Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Conference Diary: Tuesday 5

I posted this earlier but it doesn't seem to have appeared.

The speech of the week so far has been from Nick Herbert (well, of the ones I have seen, anyway). Eloquent, passionate and delivered without notes or using an autocue, the speech explained Conservative prisons policy in a way that made me proud to be a Conservative. I hope this doesn't sound patronising, but in terms of being a top rank frontline politician, I felt Nick came of age today. It was a stellar performance.


Martin said...

Good Conference Iain? Did you get to snog lots of short selling speculators?

Anonymous said...

would you like to give him one then Iain?

Astro-Turf Lawnmower said...


I see from your profile that you are a Lib Dem. Looks like your lot have the odd short seller too...

Anonymous said...

It's a pity that your good speaker has been sold down the river by "Call me Dave". His speech this morning threw away all the valid points about Brown's errors of judgement.

It's like the situation with the Conservative support for the Iraq invasion. That decision was then thrown back at the Tories for years by Blair whenever they raised concerns. So it will now be with the economy.

Anonymous said...

Nick Herbert


Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:51 Whatever are you on about?

Unsworth said...


So what's so special about "without notes or using an autocue"? Sometimes it's a whole lot better if they are used, and better still if a bit of audio-visual is chucked in as well.

It's content as well as delivery, and a picture is worth 1,000 words - although what with the FTSE and everything that's currently about 790 and falling.

Anonymous said...

Has Cameron lost the plot?

Why is he now supporting the Brown government over their handling over the current financial crisis yet at the same time putting down US Republicans?

Why is Dave so sure that Gordon Brown is right and Republicans so wrong?

Anonymous said...


Your point is?

Did you actually watch the speecd? I know you're an angry guy but jeez.....

force12 said...

Only good news today is that the Gurkhas have had some sort of justice in this cunt hole of a country.

Let all and sundry drain this country and it's land - hundreds, thousands, millions (who knows - 'they' fucking don't) from the glorious EU but don't let soldiers who fought for this country. This is sick in the extreme.

Am neither going long nor short on piano wire today. Just going to a shop and buying some.

Roygbiv / media / others just playing games with us. Am not playing anymore.

Cameron on C4 "do what is necessary to defend the system" - what fucking system?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:39

Cameron behaved in a statesman like way - very classy. What's more important - scoring political points or working with the Government to make sure we don't sink into recession?

Now is not the time for schadenfreude though God knows a part of me thinks these so called masters of the universe got their come-uppance. The fact is they have probably salted away millions so it is only, we, the regular folk who will get screwed if there is no bail out or co-operation.
Recession is a high price to pay for taking the high moral ground don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Ian I can not go along with Dave's support for Gordon in a crisis.

Gordon took UK plc into this mess, so why is Dave saying that Gordon is best placed to take us out?

Has it not occured to dave that the US Tories may just be right and there is no need to support fat cats for mainstreet to survive?

I for one am NOT impressed by cameron's emergency speech.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:01

I watched the speech and I NEVER heard him say that Brown was best placed to bail us out. In what parallel world did this happen?

And can I tell you something about the all those who voted against the rescue package in America? It was to let their constituents know they were on the side of the little people - they will fall in place now that they made their stand because they have to.

Anonymous said...

Lady Finchley

Dave pledged to support Gordon even if he did not agree.

Dave criicised US conservatives for being politicians.

Why is Dave so sure that Gordon is right and US Republicans wrong?

Anonymous said...

Not at all suprised Iain. Nick Herbert is my MP. Top man too.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:19 - because they were playing politics - duh. The Republicans have a natural distaste (as do all Conservatives) for nationalisation and I can certainly appreciate this view but you can bet your bottom dollar it was also a 'show' of solidarity with the people. Of course it is unpopular and of course I wished it was not necessary but it is. And they WILL fall into line.

