For the best part of 12 years, Labour has pursued essentially conservative (with a small ‘c’) economic policies, steadily underburdening itself of the ‘fiscally unreliable’ tag that some earlier Labour administrations were (wrongly or rightly) saddled with.
from The Great Debate UK:
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Poor old Alistair Darling. The Chancellor is girding himself to deliver a truly ghastly Budget, and lined up a crowd-pleasing headline-grabber to distract attention from the financial horrors ahead.
Gordon Brown has not said openly that he plans to turn on the taps again in the budget with another package of spending and tax cuts, but his appeals to world leaders to do just that have led to a widespread feeling that more stimulus is to come.
The unusual foray into politics by Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, in suggesting there should be no more tax cuts or spending rises in next month’s budget, has been widely interpreted by the newspapers as a blow to Gordon Brown but a source of secret satisfaction to the Treasury.
One thing looks certain after Alistair Darling’s speech to***the Labour Party conference on Monday — he’ll be Chancellor of***the Exchequer for a while yet.****** Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to reshuffle his***ministerial team next week and there’s been a lot of speculation***that Darling could lose his job and be moved to another***department.****** The silver-haired finance minister has had a rough ride***lately. The economy is on the brink of recession and his***comments in a magazine interview saying the economic challenges***were the greatest in 60 years caused a furore and were blamed***for sinking the pound.****** But delegates at the Labour conference today just loved him.***They stood and clapped and then they clapped some more after***Darling hit out at unfettered capitalism and the huge payouts***given to bankers that he said helped cause the credit crunch.****** Darling looked genuinely embarrassed. He called for them to***stop but the delegates just went on. Besides modesty, the***finance minister had another reason for wanting them to stop.****** He had another type of conference call to attend to. A G7***one. The finance ministers and central bankers of the rich***nations club were having a hastily-arranged telephone chat at***1230 London time to discuss the latest bout of market turmoil.****** Given London’s position as one of the world’s top financial***centres, Darling could hardly miss out and he rushed off the***stage to get on with his G7 buddies.****** The crisis also looks to have cemented Darling’s position.***It would seem odd to remove the finance minister when the whole***world financial system is in the middle of the biggest upheaval***in a generation.****** With Brown making his economic experience a key selling***point, he needs Darling on side.