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The simple fact is that the government needs to spend less and lower taxes accordingly. By terminating the NHS IT project, the ID card scheme, the communications database, the government could save over £20Bn.

The civil service has more than doubled in the past 10 years. Going back to 1997 levels of government employment would save a further £40Bn a year, enough to fund a stonking great cut in the basic rate of income tax.

The conservatives have two things they can comment on

1. That Brown got us into this mess
2. The way out.

Surely, it is better to sink the first message into the minds of the electorate first, as they struggle with the economy. Just keep repeating it over and over and over again, as the country sinks. They didn't promise not to accuse Brown of mismanagement, only unity in action moving forward.

There is no need to give policies for the way out now. Firstly, Brown would only pinch good ideas. Secondly, the oppositions job is to oppose and ask questions on behalf of the taxpayer. Thirdly, they promised UNITY and that is what they are giving.

When Brown's policies have failed, when the lazy, self-rightous media have got the message that Brown is the problem and are shouthing that his policies have not worked - well that is the time to come up with the Conservative view, based on responsibility, local democracy, help for business, better education - and so many things said at the party conference.

This is a long term game, not a short term once - you'd have thought the media would have realized the difference between quick profits and sustainability by now !!!

Predictable reactions from all of them!
I do agree with Iain Dale on this however - I am convinced this is only the first of a series of speeches and we should wait and see what more transpires over the next few weeks and months!

"They’ll set up a new quango, and try to tinker with council tax."

Who is Tinkerbell,Dave or Gideon?

Richard North puts it well:

Friday, October 17, 2008

An "Enron" speech

Mr David Cameron has delivered a speech, heralding The Conservative plan for a responsible economy. Parts of it are good – some of it is very good, very good indeed.

However, good or bad, in 4,956 words, there are two words missing: "European Union". Nowhere in this wide-ranging speech can those two words be found.

Oddly enough, the speech opens with this stirring passage:


Politics is about many things – the words you speak, the understanding you have of the problems we face, the vision you have, the policies you draw up and your ability to implement them.
With this, of course, we could hardly disagree. But we would add a small rejoinder of our own. Politics is also about the words you don't speak. And in this case, the silence speaks volumes – it screams out and attacks, nay destroys the last part of the sentence: "…the policies you draw up and your ability to implement them".

Mr Cameron, you need to be aware of a few facts of life – although I guess you must know them already, but they need restating:


The regulation of financial services is an exclusive European Union competence – it comes under the Single Market provisions and is touched by other aspects of the treaties, such as the "freedom of movement of capital" and "right of establishment".

Not only is this an exclusive competence, it is also what is known as an "occupied field", an area in which the European Union has chosen to legislate.

This means that member states have very limited powers. They may not legislate in areas which are already covered by EU law and which will interfere with or in any way contradict EU law. And EU law, as you well know, is supreme and cannot be changed unilaterally.

As a general rule, the member states may only legislate in this field in order to implement EU law, to clarify it or to ensure its proper enforcement.

A member state may, however, go further than EU law, but only if it does not contradict EU law and does not impinge upon treaty provisions, such as "freedom of movement of capital", and then only with the express permission of the EU commission.

The scope for any British government to legislate and control financial services is, therefore, extremely limited. Many of your proposals thus, while excellent on their own account, would – if you tried to implement them – impinge on EU law. In short, you could not implement them – at least, not without confronting the EU, which you have no intention of doing.

In my school days, we were taught the meaning, the definition of a lie. It is not simply the utterance of an untruth. In full, it is the "act, default or sufferance". You can also tell a lie by not saying something, which conveys thereby an untruth.

In omitting the words "European Union," you seek to convey that you, as leader of a Conservative government, could and would do certain things which you must know – you cannot avoid knowing – you cannot do. You seek to convey the impression that you are in control when you must know that you are not.

This, Mr Cameron, is an "Enron" speech. In the US, they put the Enron directors in jail. What should we do with you?

One speech does not make a campaign.

We have a shadow CoE who clearly lacks the confidence to talk about economic matters for the past two months when numerous media opportunities came available. Jeff Randall takes the p*** out of him in the Telegraph today.

