Give rent-a-quote Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable his due, he and his party cohorts knew the economy would crash back in 2000.
Addressing the faithful at his party’s last conference before the election Cable told his audience this prophetic moment occurred when 10 years ago “a group of us Lib Dem activists fought the demutualisation of building societies, a consequence of Tory legislation which led to the disasters at Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and HBOS.
“We told Gordon Brown to curb the excess profits of banks which were dependent on taxpayer guarantees,” Cable added. “We warned him for years that he was in denial about the build-up of household debt and the bubble in property prices. He took no notice and nor did the Tories, but we were right.”
Well, B&B went plc in December 2000 although Northern Rock and Halifax went that way in 1997, so on chronology you have to give Cable the benefit of the doubt, especially as he went on to say that “the government’s economic record speaks for itself, with the phrases ’no more boom and bust’, ’prudence’ and ’golden rules’ all abandoned”.
He added that the Prime Minister is sounding increasingly like Ashley Cole, asking for another chance.