David Blackburn

Did you know? Gordon Brown’s been talking about strong global regulation for years

Did you know? Gordon Brown’s been talking about strong global regulation for years
Text settings

Well, that’s what he claims anyway. Brown’s extended interview on the Today programme was an exercise in deflecting blame (and the Sun coming out for Cameron) – ‘none of this would have happened if people had listened to me because, you see, I saw it all coming’ was his refrain. This exchange with Jim Naughtie was particularly telling:

“JN: Let me take you back to ‘markets without morality’, which was in your speech and you’ve repeated it now. When did you decide that bankers were being greedy and excessive in their demands?

GB: Well Jim, you know, I’ve always been of the view that we needed a better global financial supervisory system.

JN: You didn’t mention bankers’…

GB: Global financial systems, you can’t control by national action. We can’t in Britain say you charge this salary and we’ll dictate it, when you can go to a tax haven or America and get a completely different form of remuneration. I’ve said all along that what you need are global rules… That’s what I’ve been saying for ten years and it’s unfortunate that we’ve had to have a crisis to learn that countries like America and like Europe and the rest of the world have to co-operate.” ‘Prudence’ and ‘the end of boom and bust’ were ubiquitous and in hindsight deeply ironic soundbites; but, beyond mooting the idea at the height of the Asian financial crisis, ‘global regulation’ was scarcely even a rhetorical feature of Brown’s tenure as Chancellor. Denying his role in the collective failure and, even more breathtaking, suggesting that he foresaw all will not wash at this stage. This is not the man to secure Britain's economic recovery.