Vince Cable chose to fill every conceivable media slot, George Osbourne did too few.

I am coming round sadly to the view that Osbourne is incapable of organising his shadow team to produce meaty (not wishy washy) sound bites that resonate with the voters. Has George become infected with Brown's Macavity trait?

All this stuff about waiting to see what happens is ridiculous. The credit crunch is the biggest show in town - the biggest story in ages - and the party should in principle be on the attack.

The simple fact is that George Osborne has demonstrated that he is totally out of his depth. His media performances have actually got worse as the crisis has evolved. His answers have got more opaque ['we need a long term financial plan']. His persona has looked increasingly more unconvincing, and, crucially for the role, un -reassuring.

As a Conservative supporter of David Cameron, it pains me to say it.

But as a Conservative who wants us to win for our people in 2010, it annoys me more that Cameron does not do anything about it.

Buddy-ism has no place in serious politics.

I don't understand why DC and GO wish to re-invent the wheel by creating another quango, the "Office of Budget Responsibility" we already have a body that scrutinises budgets and government spending. They do it for free. All we need to do is to give them some teeth to hold the government to account.
In case you have not guessed yet, they are the Taxpayer’s alliance and they are not aligned to any party. http://tpa.typepad.com/home/

Also, a question for Sally Roberts, who never fails to trumpet the Cameron line in any thread...

Do you honestly think that our response to the financial crash in general, and G.Osborne's contribution in particular, has been good enough in recent weeks ?

I guess the Financial Crisis has shown that the Tory Emperor has no clothes. When the test came they failed. Perhaps the electorate
have discovered this inability to tackle the real problems - and, hopefully discovered it in time. All the speeches in the world to Bloomberg or others doesn't hide this "nakedness".

We have the government coming up with a financial rescue package for the present crisis, but what about a grand plan for seeing this country through a recession?
Lots of lofty commands to Banks, Energy companies and the petrol forecourts about passing on cuts to the hard pressed *taxpayer*. But what about the government doing the same?
Local councils hit, sorry you are on your own mate.
Petrol prices, what about a fuel duty cut etc, etc.
Where is the governments big plan, A political journalist demanding a contrast from the Tories on what we should do, a contrast to WHAT? Finding a job lagging lofts?

I think that we still don’t know just how bad this is all going to get, or even just how horrific the public finances are going to be by the time of the next GE. I honestly believe that Cameron and Osborne are prepared to take a hit in the polls and the usual bashing on some sites rather than make themselves hostages to fortune. When you are in government you can implement your policies, you can also back track and do the opposite before an election, including nicking and claiming credit for other parties policies.
But as an opposition you tend to be fenced in if you nail your policies down too early before you know the picture.

Seriously, anyone demanding the Conservative manifesto for a recession ravaged country in possible 2010 now really thinks out of the same box as Gordon Brown on short term tactics.

Remember the IHT fudge delivered by Darling last year on the back of the Conservative proposal?
And we have not yet heard what will be in the PBR, and guess what, it won't be quite what the government were briefing just a month or two when yet another Brown relaunch crashed and burned before take off.

Cameron and Osborne are not going to hand Brown their policies on a platter with plenty of garnish without hearing what the government have ordered off the menu. And for what, a little bit of air time during Black October?

As this thread began at 3:15 it cannot include that from Andrew Gimson in the Daily Telegraph posted at 3:27 which for me captures perfectly the absurdity of Cameron's posturing - several years too late!

I hear Labour are saying that it is wrong in a national economic emergency for Cameron to attack the Government. Will we see the Conservatives slap this idea down with some well sourced quotes at what Blair and Brown did and say on Black Wednesday, or will these quotes dribble out weeks later when the moment has passed?

This is a difficult time for us.I agree wholheartedly with Iain Dale whatever government does we are in for 2 years at least of deep recession.Whilst I understand Fraser Nelson's frustration with DC's approach I believe he has got it just about right.

