Cameron is right; Brown is wrong
“David Cameron, led the way in Britain yesterday with an impressive four-point programme of government guarantees, regulatory reforms and critically important accounting changes. It is hard to see why Gordon Brown should not embrace all these points. Similar policy changes are starting in other countries - most importantly in the US itself” (The Times, 1 October 2008).
Brown is right; Cameron is wrong
“A few weeks ago it seemed as if Britain - for all its economic problems and the manifest political inadequacy of Gordon Brown - at least had a competent Opposition that would one day form a credible alternative government. Now the tables have turned. The good news for the world economy is that Mr Brown has become a leader of global stature, filling the policy vacuum created by the clueless dithering of the Bush Administration and the surprising failure of Barack Obama to step into the breach. The bad news for Britain is that the Tories have chosen this moment to self-destruct, leaving no plausible alternative to Labour” (The Times, 20 November 2008).
Brown is wrong
“Mr Brown has chosen exactly the opposite course to the one that might have restored his political credibility. Accordingly, he has been written off even by his erstwhile supporters, among whom I would have included myself until this year” (The Times, 10 July 2008).
“Britain has missed a crucially important issue by failing to remove the lethal distortions in regulation and accounting that were have been largely responsible for the boom and bust. Gordon Brown has also been overly punitive to bank shareholders and his terms will have to be relaxed to avoid unnecessary damage to what is still the country's most important industry” (The Times, 16 October 2008).
Brown is right
“With Euroland now in deep recession and the pound back to the low that triggered a strong economic rebound in 1995, market sentiment may well swing against the euro and in favour of sterling as investors conclude that eurozone policymakers are doing too little, too late, while Mr Brown and the MPC are laying the foundations for economic recovery in Britain” (The Times, 17 November 2008).
We need to avoid a Japan-style recession
“there are far more urgent items on the political and economic agenda. The first is how to prevent the recession made inevitable by this meltdown becoming a Japanese-style “lost decade” of economic stagnation and falling prices” (The Times, 16 October 2008).
Britain should follow Japan’s lead
“An interest rate of 1 per cent may be far outside the experience of anyone living in Britain today, but then the same is true of the banking crisis. Gordon Brown was the first to recognise that these unprecedented events demanded unprecedented responses and this is as true of monetary policy as it is of government support for banks. It follows, therefore, that Britain should adopt the ultra-low interest rate regime that is taken for granted in the US and Japan. And the Japanese experience of the 1990s shows that central bankers must be prepared to “think the unthinkable” about interest rates sooner rather than later, if they want to avert disaster” (The Times, 20 October 2008).
Britain is more vulnerable than any other major economy
“Conventional wisdom asserts that after a decade of profligate self-delusion, Britain has reverted to its traditional position as the sick man of Europe; indeed, that Britain is one of the sickest economies in the world. Regular readers of this column should be familiar with certain aspects of this view. Although I initially underestimated the depth and duration of the global credit crunch, I have argued throughout the past 12 months that Britain would be more vulnerable than the United States or any other big economy to whatever global financial problems did emerge” (The Times, 25 August 2008).
Britain is going to be fine
“The dithering incompetence of Henry Paulson has, by force of contrast, restored the credibility of Gordon Brown, both as Prime Minister and as an international leader. The UK economy, which had previously looked more vulnerable to the global recession than any other G7 country, is now likely to suffer less than the rest of Europe, as a result of unprecedented policy stimulus from the lowest interest rates in history, a super-competitive currency and a big reduction in tax” (The Times, 17 November 2008).
The Tories are great
“at the risk of appearing naive and biased, let me suggest that some of the Tories’ policies stand up to scrutiny and make a lot of sense … Mr Cameron seems to have understood that developing policies for a complex modern society requires a synthesis of ideas from different parts of the ideological spectrum. Politics is not just a matter of inventing slogans to try to impress tabloid editors - that is the failed politics of Gordon Brown” (The Times, 10 July 2008).
The Tories are terrible
“the Tories have not only disqualified themselves from any serious role in dealing with the present financial crisis. They have also put themselves on the wrong side of history” (The Times, 17 November 2008).
Mr Consistency, he ain't.