Fraser Nelson

Can Brown’s reputation hold up under the weight of Northern Rock?

Can Brown's reputation hold up under the weight of Northern Rock?
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It is a strange world where the right are urging nationalisation, but it seems Gordon Brown may bow to that advice. Larry Elliott in The Guardian is impeccably well informed in such matters and today says Brown is drawing up plans for a "new year nationalistion" of Northern Rock. It would show Brown taking the harder, but better, route. Trying to flog it in these market conditions would shaft the taxpayer, nothing surer. In keeping it, Brown is taking a gamble of getting a better deal later on. But while Northern Rock is his ward, it will be a pendant of shame around his neck, reminding everyone that Britain was the only country to turn the drama of a global credit crunch into the crisis of a run on the bank. It’s a risk that Brown, to his credit, is ready to take. Perhaps we'll find out later that he had no choice, but it is perhaps a sign that he's not - for once - bottling it.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

Topics in this articlePolitics