The fact of the matter is that a conservative government would never have gone down the reckless fiscally unsoune route trodden by Brown.We simply would not have entered this recession in such a desperate state.The nature of our politics is adverserial.In essence this means that Brown can and will ignore us whatever we say as he tries to appear resolute and competent in the face of the storm.

Given this it is not the job of the opposition to solve this crisis.Cameron has articulated a reasoned and well crafted direction.In reality we will face one hell of a disater when we win in 2010.We should steel ourselves for that challenge and not wad too far in at present.The facts of this coming depression will drive people to desire change.That is the case we need to continually make!

"Also, a question for Sally Roberts, who never fails to trumpet the Cameron line in any thread..."

Look, London Tory (and I'd love to know who you are - I really would!!) I am getting incredibly bored with the bleats that I "never fail to trumpet.." etc. YES I am a loyalist but that is because I believe the Party is headed in the right direction - so would you kindly put the tin lid on this nonsense!


"Do you honestly think that our response to the financial crash in general, and G.Osborne's contribution in particular, has been good enough in recent weeks ?""

I think there is probably more which could be said and, as I've already said a couple of times today, I think this speech is merely the first in a series.

Now, if you really ARE a Tory, do you think you could come up with some rather more constructive comments?


The other problem with this strategy of invisibility is that it plays very badly with the media. They are looking for people willing to supply them with quotes and sound bites and we choose to turn down most of those requests.

Offering a quango as a solution makes us look just as inept as nuLabour.

"I hear Labour are saying that it is wrong in a national economic emergency for Cameron to attack the Government. Will we see the Conservatives slap this idea down with some well sourced quotes at what Blair and Brown did and say on Black Wednesday, or will these quotes dribble out weeks later when the moment has passed?"

Here's a thought for you to ponder, what did Gordon Brown have to say during the week of Black Wednesday, and no cheating by googling!

And maybe it ended not being quite the same thing that he was doing or saying when New Labour was conceived and born AFTER Black Wednesday! Still, his career disappeared into the ether of all that hubris surrounding an incident 5 years before there was a Labour Chancellor once again in No11?

I'm in danger of writing too much about the economy today but here's my final post:

WHO WILL BE FIRST WITH THE 'TIME FOR SACRIFICES' SPEECH?

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/centreright/2008/10/who-will-be-fir.html

"But as an opposition you tend to be fenced in if you nail your policies down too early before you know the picture."

Establishing a political position doesn't require putting up policies, for you can create a narrative by attacking Government policies and its failures. Unfortunately something the Shadow Treasury team has neglected, with the result that rather than the public looking to the opposition in this economic melt down, we instead find the Government and architect of this crisis is politically benefiting from it, and that is the size of the Shadow Treasury teams failure.

Sally- I know your constituency well, in fact, I gave out leaflets for Greg Hands at Hammersmith tube station during the 2005 election !

I don't think that we have done Shaun Bailey's chances much good these last few weeks, though.........

"Here's a thought for you to ponder, what did Gordon Brown have to say during the week of Black Wednesday, and no cheating by googling!"

Well that was what I was asking, we will see how quick CCHQ is off the mark.

"WHO WILL BE FIRST WITH THE 'TIME FOR SACRIFICES' SPEECH?"

More importantly, who will implement the contents of that speech.

Iain, is the GE tomorrow or next week?

"Sally- I know your constituency well, in fact, I gave out leaflets for Greg Hands at Hammersmith tube station during the 2005 election !"

I sincerely hope you are no-one I know personally - if you are one of my Facebook "friends" I would be most obliged if you would remove yourself.

Before everybody stops pinning the blame where it belongs which - at last - Cameron did very swell today , note that there is a distinct possibility that the EU has scuppered the bank bail-out.

Apart from the ignominy of having economic illiterates telling us what to do, the haven't managed to work out that if - as they insist - there shall be no dividends payments for 5 years that means there will be no outside investors for 5 years euther! The pension funds will en joy I'm sure telling people what the state/ the EU have done to their pensions.

If there are no new outside investors so effectively the government will never get our money back. f I were CEO of Lloyds I'd rip the deal up, ditch HBOS which can go bankrupt on its own and soldier on. I think they'd survive.

