Today we are told that Mr Miliband will show some humility. He will tell us he understands how angry we are that Labour said they had abolished boom and bust.
He should wake up and understand that what made people angry was not the soundbite – that was just silly. What made people angry was the huge boom and bust Labour presided over and helped engineer. They wish to blame the global economy and the US credit crunch, but the UK credit crunch was made in Britain by British Regulators and by the Bank of England under the supervision of Labour Chancellors. Northern Rock, Bradford and Bingley, HBOS and Alliance and Leicester were UK banks supervised by Mr Brown’s very own design of banking regulator
To please his audience Mr Miliband will say Labour were wrong to go for a deregulated City. This remains one of Labour’s biggest lies or misunderstandings. The City was more regulated in 2007 than in 1997. Mr Brown set up an independent banking regulator, kept the Bank of England involved, and made the Chancellor the Chief Regulator of the whole structure. He introduced extensive mortgage regulation which regulated the wrong things. All his regulators, far greater in number and better paid than in the 1990s, got the main judgement call wrong. They did not control cash and capital sensibly, and allowed a boom. They then controlled money too fiercely, and brought on a bigger bust.
That is what Mr Miliband should apologise for. Don’t hold your breath.
Last week on Question Time I still had to rebut the Labour lie that I advocated the scrapping of regulation of mortgage banks, when the Report I wrote for the Conservatives warned of excess credit and said they should regulate cash and capital more tightly. It turned out to be correct that their box ticking mortgage regulation failed to stop the worst mortgage crisis in our history.