If I didn't know better, I'd have assumed that the rabble rousing speech by Vince Cable was a leadership bid in the making. He delivered it extremely well and very funny in parts it was too. And the LibDem crowd lapped it up - yellow friends of mine who were there said it was, finally, what they wanted to hear. So, good news - except for the fact that we need to stop this ridiculous banker bashing.
Even LibDem Susan Kramer says this must come to an end. And I say so for two reasons.
Firstly because Labour are using it as a fig leaf for their disastrous tenure. Forget Brown's government, they tell us, it's all down to the bankers. Yes, every problem of the last 13 years - would you believe it! Well, actually, no I don't. What about the role of the government in setting a framework and the role of regulators in enforcing it? What about Brown's reckless spending and borrowing and spending and then borrowing some more? By reinforcing the public image that its all the fault of the bankers we let Brown, Labour and the Milibands off the hook for their role in this.
And secondly because it isn't true. The vast majority of bankers did not cause this and are not "spivs". Somehow it has been acceptable to be publicly vile to a whole profession on the basis of a minority of them. All teachers are bad!! All police officers are bent!! All politicians are corrupt!! Obviously nonsense and yet we allow people to talk about bankers in the same way. Tax them!! String them up!! Castrate them!! Hardly fair or accurate, from a party that preaches fairness. Playing to the crowd? Who'd have believed it from a LibDem?
As somebody tweeted me this evening - after agreeing with this argument - let's focus our anger on the minority that deserve it. Sadly, Cable's speech was aimed at his party and his standing rather than serious debate. I'm surprised that Cable has allowed this to happen.
I notice that not only the "establishment" but also the Director of the Adam Smith Institute (whom Cable credited with his ideas) have rubbished it now.
This post says it rather well too