"Iain, is the GE tomorrow or next week?"

In the run up to the 1997 election labour made every day a campaigning day for the next election.

"Before everybody stops pinning the blame where it belongs which - at last - Cameron did very swell today"

Christina I've just picked myself up off the floor! ;-)

"If I were CEO of Lloyds I'd rip the deal up, ditch HBOS "

So would I, I cannot see what in the merger is in the Lloyds shareholders interests, and if the management of Lloyds are playing to the Governments fiddle then they are failing in their fiduciary duty.


"f I were CEO of Lloyds I'd rip the deal up, ditch HBOS which can go bankrupt on its own and soldier on. I think they'd survive."

As a long time customer of LloydsTSB, I agree!

Sally - I try to speak as i find and the speech today was excellent on analysis - and did a great job in pulling Brown down from his undeserved pedestal and will hold the fort for more positive things when we have any idea if the banking system will survive.

My only concern about the speech is the treatment it will get. The BBC dumbed-it down to banalities. I used the Telegraph for my own lists BUT with added quotes from the "who-dunnit?" bit

"My only concern about the speech is the treatment it will get."

I think we are as one on that point, Christina! The dead hand of Mandelson/Campbell/Draper seems to be making the gaining of positive coverage at the moment rather like wading through very sticky porridge!

My impression is that the broadcast media have given this speech pretty favourable coverage today. It will be interesting to see how the papers cover it tomorrow. Yvette Cooper's criticism should also help DC. What a deeply unattractive person she is!
So far so good. However it does seem to me that this crisis has knocked every politician for six. It's not just in Britain where there seems to be a lack of credible responses but also in the USA ,Europe and Japan. Osborne maybe getting it in the neck on this board but is he doing worse than anyone else? Or more to the point is anyone doing better than him? Even the usually loqacious Cable seems bereft of ideas.

"However it does seem to me that this crisis has knocked every politician for six."

You're right, Malcolm! This is the most extraordinary situation which I think has knocked EVERYONE for six. I have been speaking to my bank manager (NatWest) this afternoon - she was making a courtesy call to check I was all right (which I assured her I was!) and told me that she had some worried clients on to her several times a day....

I think everyone has got to hold their nerve in incredibly difficult times and more than ever realise the important things in life - such as who their friends are....

And on that note - let me just give a couple of guidelines which may aid people in the future:-

1. If you have never met me in real life than go ahead - make all the "ad hominem" attacks you wish, but;

2. If you have canvassed, delivered, had a drink with me or become a friend of mine in any way outside this community then kindly play the ball not the woman when responding to comments I may make. Otherwise you will no longer remain a friend!

Er, that's it! ;-)

Sally My position has always been that I am a Conservative through and through but that includes defending the sovereignty of Britain to the bitter end. It looks like that bitter end id looming into view,

I don't think the party hierarchy have got their act together at all which makes me criticise them strongly.

For instance I've praised Cameron's speech today for what it set out to do which it did well. But it falls short on the critical fact of the 'elephant-in-the-room' which he never mentioned.

Richard North puts it far better than I could (in his EUreferendum blog 'entitled "An Enron Speech") .

Here are the crucial items- - -
-------------------
Mr Cameron, you need to be aware of a few facts of life – although I guess you must know them already, but they need restating:

The regulation of financial services is an exclusive European Union competence – it comes under the Single Market provisions and is touched by other aspects of the treaties, such as the "freedom of movement of capital" and "right of establishment".

Not only is this an exclusive competence, it is also what is known as an "occupied field", an area in which the European Union has chosen to legislate.

This means that member states have very limited powers. They may not legislate in areas which are already covered by EU law and which will interfere with or in any way contradict EU law. And EU law, as you well know, is supreme and cannot be changed unilaterally.

As a general rule, the member states may only legislate in this field in order to implement EU law, to clarify it or to ensure its proper enforcement.

A member state may, however, go further than EU law, but only if it does not contradict EU law and does not impinge upon treaty provisions, such as "freedom of movement of capital", and then only with the express permission of the EU commission.


