who behaved appallingly and have never been brought to book; the company auditors who passed last year’s accounts without spotting the big holes in the company books; the regulators (the FSA) who also gave the Northern Rock a clean bill of health; and the government, which was at best naive and at worst dishonest when it claimed to have secured the government’s loans.”
Why didn’t Vince ask the key question, what are the taxpayers billions in loans secured against?
UPDATE : LibDem Voice is rushing to the defence of old twinkle toes. Essentially saying nationalisation was the least bad option. Well that is a question of judgement. Guido does not think expropriation is the solution to anything in any circumstances except perhaps war. The best solution would have been to wind-up Northern Rock, which is what Guido said at the time and Redwood told Cable in the debate.
Huffington Post, online bible of the liberal political class in America, is getting nervous. The front-page is no longer confident, more full of whines and excuse making. One article highlights Obama’s abandonment of his left-wing primary held policy positions:
Obama now emphasizes his commitment to strong families and heartland values, “Accountability and self-reliance. Love of country. Working hard without making excuses.” In this yet unwritten chapter of his next autobiography, Obama tells us he is the candidate of “welfare to work” who supports our troops and “cut taxes for working families.” The shift in his political personae has been startling. Obama has moved right so far and so fast, he could end up McCain’s Vice-Presidential pick.
General-election Obama now billboards his doubts about affirmative action. He has embraced the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption saying, “I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon…everything.” He tells his party “Democrats are not for a bigger government.” Oil drilling is a consideration. His FISA vote and abandonment of public campaign finance introduce us to an Obama of recent invention. And as he abandons his old identity for the new, breeding disenchantment among his formerly passionate left-of-center supporters and, equally, doubts among the center he courts, he risks becoming nothing at all, a candidate who is everything and nothing in the same moment.
Obama looks increasingly likely to unravel by November…
This just in from a co-conspirator’s Crackberry:
I am en route on the 3.18 from Hull to London with two loud mouthed Labourites. Ivan Lewis, [Health PuSS] and his [researcher?].
They are deciding whether to go for a quote based on the Bevan quote that Tories are lower than vermin“Calling Bob at the Mirror on the rats and hospitals story. Will you tell me if you think this response if too churlish for the Mirror… When Bevan founded the NHS, he said Tories lower than vermin, I wouldn’t describe them like this but their approach to cleaner hospitals..”
His assistant,“If Bevan said that – that is the bollocks stuff”
Guido’s co-conspirators are everywhere, and they are laughing at you politicians.
UPDATE II 6 Aug : Looks like the Mirror didn’t use their “Tory vermin” quote.
The Tories sent mixed messages, essentially they didn’t want to nationalise it (they are not that left-wing) but they didn’t want to say “put it into administration” (John Redwood was the most coherent Tory voice on the issue here and here).
Cable today says that he knew all along that it was iffy:
“These figures confirm the suspicion, held by many of us, that the Government and the regulators were badly deceived by Northern Rock’s former managers when they agreed to bail it out on the basis that it was a good bank with a good loan portfolio… I am encountering cases of people being repossessed as a result of deeply foolish loans and the bank and the taxpayer who now own Northern Rock are having to absorb the resulting losses”
So why did Vince happily congratulate Gordon on nationalising the Rock? Socialising the losses and privatising the profits is not a good deal for the taxpayers. Vince is currently on a damage limitation tour of newsrooms salvaging his reputation for sound judgement…
Pictured here standing behind Ming, the LibDems were on the receiving end of most of Oakley’s activities, which crossed the line by a long chalk. Although it was actually Vince Cable who stabbed Ming in the back in the end…
UPDATE : Danny Finkelstein admits that at the final selection committee he “thought Watford hadn’t necessarily selected the best future MP but they had chosen the one who seemed most assured, self confident and politically mature. I thought him a very stable, solid choice even if he didn’t do all that much for me.” The Fink, in his judgement, also thinks promising tax cuts is a vote loser for the Tories.
*He has quit as Conservative candidate and left the Conservative group on Hillingdon Council.