Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Labour Sheds Its Skin

Late news from my parliamentary correspondent at Westminster: group of Labour MPs (principally Ken Purchase) break into chorus of "The Red Flag" in corridor outside the tea room after 3rd reading of the Banking (Special Provisions) Bill.


Anonymous said...

By Parliamentary correspondent, Iain of course means Doris from the staff canteen.


rob's uncle said...

1st Reading, in fact, of this curious, hastily drafted and no doubt flawed piece of emergency legislation: what will the Lords make of it, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

You're surprised?

Ted Foan said...

You're joking, aren't you? Or were they?

Sadly, I think not - in both cases. There are some seriously old died-in-the-wool lefties in this so-called New Labour Party and now that Blair has gone they are getting brazen because they think that Brown is secretly one of them and he needs them more than they need him.

Good news for the Conservatives, though. Easier to put "clear blue water" between them and a lame duck Prime Minister as Brown has now become.

Bring on the election!

Ted Foan said...

Just noticed that Ken Purchase's website contains the following statement:

"This website is funded from Parliamentary Allowances and that complaints
about content should be made initially to the Director of Finance and Administration, House of Commons."

And this is what it says:

"20 February, 2008

It was a momentous day in the Commons on Monday when Alistair Darling issued a statement that the Government have decided to introduce legislation to take Northern Rock into a period of temporary public ownership...

"Ken Purchase with impeccable timing followed up his previous posting on mutualisation by asking Alistair Darling the following question.

"First, may I say to the Chancellor that he has been wise to take his time before arriving at this momentous decision? That is absolutely right. People will see it as a common-sense response to a difficult position. However, does he recall, in the days before demutualisation, that the bank was a sound building society, operating a good business model with significant reserves that were squandered on a pay-out at demutualisation? Does he accept that rather than rushing into another decision, which the Conservatives would like, to return it immediately to the market, further consideration should be given to the company's mutualisation so that we return to the sanity of the days when building societies gave proper mortgages to people who required them for good purposes?"

Alistair Darling (Chancellor of the Exchequer,) replied

"I am not sure that I can make a promise on the last point, but my hon. Friend is right that it was correct to give the management and shareholders time to come up with options and alternatives. We gave them that time. We had two bids. Unfortunately, when matched against the option of a temporary period of public ownership—I made the point many times that that had to remain on the table—it was not possible to proceed with those bids. He is right that it is important to get the correct decision."

Should we be complaining to the Director of Finance and Administration, House of Commons?

Anonymous said...

I can see nothing wrong in wanting Building Societies back as they were. I would hope that they will re-appear one day with cast iron clauses saying they can never be sold off.

Manfarang said...

Old Clause lV moment?

Yak40 said...

Darling pushes thru' NR bill - that will also allow other institutions the same treatment.

No wonder they were singing The Red Flag.

Four legs good.
Two legs better.

Anonymous said...

And some of them couldn't even remember the words.

Alan Douglas said...

Didn't nationalisation have something to do with "the commanding heights" of the economy ?

I suppose to the sort of creatures that reside beneath it, Northern Rock would seem to be a commanding height ?

Alan Douglas

Windsor Tripehound said...

I watched quite a bit of the debate yesterday. I was very surprised to learn that this emergency bill, which I thought was solely to facilitate the nationalisation of Northern Rock, will in fact give the government powers to nationalise any other bank or building society in the next 12 months.

You have to ask, why do they think they need these extra powers, and is it right to push them through in a highly condensed emergency debate?

Anonymous said...

There was certainly a clip on ?BBC1 last night showing a Labour MP commenting, in the Chamber, that he was pleased that the Rock was now The People's Bank, and he would be opening an account there.

These plonkers really do see this as a return to flying the Red Flag.

Old BE said...

I am surprised it took this long.

Only 2 and a bit years to go now but they can cause a lot of damage in that time.

Anonymous said...

Iain, They were singing The Red Flag at Old Trafford last looks very v e r y sinister.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure they weren't singing the alternative version?
'The working class can kiss my a..e,
I've got an MP's job* at last.'

*You can make your own substitute here, it didn't seem a bad idea to meld two stories.

Anonymous said...

For the first time in my life I find myself agreeing with a left-wing Labour MP. Demutualisation was a catastrophic error.

Anonymous said...

You really don't understand humour do you?

asquith said...

To be honest with you, if there are fossilised survivors of a bygone age, I'd look to your side of the aisle. Unless you really want me to believe that the Tories have gone Cameroon overnight.

OK, I'm predictable. But it can't be denied. Vote Cameron, get ConHome.

Newmania said...

Really Asquith it would appear that your own Junior minister Pat Mcfadden is keen to aknowledge that everything the Conservatives have been saying has been right and our side of the aisle has won the argument on all fronts .

I quote ...and translate

Labour must encourage debate on immigration (sic) and accept there is public disquiet ....the relationship between fairness and public service provision was "broken".
(= Damn those scrounging foreigners )

Reform of public services had to go further, saying the debate on GPs opening hours was only the beginning

( = Damn that wasteful Public Sector )

.The debate on climate change was starting to leave the public behind

(= Nuts to those enviro loons )

He called for the party to end its "sterile" discussion about the governance of schools and city academies, adding that the problem was not that the government had introduced too much reform in education but rather too little................... We need to move on from a sterile debate about governance to a realisation that these reforms are essential to giving some of the most disadvantaged children in the country more opportunities than they have enjoyed up until now.

(= Bring back Grammars oi!)

(immigration) most frustrating for the public, the vast majority of whom are not racist, is the sense that you're not allowed to talk about this, that whatever they feel it is beyond the boundaries of legitimate discussion." ...