The scope for any British government to legislate and control financial services is, therefore, extremely limited. Many of your proposals thus, while excellent on their own account, would – if you tried to implement them – impinge on EU law. In short, you could not implement them – at least, not without confronting the EU, which you have no intention of doing.
-----------------------

All of which throws a bit of a spanner in his speech today!

Christina - now I know that David Cameron must have made an effective speech!!!!

Thank you Christina - I know your views on Europe differ widely from mine and I think, if you don't mind, we will just leave it at that!
Have a good weekend - especially if you are planning to have a drink in the Black Lion! ;-)

Christina - I think one has to remember that David Cameron HIMSELF did NOT take us into the EU, and Mr. Heath had a very similar character to our present Prime Minister!

Now during the last eleven years as you well know the present lot in government have, one way and another tied us ever closer to the EU, so that whatever Mr. Cameron may wish to do, it will be difficult to extricate ourselves from this overloaded grouping. However he did promise us a referendum as did Brown AND Blair, perhaps Cameron may deliver, THIS lot certainly WILL NOT.

The way things are looking at the moment, it would not surprise me if the whole EU thing became unworkable in the not too distant future!

Its Friday.
Gordon Brown's house price boom and bust

Great find Chris. I'm linking to that from the frontpage now...

Thanks Tim, but the credit for finding and posting a link to it is down to a PB.com regular JonC. I just thought it was too good not to pass on.

Good posts Sally. And don't worry about London Tory. If he persuades you to meet him, you'll see the dishevelled figure of Derek Draper.

"Good posts Sally. And don't worry about London Tory. If he persuades you to meet him, you'll see the dishevelled figure of Derek Draper."

Thank you John - yes you are probably right - but of course I am not accusing anyone of being a troll lest I get my wrists slapped....again!

thanks for posting the link to my video ChrisD via JonC.

Originally posted on housepricecrash.com

must not let him squirm away from this as he has from so many other events. In particular his gold sale.

Check my blog and Youtube for all the videos, good and bad

cheers

"Check my blog and Youtube for all the videos, good and bad"

Not the first time I have come across your excellent efforts Crown.

I think of the above quotes from blogs, Iain Dale and Guido are the best. It is right that we shouldn't announce everything at once, as the media would lose interest, as Iain Dale says. Anyway it would be the alleged Blairist tactic of re-announcing old announcements to give the impression that the Government is taking action and things really are getting better. However Guido's suggestion of tax cut to boost money in the economy via households rather than the State is right.

I guess Paul Waugh may be worrying unnecessarily - I would have thought Mr Cameron WOULD believe in both freedom and responsibility, perhaps DC may be reacting against a "I must have freedom to do what I like regardless of the consequences on others" mindset? e.g. would he be saying some regulation of banking etc might be necessary to avoid the irresponsible lending we have seen? Of course it's not just the banks - I like London Tory's comment on the CR who will be the first to make time for sacrifices speech? thread : David Cameron failed to mention that nobody forced people to get 125% mortgages, and then pay for them with cash drawn from credit cards at ATMs. Nobody was forced to have 6 credit cards, juggling the max'd out balances each month. Nobody was forced to 'fancy' a new sofa or car, and then pay nothing for it in the first 12 months

London Tory & Sally - please make up.

LT- like Sally I am dyed in the organic wool Cameroon. But I agree with you, our lack of response this last fortnight since conference has been abominable. And like you, I blame George Osborne. I cannot see him as Chancellor and his performance today was a car-crash.

Unlike you, however, I thought DC today was fantastic. What I've been longing for from our front bench was "pin the tail on the donkey". In my mind, the single most important tactical objective right now is to analogise the bank credit ie debt mess with Brown's public debt mess. Not to propose solutions to the recession. We @[email protected] to link those two in the public's mind- like that pathetic Irish joke - "well, I wouldn't have started from here". Of course we would not.

"And like you, I blame George Osborne. I cannot see him as Chancellor and his performance today was a car-crash."

Graeme, I think that you need to get a bit of perspective here, and a good place to start would be to remember Black Wednesday and Gordon Brown's performance. In fact, I wonder what some of the reactions on this site over the last fortnight will look like a year from now?

