The Labour Party 1997-2010
Witnessing Labour Party infighting over the direction to take, (left or right) it is opportune to look back to 1997 and Tony Blair. Tony was a considerable admirer of Margaret Thatcher. He certainly admired her absolute authority in the control of her Cabinet. That was a great pity, because what was needed in dealing with problems was a wealth of discussion and argument, whereas, on the contrary, cabinet meetings lasted around 30 minutes, having been convened to rubber stamp policies which had been decided beforehand.
This was unhealthy government since it was simply not possible for one person, even with the assistance of a few, “Nodding Dogs”, to solve all the problems single – handedly. It needed a collective effort. Under Tony Blair & then Gordon Brown, “competition” became the mantra. Their belief being that this would ensure excellence in performance by entrepreneurs and by result the Nation would benefit. In the beginning unquestioned perception was that the approach was a success, but in time, “the crows came home to roost” companies simply did not continue, “competing”. instead they instigated mergers, consolidating competing processes. Unfettered by effective Bank of England monitoring & control, Banks increased in size, ” in time taking the shape of giant squids with tentacles in many countries worldwide becoming fully international, by result, moving their activities beyond the control of the UK government.
Cash availability within these uncontrolled, “Global” markets was finite and increasing scarcity, brought about an increase in the use of credit, slowing down growth. The resultant sluggish market performance and ever increasing acquisition, by British Banks, of freshly packaged USA, “dodgy” sub-prime loans should have alerted the Bank of England that there were problems in the banking sector. It didn’t. So. There it is. It is appropriate to place fault firmly with Mr Blair & Mr Brown and of course Ally Darling, who started the run on the banks in the first place by dithering over support for, “Northern Rock” instead of allowing the Bank of England to get on with it’s remit.