Really, he is:
In the long history of Labour as a governing party, nothing – but nothing – has been as politically destructive as financial crisis. The slump of 1931, the devaluations of 1949 and 1967 and the IMF bail-out of 1976 inflicted mortal wounds that destroyed four Labour prime ministers and sent four Labour governments to their electoral graves. Collectively these events had an even more devastating effect, cumulatively undermining the plausibility of the entire 20th century Labour governmental project and barring the way to a sustained British social democratic settlement on European lines.
Whether the run on Northern Rock of 2007 has triggered another episode to rank with those past traumas it is still too early to say.
But there is a radical option too. This says that Northern Rock proves that the right sort of government regulation and intervention will support, not destroy, strong markets and good businesses.
Quite. The right sort of government intervention and regulation will indeed support strong markets and good businesses. There\’s no one (at least no one rational) who would dispute this. All we need now is to work out what is the right sort of government intervention. On the evidence that Martin himself offers, the Labour Party has failed to get the right answer to this question four times and the result at the fifth time of asking is as yet unknown.
There is a very good argument for the right type of intervention but I\’m not sure that the above is a very strong argument for Labour knowing what the right type is.