Graeme thanks for this - I don't want to prolong the exchange with LT - As I said above, if he/she is someone who's never met me in real life then I could not care less what is said about me - but I cannot bear the thought that there might be someone out there who has exchanged real life pleasantries with me, shared a drink, pretended to be courteous and friendly and then shows by their posting that they actually despise me and my views!
You see I know that a genuine friend such as yourself might disagree with me on some things but would never stoop to using ridicule or disrespect to get your message across!
Bless you and thank you for your friendship!

Sally - I post a reasoned critiaque if the one great failure in Cameron;'s speech - namely that he didn't deal with the question that many of the things he wants to do for the economy he will be unable to do because the EU doesn't allow him to.

That's a massive great hole in his argument and you just brush it aside.

If you are keen on Cameron's speech AND in favour of the EU you are being totally inconsistent.

"If you are keen on Cameron's speech AND in favour of the EU you are being totally inconsistent."

Wouldn't surprise me, Christina - sorry I am not at my best at the moment - I am rather upset and it has nothing to do with you!

When I am feeling better I'll respond to your particular points.

Buddy-ism has no place in serious politics.
London tory.

I can't believe you wrote that! Blair, Falkner, Campbell, Lord "Sleaze" Mandleson, Irvine, Mr and Mrs Balls, the brothers "Wallace and Gromit" Millibands, Harman and Dromey. That list is endless.
As for London Tory, got to be Livingstone and I claim my £5.00. Just read his posts out loud with a nasal twang! LOL.

You could well be right, M Dowding! Unfortunately I have been told in no uncertain terms to stop accusing other posters of being trolls, despite our Editor having had this to say on another topic:-

" Please help me to maintain quality by emailing me whenever you see a dodgy comment."

I did and got reprimanded for my pains!

Personally I don't hold with liars and deceivers. We will never get anywhere while our leaders cannot be straight with us. If someone says they can do something when they cannot, or if they take the title and pay but know they cannot do the job, they deserve to be shown up for the flim flam they are. I look forward to that day, when our flim flam men and women are stripped bare. I guess then they will lead us to regain what has always been ours, the price will be our blood and probably not theirs who caused it.

I haven't yet read Cameron's speech but I suspect the comments on this thread might be more amusing.

Sally - I know you will not confuse me with London Tory, despite our similar handles. I don't think I have ever attacked you very much but, if I have, I claim my free pass as I have never knowingly met you, but I feel I ought to (I have met Graeme but he is a sweetie in person as on the blog - and I feel confident in saying that even though I am not gay - so I know I would never attack him).

To stop drivelling at this late hour, I take issue with one point above about the EU and financial regulation. The key point is that our regulation is allowed to supplement the implementation of the relevant EU directives, so a lack of regulation, or of effective regulation, of the markets cannot really be pinned on the EU by those of us who believe that we should accept our own responsibilities as a country. For instance, there is a Market Abuse Directive, which has been implemented in our own law and regulation. But no-one is saying "the problem is that there is an offence of market abuse and how it is defined by the EU". They might be saying "the problem is that we also ought to be regulating X or Y" or "the regulation of X or Y has been based on ineffective understanding of the regulators of the risks being run": I find it difficult to see why improved regulation on either of those lines of argument has been hampered by the EU in any material way, certainly not in the areas of financial services with which I am familiar.

So I would not blame the EU, but neither would I rely on it and assume there are not other things our regulators should do: for a start, for better or worse, our financial services industry is by far the most sophisticated in the EU - so it needs more sophisticated regulation.

Cameron good today. Need more of the same from others.

Londoner:
Quite right. National regulation is still permitted within EU framework and Brown's regulatoty regime is at fault and can be changed unilaterally. This point really needs to be separated from the blame-the-EU for it argument which on this point is just false. Bad reporting.

