From the City to Westminster, it’s clear that doing nothing is still the profitable and prudent option.
From the Observer
In normal times, he who plays safe plays best. The assumption that an apparently doomed leader will survive or apparently calamitous policy come good in the end is true more frequently than radicals like to admit. Going along with the conventional wisdom not only ensures your career will prosper, but also, and perhaps to your surprise, puts you on the right side of the argument. The environmental catastrophe never happens. The system does not fall apart. The advocates of urgent change turn out to be hysterics and wisdom turns out to lie with those who insisted there was never a need to panic.
I am sorry to dwell on the obvious, but we are not living through normal times but a rolling crisis. The banking crash led to recession, which led to a popular fury at the often minor, but still telling, corruptions of MPs who were fiddling expenses while the financial system boomed and bust. That anger has now concentrated on the shattered Brown administration, whose manifest failings could destroy Labour’s chances of winning another election – maybe forever, if the Liberal Democrats and Greens take over what remains of the centre-left.
In every phase of the crisis, intelligent people who could have spoken out when it may have made a difference chose to stay silent. At a time when the cowardice of the respectable has led to ruin, we do not need to concern ourselves with the pathologies of alarmists but should worry instead about the delusions of safe, sensible men and women who boast of their pragmatism.
James Purnell must be thinking of little else this weekend…