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The Sun is disappointing in the way it makes out it was nothing to do with Brown. Pascoe-Watson's doing I presume.

The Sun; "But no private firm wanted to pay the right price." As we are constantly told, a house (or anything including Northern Rock) is only worth what somebody is prepared to pay.

The concluding comments in one of the Telegraph's business section articles are a suitable touch of black humour: "The decision by the ONS two weeks ago that the Government had to take NR's £100bn balance sheet onto its books made the final move to nationalisation easier. However, one banker involved with NR said previously it would be like living in Bolivia if the Government nationalised the bank."

Labour's reputation for economic competence should have died the day the Chancellor guaranteed all of Northern Rock's deposits, since once he had taken this frankly bizarre and surely totally unconsidered step, it was unlikely the bank was ever going to be able to function in a 'normal' way again, not least since the shareholders and management were at that moment freed of all normal financial constraints.

I'd have more confidence in the Tory response to this fiasco had it been a little bit clearer and a little bit earlier.


The Sun said "Gordon Brown has been brave enough to get us out of the mess his Chancellor got us into."

Who are they kidding? As if any of the decisions made by the Chancellor weren't run past Brown first.

The Sun are sending out very mixed messages at the moment.

Rupert is clearly wavering, but I doubt he'll come out as a full-on Cameroon until a Conservative government is practically a certainty.

It's The Sun wot did not won it.

Nationalising Northern Rock is an excellent decision.

See it as British Leyland but with financial services instead of Austin Allegros.

I look forward to buying a pension plan that leaks oil and a government guaranteed mortgage that blows the cylinder head gasket at 20,000 miles. And the cash point machines could refuse to work unsocial hours and go on strike altogether if a regional manager looks at them the 'wrong way'.

Has anyone noticed that the Chancellor and the new Chairman of Northern Rock Ron Sandler have very similar eyebrows... Is there a conspiracy... I think we should be told!

At the Sun the dead hand of Gordon Pascoe-Brown continues, one jock looking after the other two in Govt.

I think it may be some time before the full effects of this story are appreciated by either the media or the wider public.
The same was true after BLack/White wedensday in 1992. I remember being in the audience for a Question Time the day after. John Patten made a spirited defence of Lamont's policy and carried the majority of the audience with him. He wouldn't have been able to do that a few months later.

It would have been cheaper to provide economic regeneration to the North East region after Northern Crock's death, rather than throwing it a £100bn tax payer's lifeline.

It is also worth our making the point to voters in the North-east that the Lib Dem's wonderboy Vince Cable has played a prominent role in the Nationalization of NR: see Sam Coates piece at http://tinyurl.com/3829t8.

"I'd have more confidence in the Tory response to this fiasco had it been a little bit clearer and a little bit earlier."

Yes the Conservatives should be scoring big here but aren't because to the confused and incoherent line from the Shadow treasury team. I heard an interview with Hammond a little earlier, here he was asked what advantages the Conservative position on administration compared to nationalising NR would have, yet instead of being able to bang out the advantages, ( like not opening us up to more of the liabilities of NR, like the hole in the pension fun, like not having to compensate the share holders ) instead all we got was waffle.

The Conservatives really need to get the Shadow treasury team functioning, for these opportunities to show their ability to the electorate are rare, and as such they have to be on the ball to take the advantage of them when they come along, but here is a god sent opportunity yet they haven't advanced their position one jot. Labour might have damaged their credibility but I don’t believe the Conservatives have advanced theirs at all.

Isn't the nationalisation of Northern Rock an abuse of state aid under EU law? Bank of Santander, owner of Abbey, should report the Government to the Commission. That would be a delicious irony.

"Isn't the nationalisation of Northern Rock an abuse of state aid under EU law? "

Well Sandler in his interview has just said they don't know under what EU rules they will be allowed to operate the nationalised NR, which would seem a pretty basic condition the Government should have nailed down before they went and doubled up the British tax payers exposure in NR.

A nationalised Northern Rock could undertake even more risky lending if the taxpayer is acting as guarantor. If Northern Rock offers cheaper loans or higher depositor rates than its competitors, they will off to Commission pronto. The Commission could the rule nationalisation to be illegal. Welcome to EU legal supremacy, Gordon!

It seems to me that there was a window of opportunity at the very beginning to do a deal of some form with NR and another company if the Govt had really helped. The dithering set a very bad train in motion. £100 billion is a collosal sum and as some say it might now at this late stage lead to EU issues as well plus other problems.

Has anyone noticed that the Chancellor and the new Chairman of Northern Rock Ron Sandler have very similar eyebrows... Is there a conspiracy
Perhaps Mohammed Al Fayed has already weaved it into his grand conspiracy theory that most of the world was involved in a plot to murder his son and Diana Spencer and most of the rest were covering it up, no doubt he would see Northern Rock as being a plot to cover up the ""murder"", then again maybe Mohammed Al Fayed is really a secret plot to cover for when the government has bad news, after all his latest outburst could well take quite a lot of airtime that would otherwise be used for the subject of Northern Rock!

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