Sunday, 21 February 2010


I am always wary of being unnecessarily negative towards our opponents - that is, after all, the job of voters on election day - but the latest scheme announced by the Conservatives to offer people shares in the banks supported - indeed, 'nationalised' - by the government can really only be described as a 'wheeze' which has not been thought through at all. Simple questions apply which I doubt the Conservatives will be able to offer simple answers to.

1. Why should British taxpayers be invited to 'buy' assets they already technically own? Why would a future government not simply plan to sell these banks on the open market when the time is right and use any profit derived from the sale to invest in our country?

2. Why is this policy being announced now when it is obvious to every commentator that there is no chance of the banks being sold any time soon? There is near-universal agreement that these bankls will not be privatised for several years. Given this very strong probability, the latest Conservative statement cannot be thought of as anything but an election promise rather than a sound policy.

3. How is it logical at a time when serious questions are being asked about credit being extended to people who might have difficulty repaying loans to suggest that less well off families could be offered assistance to buy shares in these banks, when shares are always subject to significant variations in value?

We need an effective opposition, one with sound policies which can offer voters a real alternative to the current bankrupt government. Looking askance at this latest announcement from the Conservatives I am delighted to be in a party which offers that real alternative.

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