George Osborne has now let it be known that he withdraws any allegations it is alleged he has made. I do wonder, however, if any legal proceedings were to take place as a result, who might be alleged to have fallen foul of the truth. It’s true that Osborne himself only alludes to the possibility that Balls might have had something to do with the scandal. As any clever politician would, he chooses his words with great care.
And if you read very carefully, the only clear reference to any accusations as such resides in a very weasel-like phrase which – allegedly – must have come from either the Spectator‘s own author, sub-editing or style team. The phrase in question runs as follows:
One wonders if it is also intended to bring into question Balls’s defence that he couldn’t have known about any rate-fixing as he was Secretary of State for Children at the time.
I say weasel-like simply because of the use of the word “one”. Who, exactly, does “one” mean? Osborne; the collective intelligence of the Tory Party; the writer of the article; or simply a vacuous humanity? And if so, how on earth are you going to take such a humanity to court?
It’s nasty stuff, isn’t it? People around Brown; discussing reports; the regulatory system devised by Brown and Balls (without mentioning the fact that – at the time – the Tories were pushing for more deregulation rather than less) … almost, in fact, as if both Osborne and the author of the article are deliberately throwing out political coals for the rest of us to foolishly attempt to leap across.
Nick Robinson, not my favourite journalist, tweeted this evening this choice phrase:
George O will be delighted if row about Labour’s handling of the banks in office trumps argument about whether to hold a public inquiry.
Politics really is a disgusting business. A spectator sport for the vast majority of those affected.
And as another bank – this time RBS – is also apparently on the point of being fined hundreds of millions of pounds for fixing Libor rates (more here), the Osbornes of this world can only continue to delightedly dance on our encroaching graves.