And he did not say he would support Brown - he is supporting the country.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:19

For your interest - the speech in full:

We arrived in Birmingham knowing that we face a very serious economic situation. The reaction to last night’s vote in Congress shows just how serious that situation is. Household names collapsing. Governments bailing out banks with enormous sums of taxpayers’ money. A difficult end to the decade of debt. As if life wasn’t already enough of a struggle with the cost of living going up people are worried this morning about their jobs, their mortgages, their savings, their pensions. They get even more worried when they hear talk of a collapse of capitalism. People are confused and concerned. They want to know what’s going on. They want to know what is going to happen next. They want to know how we’re going to get out of this mess. In my speech tomorrow, I will try to answer those questions in full. Today I just want to get a couple of things straight.

First, let’s get our attitude towards financial services straight. We must not let anger cloud our judgment. It’s easy to see why people are so angry with the bankers today. They paid themselves vast rewards when it all was going well and the minute it all went wrong, they came to us to bail them out. There will be a day of reckoning but today is not that day. Today we must do everything necessary to protect the stability of the system because everyone’s jobs, savings, pensions and mortgages depend on it.

Today is a day for safety, for security, and for protection. Everyone needs to know that we are doing everything we can to help you keep your job, your savings, your pension, your mortgage safe, that we are not playing politics with this, that we will always do the right thing to protect your life and your future.

That does not mean excusing irresponsible behaviour or pretending it never happened. For the last three years, I have made clear that the Conservative Party is not some wholly-owned subsidiary of the CBI or the City of London. I said three years ago that we do not just stand up for business but we stand up to big business when it’s in the interests of Britain and the world. We said that we stand for social responsibility, and that a key part of social responsibility is corporate responsibility. We believe in the free enterprise system, but we do not believe in a free-for-all.

So as George Osborne said yesterday, the bankers must pay for the mistakes they made. He is right. And he is also right when he says that we must not use this financial crisis to trash the financial services industry. Financial services are one of our most important industries, and it’s not just the City of London but people working in branches of Halifax and Bradford and Bingley, people working in call centres, people with families to raise and mortgages to pay.

The second thing we have to get straight is our attitude to the free enterprise system as a whole. We must not use this crisis to bury the free enterprise system, but to reform it. Over the weeks and months ahead this Party will need to rise to that challenge, and I am confident that we will because of our instinctive belief in the free enterprise system. We believe in it and we understand it. We understand its strengths and its weaknesses and we know how it needs to change. But again, this is an argument for another day.

Today, our focus must be on protecting the system. Anyone who knows anything about the history of economics knows that it wasn’t the Wall Street Crash that caused the great depression, it was the banking crisis which came after the Wall Street Crash and the policy response to that crisis. We’ve got to get the policy response right, and our principle is clear: we must protect the taxpayer where possible, and stabilise the system where necessary. So I and this party stand ready to help in whatever way is necessary, to help the Government to do the right thing for the sake of our economy and for our future financial security.

We should always be ready, we have always been ready – at a time of national difficulty – to put aside party differences to help bring stability and help bring reassurance. Working across party lines is not just something we say because it might sound reasonable – it is something that may well be very necessary. There may well need to be a marshalling of public support behind some big decisions. And we cannot allow what happened in America to happen here. But this should never be a blank cheque. We should not, we will not suspend our critical faculties. If certain steps need to be taken, I would hope the opposition will be consulted and these things would be discussed. This is a moment when democracies are being tested: we need to show that they can deal with crisis and difficulties like this one.

There are three specific things that I believe would help protect our economy and we stand ready to do whatever is necessary to help make them happen.

First, we must pass legislation to enable the Bank of England to rescue failing banks. That legislation is ready, it can be brought before Parliament on Monday and we will support it. We have been arguing with the government over one aspect: who pulls the trigger to start the process of rescuing a bank. We argued that it should be the Bank of England; the government argued that it should be the FSA. In the end what matters is getting the legislation through quickly and so I can announce today that we are prepared to drop that objection to allow rapid and safe passage of the Bill - and we can return to this issue later.

The second thing we need to do is pass further legislation to protect people’s savings and deposits and ensure quick payout. If we pass this legislation, everyone will have the comfort and security of knowing that whatever happens, their money is safe. I am calling today on the government to accelerate this legislation, to bring it forward next week and I can promise them it will have our full support.

The third thing we need to do is break the self-fulfilling cycle that is reducing banks’ ability to lend. The problem is this. When the value of financial assets falls, a new international accounting regulation called “marking to market” automatically downgrades the value of banks. They are less able to raise the money to carry on their business. That in turn causes further falls in the value of financial assets. And this is making the financial crisis worse than in previous downturns. So our regulatory authorities, together with the European regulators, need to address this difficult issue.

This financial crisis is rightly uppermost in the minds of most people up and down the country. But it is not the only issue facing Britain today. So we will continue with our conference and continue to discuss all the important concerns that face our nation. And when it comes to the financial crisis and the economic downturn, what people need is for political leaders to tell the truth, speak plainly, and talk about the mistakes that were made and the choices that lie ahead. So we will be critical of the decisions that over ten years have led us to this point. We will talk of the lessons that need to be learnt. That is our task and we will do it.

So let us all be clear. We need to understand how this happened, and how we’re going to get out of the mess. I will address those questions in my speech tomorrow. But today is a time for us to send a clear message: to our political opponents, to our country. Let’s not allow the political wrangling and point-scoring that we’ve seen in America to happen here in our own country. In Britain, we are all in this together. In Britain, let’s stick together, and together we’ll find a way through.

Anonymous said...

The Ladies not for turning!

Ooooooooooooooo! Matron!

Newmania said...

Sound sense

Anonymous said...

Good to see Cameron climbing on the 'lynch a banker' bandwagon - he's probably just about stupid enough to think that every 'banker' (dealer? trader? investment banker? retail banker?) is paid enormous bonuses. I mean, it's not like everyone in the entire financial sector (cleaners, dinner ladies, secretaries, travel agents, drivers, back office types galore) shouldn't bear total collective responsibility for the current mess. So much for the party of individual responsibility, eh?

And as for raising the insurance levels on deposits, is it just me or is that an engraved invitation for everyone with over £50k to withdraw it, stick it under the sofa and wait for the crashing sound?

Anonymous said...

The 'today is not that day' form of words in the speech... isn't that from the Lord of the Rings before one of the battles??? Aragorn I think...

jailhouselawyer said...

I think it is telling that nobody else has rated what Nick Herbert had to say.

Perhaps, instead of your finger being on the political pulse rather it is up your arse with your head?

Anonymous said...

What's the betting the Tories lose ground when the result of the polls comes in?

Brown has looked good. Cameron and Osborne have looked unconvincing if not desperate.

Our boys haven't "sealed the deal", not by a long way.

Pity. Wall Street has made pygmies of everyone.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps, instead of your finger being on the political pulse rather it is up your arse with your head?"

What a charming person you are.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post originally from Nick Robinson's blog that deserves a wider auience so I hope the author doesn't mind. Personally, I think today's move by Cameron was very astute. He's going long on this one because Brown can't just keep making short-term fixes for this problem. It's not just going to go away and Cameron know. Brown may get some short-term gain out of this crisis (how f*cked up is that anyway?), but in the long-term he's signing his own death warrant. Cameron needs to be seen to be making the right noises, to be seen as reasonable and mature and he's succeeded in that. I can't help feeling that Brown's walking into a massive elephant trap.

Anyway, here's that post. Another to follow.

