Peter Hoskin

Practise what you preach

Practise what you preach
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Our Prime Minister's been laying down the law on Wall Street, telling banks that they must be more open about their bad debts. Ok, so it's good advice – we need to know the full extent of the credit crunch before we can hope to treat it. But the first thought that popped into my head was: he's hardly one to talk. 

After all, Brown's idea of debt-keeping is to keep huge chunks of national debt off the balance sheet. That £100 billion Northern Rock debt? Swept under the fiscal carpet. That £30 billion or so of PFI debt? Likewise. And why? All so the now-valueless sustainable investment rule isn't broken – so that he can disingenuously claim the economy's in good shape. 

In this and other areas, I suspect Brown's words would go further if he practised what he preached.