Monday, February 11, 2008

Nick Clegg and Economic Liberalism

Slowly, slowly we progress: Nick Clegg's speech on the economy, while I was away in Estonia, was reasonably trenchant, especially in claiming the mantle of Economic Liberalism.

I think the stuff on the Banking system was very much to the point:

"The truth is, the British banking industry is cosseted and closed. It is not truly competitive.
For years it’s been almost impossible to get a new banking licence. New banks are usually just a subsidiary of existing banks.
And the Northern Rock episode has demonstrated that it’s also nearly impossible to stop being a bank.
The government and regulators are too afraid to let a bank fail.
Unless we lower the barriers to market entry and market exit, we will not have a truly competitive banking industry that can eradicate the poor service and high charges consumers currently face.
To make true competition possible without jeopardising customers, deposit protection needs to be beefed up, and widely publicised, to protect individuals’ deposits and give them confidence in the banking system.
Deposit protection should be peer-funded by the banks themselves, as in the US.
And then we need to look at making banking truly competitive again: allowing new entrants in more easily and allowing failure too.
Whatever happens, the Bank of England also needs – at a senior level – to secure greater expertise in relation to the workings of the financial markets."

This is good, and the other thing that impressed me was that the thread of the speech was very clear. He set out the key principles and then showed how policies flowed from them. The key ideas: open markets, competition, are all reflected in the specific policy agenda that he put forward.

Nick Clegg is increasingly impressive: he has a clear agenda and a clarity of thought which marks out a definate direction. At a time when Gordon Brown has broken all his golden rules, and when Cameron seems to go out of his way to obfuscate and hide whatever his political agenda actually is, such directness is particularly refreshing, I think.


Newmania said...

Yes I`ve seen Nick Clegg speaking a couple of times and he does not frighten to horses, in fact he would be at home in the moderate wing of the Conservative Party were in not for his utter disdain for the people of this country and their wish to remain a nation. That is where we part company and sadly as anything he suggest is bound to involve some awfully clever reason for us to cease to be a country one is bound to be cynical.
I must say if Insurance is anything to go by the flood of EU licensed competition has been a disaster and utterly misunderstood , of course , by the regulatory bodies supposedly in charge and hidden from the consumer .
The problem with Nick Clegg is that he is not representative of the Liberal party who had to hold their noses to elect him and he cannot take them into coalition of any sort except with Labour. I saw this clearly in Islington and I see it again now in Lewes .
.I `m staggered that the Lib Dems have allowed themselves to get into this position if they were not second class socialists I could live with a Conservative Liberal administration which in many ways is the natural majority view of England certainly

As ever it all comes down to Europe , I think it would help here if the pros stopped lying and started persuading .I think such a debate would be lost but it would draw some of the bitterness out of it , have you seen what they are doing in Parliament now and this is after sayig we would not debate the matter because there was going to be a referendum !!

I may have veered off course there a bit

Cicero said...

Well, I could blog about Puffins in St Kilda, and you would still blame the shortage of sand eels on "Europe" :-)

Of course I totally reject your allegation that Lib Dems want to destroy the UK. I think that the blustering, obessional Europhobia that Many Tories have is bordering on the downright weird.

Newmania said...

I see 16 Lib MPs are rebelling over the Party edict to save Brown and it could be there will be a referendum after all

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