Monday, 16 March 2009

Mandleson and BOE in Car Finance Spat

It seems the Bank of England didn't take kindly to Peter Mandleson telling them to hurry up and lend money to the car industry to help sales:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/motoringNews/idUKLNE52B02020090312

Now this suprises me (ok, really it doesn't), as I thought when government announced an initiative, that all the discussions would have already taken place. Especially as some of the announcements in his speech in January were actually restating initiatives that had been announced previously.

So in summary, Mandleson announces soothing measures in order to stop the thousands of now unemployed car workers marching on Westminster, but hasn't done the due dilligence bit.

The BOE get the request for funds and then get harrassed by Mandleson for doing due dilligence.

Hardly a way to run a government is it?

This is another of what I call Labour's "aspirational" initiatives. They announce a soundbite as policy to deflect criticism, pass it on to the machinery of government, where for some reason it dies a death. The blame then isn't laid on Labour, its the fault of the BOE, finance houses, manufacturers, or salesmen. In fact anyone except the government. Its a ploy they've used time and time again. Announce an initiative; pass it to an inquiry, announce an initiative; get their mate to chair a committee. Either way its a quick fix to an impending problem without actually having to fix the problem or get blamed for eventually not fixing it.

William Hague did a good job during deputy PMQs in holding Labour to account over how many of their credit crunch initiatives have actually been implemented. David Cameron needs to keep on asking the same question at every subsequent PMQs and bang home the point every time.

The sceptic in me doubts he will, because I'm convinced that he'll use the same "aspirational" strategy once he's voted into power.

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