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John Rentoul

John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.

"The Independent's must-read man" - Daniel Finkelstein

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Greed, greed, greed

Posted by John Rentoul
  • Friday, 27 February 2009 at 01:27 pm
Lord Michael of White is on fine form relating another John Prescott entertainment on the Today programme this morning: 

I haven't heard a leftwing populist outburst like this morning's from a senior Labour figure for years. It was quite refreshing.
 

"I am proud to belong to a government which provided 10 years of prosperity and social justice on a scale we have not seen in this country. We provided ideal financial circumstances ... to the advantage of financiers ... They took advantage of it. It was called greed, greed, greed," I noted Prezza more-or-less saying ...  

 
He's wrong, of course. Yes, all countries are in terrible economic shape, not just Labour Britain. But that is not an acquittal. The government, chiefly in the shape of Chancellor Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, who wouldn't stand up to him sufficiently, made a number of serious macro-errors, knowing that tax revenues would fund its expensive social programmes.