(= sod your political correctness)

Thanks for that admission that you have not got a thing right in ten years Now sod off ...( is my view of it )

Anonymous said...

demutualisation however is nothing to do with nationalisation or privatisation. Mutual bank can make stupid short term decisions as well. As the despatches programme showed, their was a clamour from everyone to get in on the act... High returns from AAA credit rated companies.

Anonymous said...

asquith 8.44 "Vote Cameron, get ConHome."

I'd vote for Father Jack, Jim Davidson, or even Old Nick himself if it rid us of Brown and his gang of spivs.

asquith said...

I should have thought bearing the name asquith would tell you that I'm nothing to do with Labour.

Anonymous said...

"I'd vote for Father Jack, Jim Davidson, or even Old Nick himself if it rid us of Brown and his gang of spivs."

Tory then?

Anonymous said...

Labour members sing the Red Flag. Wow. Didn't see that coming.

Curbishly said...

The Chancellor took the unusual move of introducing small print into emergency legislation yesterday to prevent public scrutiny of the bank, which has been nationalised.

Open Government?

asquith said...

Sorry, my lengthly answer to Newmania wasn't posted. Suffice to say that I'm a LibDem and I wasn't trying to defend clunking fist, just saying that it's a bit rich for a Tory to complain about another party having extremists in its ranks.

Unless you can seriously tell me, with a straight face, that Dave from PR has turned the Tories into a liberal party and Tory MPs and party members have changed their minds.

Newmania said...

I should have thought bearing the name asquith would tell you that I'm nothing to do with Labour.

Really Asquith Are you not a member of the party breaking a manifesto commitment and saving Gordon Brown from his own rebels over the Lisbon lie? Yes.

Are you not also a member of a Party which has reportedly ,(Independent) agreed a deal , power sharing for PR with Gordon Brown`s National Socialist Reich in another act of contempt for the electorate? Yes.

Are you not a Party half of which would have stayed labour had New labour come along in time and whose members will never supprt the COnservative Party? Yes.

Are you therefore not in effect a member of the Labour Party. Yes .( with added lentils )

VOTE Lib Dem get BROWN.

Old BE said...

the name asquith would tell you that I'm nothing to do with Labour.

Except when your party leaps into bed with Brown to prop him up after the next election!

asquith said...

Actually, I chose the LibDems as the lesser evil. I won't become a member. It so happens that I'm economically liberal, Eurosceptic, unconvinced of the benefits of immigration and generally the sort of person who would vote Conservative if the party shed itself of its headbanging wing. But it hasn't, and never will.

If you want my humble opinion, I'm completely against joining forces with Brown, as he is authoritarian. But it's not like I go out drinking with Nick Clegg and can turn him round to my point of view. Iain Dale isn't in love with everything Cameron does, but he's still a Tory.

Besides which, if many LibDems did serve in the SDP, that's a positive rather than a negative. They left Labour because it was extreme and authoritarian. One thinks of Roy Jenkins, a natural liberal who was only in Labour because the Liberal party was moribund.

Newmania said...

I'm economically liberal, Eurosceptic, unconvinced of the benefits of immigration

But you will vote for a Party who will effectively guarantee the end of our remaining sovereignty continued mass immigration and ever higher taxes all of which a Brown administration will portend and would be broadly supported by the Lib Dems very possibly as a coalition .

These Liberals are crazy.

PS Iain Dale is in love with everything Cameron does . He owns a blow up replica David Cameron which he takes on long romantic walks.
I don`t recall a word of criticism except when Dave appeared to dis the great Lady in a speech in the US.

Little Black Sambo said...

Asquith said: "Vote Cameron, get ConHome."
If only.

Praguetory said...

Hi Asquith,

'It so happens that I'm economically liberal'

You're in the wrong party.


Without a doubt.

'unconvinced of the benefits of immigration'

Clegg favours an immigration amnesty.

An astonishing young man who seems inclined to vote for a party that stands for everything he opposes.

Anonymous said...

The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyr'd dead
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts' blood dyed its ev'ry fold.

Then raise the scarlet standard high,
Within its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

asquith said...

Praguetory and Newmania, I will not vote Conservative because the extremists in the party concern me a lot more than the issues I mentioned. It's called keeping your head down and making do with what you've got. Unless you expect me to believe that Cameron turned you round and you now agree with his views on everything.

I also have views on such matters as the environment (remember that?), Iraq (only one mainstream, non-nutty party was truly against British participation), civil liberties (the LibDems are the best by far), localism (only one party makes the running), and so on.

I've been following Clegg and I like MOST of what he does. I'm not stupid, nor am I ignorant. The Tories' pitch for LibDem votes and the "vote blue, go green" business is completely dishonest and repulsive.

asquith said...

By the way (and this is addressed to Iain, as well) I haven't come here to be a troll and my intentions are not negative. I want to have a discussion about things. I know I sound like I'm always bitchin', but I'm not really like that.

Manfarang said...

new mania
Remaining sovereignty.
So would you be in favor of sending all foreign troops that are stationed in Britain home?

Praguetory said...

"Unless you expect me to believe that Cameron turned you round and you now agree with his views on everything."

So hang on. You won't support a party unless all of its activists are dead-eyed disciples, but you yourself are allowed to hold views wholly divergent with your own leadership. Truly, you are the liberal elite.

asquith said...

Even if Clegg's views do differ from mine, the LibDems are a much better fit than the Tories. Besides, his economic views are actually not far from mine. In his speeches he has distanced himself from the left-of-Labour socialism some people attribute to the LibDems.

Harry Barnes said...

If I had known that we were in for a Red Flag sing song, I would never have stood down at the last election.