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14 April 2010

The cathartic admission Brown is right to make

Belatedly, the PM says "we should have been regulating more"

By James Macintyre

Much is being made of the ITV interviews being given by the party leaders this week. But somewhat buried in Gordon Brown’s tonight is a crucial admission that he should have made a while ago, but one that he is right to make nonetheless.

Talking about bank regulation, to which Brown was far too opposed as Chancellor, the Prime Minister says:

In the 1990s, the banks, they all came to us and said, ‘Look, we don’t want to be regulated, we want to be free of regulation.’ … And 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.

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Lax regulation, and arguably the Iraq invasion of 2003, are the albatrosses that still hang over New Labour’s neck. Brown should not stop there: he should repeat it in his debate with the other two main leaders tomorrow night — as well as turning on David Cameron — if he wants to do more to clear the way to victory on May 6.

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