Thanks Londoner - don't worry I know you're not the same as the other poster and yes, it would be nice to meet you at some stage! I don't think I can recall ever having read a post of yours that wasn't polite and courteous even if you were disagreeing with something. Good for you!
I agree with you that we cannot squarely pin the blame on the EU as others might do - you are quite right to point out the Market Abuse Directive, implemented in our own law. See, Christina - not EVERYTHING which emanages from Brussels is the Spawn of Satan!!;-)

"National regulation is still permitted within EU framework and Brown's regulatoty regime is at fault and can be changed unilaterally. This point really needs to be separated from the blame-the-EU for it argument which on this point is just false. Bad reporting."

Missing the point and bad logic. Yes, national regulation is permitted - that is exactly what the post said - but only insofar as it conforms with EU law, and only where the specific subject is not covered by EU law. As the EU law crowds in, the scope to legislate becomes more and more limited. When did you last see any British law on fishing quotas?

As for blaming the EU, this was not mentioned in the post. The post addresses the future, not the past. The point is that to address the regulatory stucture, Cameron needs to make changes in the law. He can't because that would conflict with EU law.

By all means hide behind the idea that they were Mr Brown's regulations, but until you get to grips with the EU influence on setting up the FSA and the fact that the transfer of powers from the BoE to the FSA was necessary to ensure conformity with EU law, you are absolutely nowhere in understanding what has happened, or what needs to be done.

The major point, therefore, still stands unchanged. As the very best, the UK is a "partner" with the EU in dealing with financial services. To suggest, by omission rather than act, that the UK is capable of dealing with the issue largely on its own, without in any way involving the EU is, at its most generous interpretation, disingenuous. A less forgiving interpretation is that it is downright dishonest.

We are in the EU - the EU has supreme lawmaking powers - financial services is an exclusive competence - the issue is decided by QMV, which means the UK can be outvoted - and the EU has a torrent of new law waiting in the wings, ready to rush into force.

Get used to it, and stop trying to ignore the elephant in the room.

Conservative policies will be revealed when they have been scrutinised and judged upon by the real government in Brussels.

I was disappointed to hear him encouraging pay awards for regulators who have no rhymn or reason to be doing what they do.
The FSA is a deliberate bureaucratic glue factory to business, it will continue to ruin the industry, it will continue with its stupid form filling and it will not help the revival of the economy one jot.

The finance industry is an array of different markets and impossible for one body to regulate with any degree of understanding for all its parts.

No flaw existed in the old methods which were tried and tested, except until Brown stook his big fat stupid nail bitten fingers into finance.

I expected more from David Cameron on that issue alone but everything else he said was fine [ at this stage ], I just would have liked George Osborne to have stood next to him, grimaced a bit, rubbed his head with disbelief at Browns patheticisms, and shouted out that 'WE' or 'HE' would instantly take control of this ruin if Brown calls an election so the taxpayers of this country can decide whether his arrogant self proclaimation of competence can be put to the test of the voter before he also ruins the chance of our country's recovery.

I am glad Richard North has pinpointed with absolute clarity the fact that all politicians are either ignorant of how they are completely subservient to Brussels or -if they are not ignorant - then they are deliberately deceiving us.

Which is Cameron ???

"Which is Cameron ???"

Neither, Christina - he, like me, is a realist!

As I've said, not everything which emanates from the EU is unmitigatingly evil - neither of course is it all bathed in sweetness and light! The truth is somewhere in between.

What lies between evil and sweetness and light is not the way to formulate UK policy,
Gordon Brown's "package" was indeed scrutinized by the EU Commission which stated that the "bail-out" conformed to EU rules", this was because the "rules" had been altered at an earlier Finance Ministers meeting which "allowed" the measures to be taken.
Sometimes "evil", for the good of the country, is required, sometimes sweetness and light will fill the bill and something in between may suffice at other times, the point is that whatever is required should be in the remit of the national government and not Brussels.

"As I've said, not everything which emanates from the EU is unmitigatingly evil - neither of course is it all bathed in sweetness and light! The truth is somewhere in between.

Posted by: sally Roberts | October 18, 2008 at 11:49"

There speaks sweet, unmitigated ignorance.

When did you last visit a slaughterhouse? And, if you don't understand what what I'm referring to, that just goes to prove the point.

