James Forsyth

Brown’s nationalisation nightmare

Brown's nationalisation nightmare
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Iain Martin’s column this morning on the political dangers to Gordon Brown of nationalising Northern Rock is essential reading. As Iain argues, the danger for Brown is that Northern Rock could destroy his reputation for economic competence and set in the public mind the idea that he—unlike that nice Mr. Blair—is too left wing for modern Britain. One senior shadow cabinet minister tells Iain that:

"It's very him,"...” It’s what people think he came into politics to do all along: nationalise banks."

In The Independent, Steve Richards points out that neither Blair nor Brown have ever really grappled with the issue of ownership fearing that the whole issue was all too reminiscent of the era of the old left. There’s no doubt that Brown, who Iain reports is now personally managing the attempted sale, will not nationalise the Rock while any other option remains.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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