"Fundamentally I want a much more rigorous regulatory regime"Well he said this on the 23rd of September 2008:
"It is clearer than ever that markets can't do this on their own. Nor can individual governments. In the past it was sufficient to ensure effective domestic regulation. That's not enough today. It's not a question of light-touch regulation against heavy-handed regulation. It's about effective regulation."How about this on the 8th of July 2008:
What is telling is his gradual declining attack on bonuses and his pressing to concentrate on the importance of the totality of the regulatry system. As today he said when justifying his difference to France's and Germany's desire for a cap on bonuses, and the need to modify the bonus culture:
"it’s not just bonuses, bonuses are just a part of it"This seems different to his attitude towards bonuses a year ago. He still recognises the need for reform, but with public anger seemingly displacing, he has assumed a different position to our neighbours, whilst also calling for us to be united to tackle the regulatory system in the increasing globalised world. It is telling to consider a comment on the 16th of February 2008 which highlights how his position has changed regarding banks from one that looked as though it would lead to reform, to one where the issue of bonuses is being increasingly swept under the carpet, probably in a last minute attempt to attract middle England:
"People get fed up if they see others getting great big bonuses and they can’t actually see what they did. It can be extremely frustrating."What this shows is again that Labour play up to popularism concerns. They weren't ever going to tackle the bonus culture. They are going to leave it as it is. But what is the problem of curving bonuses? I mean, there is a minimum wage, how about a maximum wage? And I wouldn't stop short of just bankers - footballers, film stars and the likes get well too much for what they do in comparison to people who risk their life to help people, such as fire fighters and police. It only seems a minute ago, there were talks around Darling actually wanting to bring in legislative powers to tackle the bonus culture. But now, according to him, legalisation in terms of bonuses is unworkable and bonuses are not really the issue, other things involved in regulation are now more important. Well if we go back to his sound bites a year ago, you wouldn't think that would be his new position. Or actually, you probably would, given that Labour are as principled as the Tories.
All this is just talk, talk and more talk. It's infuriating. We are back at square one. Actually, we have regressed. I don't know what else can happen for the government and politics to open their eyes to the need for regulatory reform. The chance has ebbed. And there will most likely be another crash, and it will be telling to see if the same out jargon about regulatory reform will return. The Tories wont reform the regulatory system that much, just move people around to new quangos and confuse the system even more. The system is a mess, and the endless blah blah blahing that happens by people such as Darling is a testament to this.