Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Denis MacShane tries to blame everyone

I was just listening to this week's Any Questions (in the bath, on my iPhone, via iPlayer - ooh, get me!) and I was particularly unimpressed with Denis MacShane's response to a question about the recession.

He seemed to be saying that nobody predicted it, everyone thought the way we were going was right and asked Janet Street Porter for examples of newspaper editorials and comment pieces that forewarned what was going to happen.

Now aside from the fact that there were all sorts of warnings years ago (not least from Vince Cable who has been banging on about this for several years and was consistently dismissed by Gordon Brown as scaremongering - a point that Jo Swinson skewered MacShane with), I have to say to Denis MacShane that Labour have been in power with huge majorities for almost 12 years! How the hell can he be trying to blame other people for "not warning us" (even though they did)? The Labour Party seems to be in denial (in the upper echelons at least) about what has happened. Blaming other people might have worked for the first few years of government (they kept blaming the Tories for things for several years after 1997) but this simply will not wash now. Even if others had not been warning (which they were!) it is the government's job to keep track of what is happening, make sensible predictions and plan prudently for the future. God known Gordon Brown used the word "prudent" enough times in his speeches. The government has access to all the information (which it jealously guards for political advantage) so they cannot whinge when things go wrong. They were in a position to do something about it. Janet Street Porter was not.

They need to think about how this sort of attitude plays with the public. Slopey shouldering everything cannot work as a long term strategy. The sooner Gordon Brown admits that he messed up, the sooner the pieces can be picked up and a serious effort made at sorting the problem out. They need to move from denial to acceptance.

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