"the government had intervened where necessary and no depositors had yet lost money" gordon brown, alistair darling, other labour ministers (the latest soundbite?)
- british taxpayer's are "depositors" they deposit cash into the government's pockets, whats happening to this?

how much is involved?
which institutions are being given taxpayers money?
is this taxpayer's money already in the coffers or are they planning to borrow more to pay for it?
its all too vague!

which leads to the next point/question:
we keep being told that brown and darling will do "whatever it takes to protect people"
- they never actually tell us how they are "protecting" people?

are they borrowing money?
are they cutting funding across government departments?
is it a combination of both?
what are the timescales for paying money back?
what are the guarantees the taxpayer will get it back?
we dont want soundbites we demand answers.
- a statement to the house of commons should be made on what "protection" has involved.
darling and brown should be there to answer questions from all sides.

"Northern Rock guaranteed the deposits of those people who were saving with Northern Rock," - we saw then exactly how much it cost taxpayers!
"Bradford and Bingley safeguarded the deposits by moving them to Abbey National," - this wasnt brown or darling,it was a cheap buy out of more than £20 BILLION pounds of savings accounts, sold for less than £1 BILLION!
"Halifax Bank of Scotland we moved them to Lloyds TSB." - again brown and darling didnt do this at all... and if this a successful rescue measure by brown,then why did he block his good friend (chairman of lloyds) from buying out northern rock?
once again, brown simply allowed the competition commission to ignore the sale of the bank for a knockdown price.

The final point goes to the FSA, "the deposit guarantee limit we have announced will increase to £50,000 - we have announced it now as the markets are calm!"

absolute classic this one.... biggest falls and increases, in history, 4 times over the last two weeks and the FSA think the markets are "calm"
even brown jumped on the bandwagon saying that "we have raised the threshold to £50,000!"

i dont trust brown one inch with the economy - hes hiding a nasty sting for the taxpayers of the UK further down the line,otherwise hed tell us exactly what hes actually done to sort the mess he and the FSA sat back and allowed to happen.

Anonymous said...

And another;

If Greenspan reckon that the US domestic housing market stablisation is key to recovery and the UK economy is at least in part similar it is very worrying.

Property prices ended up topping out at x6.5 earnings, with x4.5 having been the historical level (over extended period) before the Bubble bath got going.

Prices are dropping but still have some way to go it would seem. There is a lot of exposure due to come. It is not clear where the bottom is, x4.5 or an overshoot lower(x4). Perhaps the bottom is not as low as 4.5 due to the inbuilt property shortage that is already here. I don't think anybody knows.

However wherever it ends up it is going to freeze many in their current house even if they can afford to maintain it which has all sort of implications, labour mobility, disposable income. You can't sell to break out.

The banks must have the some figures and so must the government but who wants to break bad news. The banks only regard people with a 25% deposit as safe. Thats quite a safety margin. That FSA guy looked twitchy, Paulson looks twitchy.

Every time Greenspan speaks the bottom out moves further forward, it fairly rapidly has moved from 2009 to 2010 as a probable pick up point.

The figures tell there has been a great deal of UK remortgaging as a form of asset stripping by housholders, its not just a question of people who entered the market in the last couple of years.

It usually takes about 5 years for a housing market recovery to really get going following a major hit but this level of debt is new ground. Unemployment usually lags a downturn by 3 years and job creation 3 years from an upturn.

Nobody in there right mind would first time buy until the bottom was hit for sure so that is not going to help new blood. The market has frozen over before but there hasnt been this sort of price drop concurrent with it.

If you take the bubble and invert it and say thats whats going to be the environment it is going to be difficult.

I groaned when DC said he had a plan. Much prefered Paul Newmans motto, If we've got a plan we're screwed. How can you have a plan when you don't know what the problem is because you don't know where the bottom is.

Unless we are very lucky - Private sector shrinkage coming followed by public sector cuts. It is not actually going to make much difference who is in charge, even if NuLab come to their senses, the debt still has to be cleared.

If anybody thinks it is only people who entered the housing market recently who are going to have a problem, who knows.

Anonymous said...

What's the matter Jailhouse Lawyer - did Nick Herbert's excellent speech strike a nerve?

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown has been consitantly wrong for the last 11 years, why does Dave think he is right now?

Why does Dave believe the US bailout of Wallstreet correct when leading economists say it is wrong?

Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the right answer

Why is there massive split between George Osborne and David Cameron on Gordon Brown's ability to run the economy?

You've got it wrong Dave, Gordon Brown is NOT the solution, Gordon Brown IS the problem.

Anonymous said...

Simon Heffer is not Impressed by Dave (or Geoge Bush).

A degree in PPE from Oxford, then progressing through the ranks at Central Office from doing the photocopying to writing some other mediocrity's speeches for him, teaches one little about the real world and the often harsh way in which it is ordered.

It is striking how knee-jerk the responses were to Congress's defeat of the Bush plan. No one seems to want to question whether President Bush is right in his estimation of the peril to America's banking system, or whether he was exaggerating or, as so often in the past, simply wrong.

No one was keen to say that it might have been right for Congress to reject a massive expenditure of public funds that would get a number of hitherto foolish banks out of trouble. These are points that are certainly worth debating, instead of which the British political class - and not just the Conservative Party - prefers to sit frozen in America's headlights.

Conservatives have a long way to go to be judged a government-in-waiting

Anonymous said...

This speech of Cameron's had better be really, really good.

I want to see Gordon and all his minions given the push, however Cameron still comes over as the man obsessed with irrelvances. For example, all these proposals for green taxes on oil. Well we've seen what happens when the price of oil goes up dramatically - the economy crashes. So Cameron's central pitch is shown to be flawed.

As for Ian Duncan Smith's pitch yesterday - it almost rivals the luvvy-duvvy's of the BBC's left obsession that if "Little Johnnie does have the latest game for his games console then his is poor/disadvantaged". Broken society my foot, rather a society that pays for counterproductive behaviour - like single-mothers (never married) with 4 children jumping the queue for everything.

Anonymous said...

Simon Heffer is soooo relevant isn't he?

Anonymous said...

What's the betting the Tories lose ground when the result of the polls comes in?

Brown has looked good. Cameron and Osborne have looked unconvincing if not desperate.

the trolls are getting less sophisticated by the day.

A hint, trolls: pick a name. It's not hard. The stupid thing is that I bet Dolly's unit isn't even up and running yet but the news of it means that any anti-tory comment from 'anonymous' is automatically assumed to come from a Labour stooge.

Anonymous said...

Simon Heffer is not Impressed by Dave (or Geoge Bush).

Given that Hefferlump has in the past expressed admiration for New Labour on the one had and Nigel Farage on the other, in between descriving himself as a 'liberal', I think we can pretty much conclude that he is not to be taken terribly seriously.

The correct response to being informed that Simon has just supported you in one of his columns is surely "oh dear. Well at least not that many people will read it..."

Anonymous said...

"the trolls are getting less sophisticated by the day."

I'm not so sure. It seems to me that there are three types of Lab trolls here (and everywhere else). First, there are the foaming at the mouth types who just attack anything any Tory does in a way that increasingly resembles Goebbels in 1944. Secondly, there are the faux-Tories who shout "I'm a Tory but Dave's a leftie toff loser who doesn't have a chance" etc. Thirdly, there are the "Tory lunatics" who post offensive remarks that toads like Draper can then quote in the press to show how "nasty" Tories are. In his Telegraph piece the other day, Draper showed that he will quote any comment on any blog as "evidence" of what the Tories are allegedly really like; on past form, NuLab types will willingly fabricate such comments to suit their purposes.

None of the rants stand up to scrutiny and all are tiresome, but they are beginning to succeed in their aim of monopolising every thread and no doubt are switching people off from the blog. Of course it shows what a thoroughly nasty, pathetic and desperate bunch of juveniles NuLab types are, and it doesn't really matter given that voters at large won't give a monkey's.