Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Only A Disguise Will Stop Public Ridicule

Two million on the dole, a home secretary fiddling expenses, Brown sucking up to City pals refusing to budge on bonuses while his favourite banker is fingered for sacking a whistleblower, the country in deep recession. Who'd want to be seen as a New Labour MP? 

Public anger over bankers, jobs and the government's economic mess is turning to ridicule but ministers still bury their heads in the sand.

Today Bank of England governor, Mervyn King, told voters what they can see and feel all around them -  the UK is facing a deep recession. It's a sorry state of affairs but unlike the greedy bankers, no-one in government has the guts to say sorry.

Blair's ex-deputy, John Prescott's on-line battle of the bonuses may be capturing the mood of the nation but more importantly it's reflecting the anger and frustration of backbench Labour MPs. 

Brown needs to get a grip and stop the dithering. Just say what everyone wants to hear - bonuses must be scrapped when the taxpayer is a shareholder in any bank. 

He won't because he can't. The whole New Labour project was based on the fundamental flaw of sucking up to the City to keep them sweet and the government in power. 

Labour's born-again working-class hero, Prescott, was happy to go along for the ride if that meant power and glory. Those days are long gone. Now voters are deserting in droves and Tories and LibDems can outflank the government when the public's on their side. 

The sorry sight of the former bankers' mumbled and staged outburst of remorse before the commons treasury committee left voters cold. 

The Orange Party dozed off watching a pointless and carefully managed PR charade unfold but woke when the finger pointed at Brown, as three of the four guilty men lorded it up with their Ks and Ps on full view - all thanks to their government pals. Failure now brought ample rewards in the past. 

But it's Brown's close ties with his knighted economic advisor, Sir James Crosby, which struck at the heart of the problem, when former HBOS head of risk, Paul Moore revealed he was fired by Crosby, then the bank's CEO, after repeatedly warning about the bleedin' obvious. 

On top of all that unemployment is at a monumental high since New Labour grabbed power and two homes Smith is praying her homes scam will go away before it blows the lid off government sleaze and corruption. 

Today at PMQs Cameron has a chance on so many fronts to prove that he really is the true Mr Angry and Brown's reported "anger" is just part of the Downing Street spin. 

So what can New Labour MPs do? Backbench MP, Frank Field, has an answer: "This anger is likely to be such that the only way that Labour MPs will be able to go out in public will be in heavy disguise - such will be the public ridicule."

UPDATE 11.46am: Brown's buddy, Sir James Crosby, has quit as deputy chairman of the useless Financial Services Authority, just minutes before Cameron could get really angry, during PMQs. Did he jump or was he pushed?

No comments: