I know you’ve been discussing this over on the open thread but I’ve been away all day and didn’t want to let the BBC’s coverage of the great Northern Rock debacle today to pass without some comment. I listened to the Today coverage and then again to that on the PM programme and it was quite amazing to hear the BBC commentators blithely pass off the £3bn that is being wasted on top of the £26bn from last year as just one more economic necessity in this credit crunch world. I think it cuts to the mindset that characterises the BBC, it sees nothing wrong in principle with government taking £££billions of taxpayers cash and just peeing it up against the wall. Expenditure without responsibility is the name of the game and the fact that Brown and his pals have entirely screwed up over Northern Rock, costing us all a fortune, all in order to sustain the mortgages of those in the Labour voting north-east of England heartland does not seem outrageous to the BBC. It seems natural.

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18 Responses to A CROCK OF A ROCK.

  1. Martin says:

    Northern Rock like the football team it sponsors is a joke.

    It should have been sold off (as others have pointed out) when there was a buyer.

    But yet again the fat one eyed jock screwed up.

    How can one man have so much that he touches turn to shit?


  2. David Vance says:


    He is King Midas in reverse but the BBC still love him….


  3. Ed says:

    Mmm- 3bn. There’s something about that number that just trips off the tongue. Especially when combined with phrasing like “peeing it up against the wall”. Definitely familiar. Can’t think why…


  4. Original Robin says:


    We are told that the £16 billion that is shoveled to the EU each year is “only” about £55 per person, this from such as the Foreign Office.
    Put another way though, 23 million households pay a telly tax of £140 which is nearly £4 billion a year. So this makes each household pay £560 a year for the non benefit of being in the EU.


  5. Jon says:

    And don’t forget that Vince Cable was egging the socialists on to nationalise NR – seems he is trying to wriggle out of the “free advice” he gave to our glorious leader.


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:


    You may have hit the nail on the head with that one.


  7. GCooper says:

    Not NR, but very connected, the imbeciles on BBC’s Ten O’clock news have just reported the rumours (almost certainly created by a government leak) of a cut, or deferment, in stamp duty.

    Not once was the glaring, howling mistake of this leak mentioned: that the moment it broke, house buying in the UK was immediately put on hold. No one in their right mind will now buy any property until she or he knows whether there actually will be a stamp duty ‘holiday’.

    A child could have worked this reaction out. ZaNuLabur, however, couldn’t, and neither could all those highly-paid ‘experts’ at the BBC!


  8. Umbongo says:

    ” . . all in order to sustain the mortgages of those in the Labour voting north-east of England heartland”

    Not at all – the mortgages were quite safe. Just because NR was bust did not mean that the mortgages were going to be called in. The people at risk were the depositors – hence the queues outside NR offices: there weren’t queues of mortgagors. The others “at risk” were the shareholders (mostly constituents of Labour MPs who had received their shares for nothing in the demutualisation of NR) and staff (mostly constituents of Labour MPs) – there is a pattern here as you imply.

    The simple, cheap and traditional process would have been for the government to have guaranteed the deposits and let the rest of the rotten carcass go into administration. Easier would have been to let Lloyds buy NR in 2007 except that the short-term interim financial assistance requested by Lloyds from the BoE (interest to be paid at commercial rates) was refused at the insistence of the Treasury.

    You won’t hear much of this from the BBC although Robert Peston (on reflection and quite rightly) spreads some of the blame for the shambles on to Vince Cable – a big fan of nationalisation. This has the effect though of taking the glaring stupidity and incompetence of Brown, Darling and the senior civil servants at the Treasury slightly off centre stage where it belongs.


  9. Martin says:

    GCooper: It’s pathetic is it not? We’re told that the fat one eyed jock is an economic genius! If that’s the case I’d hate to meet a retard.

    As with the election that wasn’t, there is now total chaoes.

    Will Stamp Duty be delayed? If you’re looking to buy or sell what would you do now?

    Of course, the real issue is why are our interest rates so fucking high?

    If those fucking halfwits that run this Country had any sense they’d slash interest rates now.

    The idea this might fuel inflation is a total joke. We’ve got gas, electricity and petrol going up something like 50% in a few months and the Government is bothered about slashing 1 or 2 % off interest rates to stop inflation? And these people are the brightest we have?


  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Umbongo | 05.08.08 – 10:25 pm |

    Good points. It was forgotten so quickly that NR actually had assets which could have been turned over reasonably.

    The real question is did Mr. Brown jump on the nationalization bandwagon because he thought it was the best policy, or because he wanted to appear as the benevolent hand behind what he thought the masses would think was a Deus ex machina, and damn the consequences?


  11. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    Paris Hiltons reply to John McCain ad:


  12. Cassandra says:

    Anyone remember the 70s? British Leyland springs to mind but there were many more examples of socialist stupidity.
    Billions here and billions there, but its not real money to the socialists because they dont have to earn it do they? The socialist parasites job is to live off the backs of others hard work, they care nothing for the real value of money because all they have to do is raise taxes! From their perspective they rationalise it by saying its only a few pence here and a few pounds there, never realising of course that real people have work their hearts out to earn it. Like the horse in ‘animal farm’ they tax’N’regulate it(the economy)to death and sell off the remains.
    There are a few constant truths that keep repeating themselves(I suppose untill we learn from them)again and again, the socialists will ALWAYS destroy the economy, they will ALWAYS leave the country in a financial and social mess the extent of which is ALWAYS measured by how long they stay in office. What we see is a simple rerun of the 70s brought on by? Yep you guessed it, SOCIALISM! It will always fail, it has always failed, it brings misery, it has always brought misery, it brings social conflict, it has always brought social conflict, it has brought real poverty, it will always bring real poverty!
    Whats the answer? Yep youre right, socialism does not work, it never did work and it never will work, when people learn this simple lesson we can move on BUT not before.


  13. Anonymous says:

    they had a very strange spin. Another 3 billion invested was presented as a success story.


  14. Umbongo says:

    David Prieser

    Funnily enough Brown probably did it for both reasons. Remember Brown is an unreconstructed socialist of the old school. That he chose to write a biography of John Maxton – a loony stern unbending lefty MP if ever there was one – was no accident.

    Like many clever people Brown has no common sense (eg senior civil servants and BBC correspondents). He certainly has little idea how the world outside politics and academe actually works. I’m sure he considered that the combination of nationalisation (using our money, of course) and playing Lord Bountiful was unbeatable.


  15. MarkE says:

    Martin, they can’t slash interest rates because that would be final release for what promises to be a very severe bout of inflation.

    If you take someone off jobseekers where they are paid £60/week to produce nothing but are available(in theory) for productive work, and hand them a government sinecure paying £600/week to produce nothing and be unavailable for productive work, you will create inflation. This is the forseeable (I forsaw it and was published on HYS saying so, much to my surprise) consequence of Brown’s client state, established when he was Chancellor and coming home to roost now.


  16. “Like many clever people Brown has no common sense (eg senior civil servants and BBC correspondents).”

    Umbongo, why do you consider Brown to be clever? Brown is actually rather thick.


  17. Martin says:

    Most politicians are thick That’s why they are politicians. If they were of any use they’d be doctors engineers or astronauts.


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