Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A gaffe or a deliberate mea culpa?

So, it seems Gordon Brown has finally admitted that he cocked up and had a part to play in the great financial crisis of the "noughties". In an interview with ITV that is on tonight he says,
"[In 1997 the banks] all came to us and said, 'look, we don't want to be regulated, we want to be free of regulation'.

All the complaints I was getting from people was, 'look, you're regulating them too much'. The truth is that globally and nationally we should have been regulating them more.

So I've learnt from that. You don't listen to the industry when they say, 'this is good for us'. You've got to talk about the whole public interest."
Why the sudden departure and deviation from the earlier line though? Up until now he's blamed America, or, in his recent Today interview, said that he was criticised at the time for regulating them too much... what's changed?

Is this a gaffe or is it deliberate? Will it help or hinder Brown?

Could it be that someone has had a quiet word in his ear after perhaps some focus group testing and told him that a little more "mea culpa" may actually make him look like less of a arrogant arsehead? Or is it just the case that under pressure he forgets what he said before?

Brown also admits he cocked up on the 10p tax rate issue - for those that don't remember, that was when he taxed the poor in order to get a headline about cutting the basic rate of income tax by 2p - although I don't think he frames his admission of mistake in those terms.

It will be interesting to see if such admissions might have an impact - after all, rather than saying "vote for experience" he's now appealing to the voter with "I made the mess please let me fix it" - will it pay off?

No comments: