Fraser Nelson

Rogue Chancellor

Rogue Chancellor
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Alistair Darling was brought on to be a grey, unremarkable chancellor. He's fast turning into the Nick Leeson of British politics. Leeson, you will remember, was the rogue trader who played double or quits - hoping his small mistake would go away if he gambled even more. But he ended up sinking Barings.

Darling should have allowed Northern Rock to be flogged to Lloyds when he had the chance. This small mistake led to a £30bn loan. Today, he's doubled it to £60bn. And remember, he cannot guarantee the safe return of this cash - your money.

The City is awash with rumours of the utter chaos going on behind the scenes.  Of how Goldmans could not believe the lack of urgency at the Treasury, about how the Bank of England's representative needed to have explained to him the debt market which got Northern Rock into such a mess. Never has the phrase "Old Lady of Threadneedle Street" been more appropriate. And as for Darling, the phrase which best sums him up is "rogue chancellor". Except this time, it's not Barings' money. It is yours.

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.

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