Daily View 2×2: 31 July 2009

by Stephen Tall on July 31, 2009

Welcome to this, the final summer edition of LDV’s Daily View – the feature will return again at the beginning of September, as will the various members of the LDV editorial collective.

2 Big Stories

Treasury select committee slams Government’s “largely cosmetic” banking reform plans

Here’s what the BBC has to say:

The government’s plans for reforming the regulation of banks are “largely cosmetic” and “lack clarity”, MPs in the Treasury Select Committee say.

In its report on the banking crisis, the committee says that responsibility for strategic decisions and action remains “a muddle”. The report also says that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) “failed spectacularly” in supervising banks.

More importantly, here’s what Vince has to say:

This report rightly underlines the need for high quality and transparent regulation if we are to create a stable financial system. We must not create a regulatory system that just deals with the current crisis but one which is fit for all the challenges ahead.

“The cross party report also exposes the sheer folly of George Osborne’s proposal to hand all power back to the Bank of England. While it is true that breaking up the banks will be complex, it is also necessary. A bank which is too big to fail is simply too big.

“The secrecy in which the White Paper was created shows the extent of the deteriorating relations between the Bank of England and the Government and does not bode well for the future.”

Gary MaKinnon loses US extradition court battle

The Daily Mail – which (credit where its due) has done a sterling job of highlighting the case of Gary McKinnon, the Asperger’s sufferer who is threatened with crippling extradition to the US for computer hacking crimes he admits to – reports:

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon’s terrified family will learn his fate today, but if he loses his battle against extradition vowed:’ We fight on.’

Two High Court judges will rule on last-gasp legal appeals against decisions by the Home Office and Director of Public Prosecutions to send him to the U.S. and not try him in Britain.

Gary, who admits hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers looking for the existence of ‘little green men’, faces up to 60 years in a U.S. jail and medical experts fear he may take his own life if extradited.

For the Lib Dems Alex Carlile, Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg have all highlighted Gary’s case.

Alas, as I was typing this, I heard Mr McKinnon has lost his case.

2 Must-read Blog-posts

Should Nick Clegg stop being Mr Angry? (Jonathan Calder)

I wonder whether Nick Clegg’s weekly display of synthetic anger has not reached its sell-by date. You may say that there is a lot to be angry about, but I am not sure that this approach is showing Nick to his best advantage – too often he threatens to topple over into petulance. … More light and shade, and a little humour, might show Nick to better effect.

Can the LibDems get more votes than Labour at the next election? (Mark Littlewood)

There’s something of a myth that the third party always gains votes as an election campaign progresses – but there is some evidence that this is true when the third party has a leader fighting his first General Election. This is because, in the course of the campaign, the new Liberal leader moves from “vaguely heard of him” to “household name” in the national pysche. An optimist might conclude that if we enter the campaign just 5% behind Labour in the polls, this is a gap that could be bridged before polling stations open.