Is today’s move going to help or hinder Labour?

Is today’s move going to help or hinder Labour?

    Now the battle moves on to who will get the blame?

On what the BBC business editor, Robert Peston, is calling “Momentous Monday” the FTSE 100 has moved up more than 100 points as the City digests the news that RBS is now 60% owned by the government with a 40% share being held in the newly merging Lloyds and HBOS.

As part of the deal the chief executives and chairmen of both RBS and HBOS are resigning and Peston has described it as “an abosolute humiliation” for the Scottish-based Banks.

Meanwhile the Tories have moved on from their silent supportive phase and shadow chancellor, George Osborne, has accused Brown of presiding over “the biggest economic disaster of our lifetime”. Writing in the Evening Standard, he said it was a mistake to present the government’s bail-out package as a “triumph” – rather it was a “a necessary but desperate last ditch attempt to prevent catastrophe”.

The blame game is going to dominate the politics of the next few months and could determine whether Brown’s Labour has any chance at all of stopping a Tory majority government at the next election.

What’s going to be picked over in detail are the banking regulation changes that Brown introduced shortly after Labour came to power in 1997 and whether they were partly responsible.

This is not going to be a view that’s universally shared on PB but in terms of the rhetoric he is able to develop and his ability to frame the debate I would rate Osborne way ahead of Brown every day of the week.

  • The cartoon is an original by Marf for
  • Mike Smithson

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