Yesterday I debated the state of Britain with Hazel Blears and the Young Fabians in a Committee Room at the Commons.
Mrs Blears did what Labour now always does. She personalised the whole debate to me. She laced her remarks with personal abuse towards me, and ascribed views to me I have never held. Her two favourite lies were that I wanted to sack teachers, nurses and doctors, and I wanted to deregulate mortgage banks.
Back in the Commons Chamber, the Prime Minister was busily misrepresenting Conservative views. He accused David Cameron of changing his mind on borrowing, unable to distinguish between David’s remarks on the natural rise in borrowing that a recession causes (which David accepts),and the additional rise in borrowing that the PM is advocating as a matter of policy (which David opposes). For good measure the PM repeated the point about deregulation and the Conservative party Policy Review.
I asked him why he fails to quote the advice in the Economic Policy Report to strengthen capital adequacy regulation of the banks,and to strengthen the role of the Bank of Englandas the controller and supporter of the banks. As he seems to like quoting the Report so much, it is such a pity he leaves out the best bits. If he had followed the advice, we would not have seen a run on Northern Rock, and taxpayers would now be a lot better off.
Listening to Labour figures, they sound as if they think the Conservatives have been in offcie and are to blame for this crisis. I don’t think that’s how the public sees it!