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Give it a rest Darling, we’ve heard it all before

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Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Manchester today the chancellor, Alistair Darling, said pretty much everything you’d expect to hear from the man in charge of the British economy during these worrying times – tighter regulation of the banking industry, measures to stop this kind of crisis happening again, protection for savers, support for families, government spending within its means.

Them’s some real pretty words, cowboy, but they sound a bit familiar. Back in 1997 Gordon Brown promised us the days of economic boom and bust were over, and he also said “I will not allow house prices to get out of control and put at risk the sustainability of the recovery.” We’ve heard all these promises, or at least something very similar, before from Mr Darling’s boss.

After ten years of a supposedly socialist government, which swept into power on a promise of a fairer system for all, we have a country in which unchecked capitalism has been allowed to run wild and create the most precarious economic conditions since the Great Depression. Just a little common sense, just a little backbone to stand up to The City and impose some sensible regulation, just one tenth of what was promised in 1997 might have been enough to avoid this whole mess in the first place.

But those promises were empty, and we suspect the new banking system reforms that Darling plans to introduce in a couple of weeks will be an equally ineffectual mish mash of crowd pleasing headline fodder designed purely to help this failed government limp through to the next election.

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