Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Vince Cable fan club extends to the Telegraph

Mary Riddell of the Daily Telegraph is the latest journalist to be bowled over by Vince Cable. No doubt this will further infuriate Guido Fawkes who is (a) dismissive of Vince; (b) frequently rails against the Telegraph for departing from its historic Toryism.

Gordon Brown is not a member of the fan club, either. In his speech to the Labour faithful in Swansea today, he again denied that there was any warning that there was an economic crisis to come. Yet if he cares to look in Hansard for 13th November 2003, Column 398, he will find one of many warnings by Vince Cable:

"On the housing market, is not the brutal truth that with investment, exports and manufacturing output stagnating or falling, the growth of the British economy is sustained by consumer spending pinned against record levels of personal debt, which is secured, if at all, against house prices that the Bank of England describes as well above equilibrium level? If the Bank of England is correct in its expectations of a market correction and rising interest rates, what action will the Chancellor take on the problem of consumer debt, which is rapidly rising, with 8 million annual visits from the bailiff?"

Three years later, economist and campaigner Ann Pettifor issued a warning about the crash to come in "The Coming First World Debt Crisis".

And if he did not listen to opposition politicians or lobbyists, he and his staff at HM Treasury should have been reading the Financial Times, where both Gillian Tett, its capital markets editor, and the paper's influential Lex column, "warned long in advance about the serious imbalances in the financial system" (James Robinson, The Guardian) and their implications for world economics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Vince Cable always reminds me of the little boy in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes", who states the Bleeding Obvious, bit like the Fawlty Towers sketch

"..... Next contestant, Mrs. Sybil Fawlty from Torquay. Specialist subject - the bleeding obvious"