One clear fact shines through the bluster: Brown is to blame. He told us that Britain's financial problems were "caused in America," as if their sub-prime crisis were wholly responsible for our own troubles. He told us that he had "cut borrowing," whereas in reality he increased it to record levels and just lied about it, shifting off-stage the liabilities for private/public partnerships, the commitment to Network Rail, the unfunded public sector pensions, and pledges to Northern Rock, amongst others.
He told us that he had "reduced taxation," though of course he increased it, just using stealth taxes to keep much of it out of sight. Britain used to attract businesses, now increasing numbers are being driven abroad by our tax regime.
He told us that "Britain is best placed" to weather the recession because of the healthy state of our economy and our public finances. In fact we are worst placed, according to the IMF and virtually everyone outside of Number Ten.
Brown bears a heavy responsibility. The inadequate and incompetent FSA is his baby, and he appointed the wrong people to it as well. It failed utterly to foresee to warn, and to restrain, as the Bank of England used to do when it had the task of supervision.
Brown inherited a thriving economy and frittered it away on a recklessly massive expansion of the public sector. When Britain should have been storing up assets for leaner times, Brown was spending as if there were no tomorrow. Tomorrow has arrived, and Brown bears the blame for the mess it has brought. He is Culpability Brown, and cannot escape the blame this time.