Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation

UK Property Investment news and comments from Mark Harrison of

Northern Rock – politicians’ responses

Posted by markharrison on November 20, 2007

In my earlier post about Northern Rock, I made the comment:

Sadly, the whole thing has degenerated into a political circus.

I’ve had an interesting email response from someone who, for whatever reason, didn’t want to post an open comment on this blog.

The gist of the comment was that I was being a bit harsh on politicians from constituencies where a lot of people stood to lose their jobs, since supporting local people is surely the point of being elected.

Actually, thinking about it over the last few hours, I can respect that viewpoint. Our own local MP spent several years defending her party’s official line on our local hospitals, and saw a huge swing against her, only just holding on to her seat. Since her re-election, her line has changed, and she’s more able to balance what local people want with what the central party view is.

My issue with the political wrangling isn’t that politicians are looking to support local jobs… but that they appear to want to do so at such a ludicrous price to the whole community. If the bulk of Northern Rock jobs are in a small part of the UK, by all means spend the money on growth for the whole community, INCLUDING the 6,500 NR staff who are at risk… don’t spend £4,000,000 per head propping up a failing business.

Another comment that’s been made is that this is a loan, not a payment. I am aware of that, but while the Government are saying that they would be “first in line” to receive any payouts if NR goes under, I’ve also seen differing legal opinions on the subject! Anyone who lends money to a business in serious trouble had better be willing to lose it all.

As an aside, if you have views, especially if you disagree with me, please feel free to post them as comments. I’d rather be shot down in flames and learn something than stick to my own position if you can come up with viewpoints or evidence I’ve not considered!


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