Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Shott at dusk

With their own unique skill, the Liberal Democrats have danced all over the banking announcement today, as Lord Oakeshott was sacked from a post he didn't have in the first place. Apparently, even though he has been all across the press and broadcast media in recent months, described as a Liberal Democrat spokesman in the Lords, the Liberal Democrats have oddly denied that he held any formal post at all since the election, although a comment on Next Left points out that he was listed as a Treasury spokesperson in the Lib Dems own conference handbook last year.

He was sacked/stood down (or not) over these comments made to the BBC
The Treasury's negotiating tactics haven't been very good - they've got an awful combination of arrogance and incompetence. Most of them couldn't negotiate their way out of a paper bag and this is not as tough a deal as it should have been.
Can't argue with that assessment, to be honest. Like so much of the crowd-pleasing policy that is being pumped out of the dream factory at the moment, this is far more spin than substance. The banks have promised to lend more, but the amount at risk isn't the issue - the problem is the hoops that potential business borrowers are facing to be considered for a loan. Horrendously high interest rates for even small business overdrafts are the norm and otherwise solid business operations aren't being offered loans. The banks need to repay the nation for the damage caused by their profligacy pre-crash, when they were more than happy to gamble on dodgy packaged loans, by taking a few more risks now. This isn't a call for an excess of credit, but for the banks to fuel the growth and support the entrepreneurs who are our only hope of a way up and out.

The Oakeshott affair is interesting, though, as he is a close colleague of Vince Cable, who has been as positive as he can be about the proposals, but who can't be happy with the outcome.

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