One of the main problems facing George Osborne and Danny Alexander is that they have to deal on a near daily basis with the shambles they inherited from Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown.
In general they are sorting out the mess fairly well, but there have been some bad mistakes. For example, Darling’s reckless decision to bail out bad Europe debts, made last May during the final hours of his time at the Treasury, should have been resisted by Osborne at the time.
The truth is that Darling was out of his depth. Another dreadful decision came earlier, when he committed the British state to guarantee depositors in Icesave when its Icelandic parent, Landesbanki, collapsed. They were certainly not automatically protected by any British deposit insurance scheme. They should have paid the price for this greed and lack of care. Now Danny Alexander is compounding the wretched Darling’s original mistake by threatening to take poor Iceland through the courts.
There is no need to persecute poor Iceland as a result of Darling’s half-witted decision. I hope Iceland resists this bullying by Danny Alexander, and I hope it wins in the courts. Reportedly Moody’s is threatening to downgrade Iceland’s credit rating yet further as a result of this Treasury vindictiveness. We should be ashamed of ourselves.