I suggest you look up Directive 91/497/EEC and then compare it with Directive 2006/49/EC. You will find evidence of the same guiding mind, the same regulatory philosophy, to which the Daily Telegraph refers to in its lead editorial.

One of these days, we might just see a maturity on these comment posts which begins to convey an understanding of the problem.

The issue is not the small detail, but the regulatory philosophy inculcated by the Brussels mindset, that has infected the entire regulatory establishment.

What we have seen in the UK, over 30 years, is a transition from result-based regulation to rule-based regulation, a complete change in the regulatory philosophy, with disastrous results.

The disease is global - it also infects the US and virtually every developed country, but the epicentre of the disease is Brussels.

I wrote about this here and although I appreciate you don't read my blog – it is only for grown-ups – unless and until you get your head round what is happening in this world, you are nowhere.

"There speaks sweet, unmitigated ignorance.

When did you last visit a slaughterhouse?"

Well, Richard the answer is never and as far as ignorance is concerned....that is one aspect of life I am entirely happy to remain in ignorance of!

For the remainder of your post - thank you for educating me and I look forward to the day, with eager anticipation, when I can join the grown ups! In the meantime I will just retire to the Playroom ;-)

Whether, or not, you wish to be a grown-up is - as you amply illustrate - a life-style choice. I have no objection to anyone making that choice, it is theirs to make, not mine.

What I do object to though, is when the children break out of the playpen and decide they are capable of governing the nursery. As long as you are happy to stay in your playpen, I'm happy.

"As long as you are happy to stay in your playpen, I'm happy."

Well you'll have to continue to keep me well entertained then... ;-)

Richard North:
"Nevertheless, Member States often have varying degrees of discretion in the way they
implement EU legislation,"
From the FSA'a own "Strengthening the EU regulatory and supervisory framework: a practical approach".
Looking at the EU's own Financial Integration Report, I will accept that as a result of the Financial Instituions own desire to create bigger markets, there is a drive to greater consistency across international and EU boundaries.
This to me still leaves at present considerable scope for movement for Cameron on this issue. You may be well be right that as time passes that scope may be reduced, but would that be on EU grounds or Basle 2 or other International agreements that are supra-EU?

The situation is analagous to that between central government and a local authority. As does a local authority have the power to make by-laws, so does the UK still have the power to make its own laws, but under license from the central government in Brussels, and only with its express approval.

The analogy does not hold absolutely though, as we are still in transition in this policy area. Unlike, say, the Common Fisheries Policy - where the assumption of power by Brussels is complete - the EU is still building its acquis on financial services. There are, therefore, significant gaps in which member states can still operate.

Further, the EU operates by means of gradual harmonisation. It starts off in a field by issuing laws to "approximate" standards, using Directives which still give the member states considerable freedom.

Over time, however, through sequential amendments, it tightens the noose, its laws becoming more and more detailed, and more proscriptive, leaving the member states less latitude until there is none at all. At that point, there is no room at all for member states to legislate, except on minor and consequential matters.

Very often, the member states are by-passed completely as the Commission reverts to Regulations rather than Directives, which have direct effect, not even needing to be transposed into member state law.

If you want to see the shape of the "final cover", look to the CFP, which is one of the Community's oldest and best established policies. Look also to see how it gradually encroached on the meat industry, starting off with 64/433/EC and thence to 91/497 and many more Directives and Regulations thereafter, to the point where the UK now has no legislative responsibility at all.

Under the doctrine of engrenage the EU is progressively moving up the food chain. Financial services is a bigger, tougher nut to crack, but the EU has already set out its "road map" and its intentions are clear.

If you think it is going to be any different, then you are deluding yourself. Look at they way the EU has operated, look at the way it is operating now, and look at what it, itself is saying about financial services and its future intentions. It is only a matter of time before we have another CFP on our hands, with similar disastrous results.

Tim - sorry! It was Saturday afternoon and my distorted sense of humour. You asked for something "economic" and they don't get more "economic" than those two words: "I resign".

Take the comment down if you like. I didn't mean it and it spoils the thread.

Woops - wrong thread - long day and going cross-eyed.

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