AS the nationalisation of Northern Rock is expected to be formalised today, questions continue to be asked about chancellor Alistair Darling.
More than a decade of exemplary British financial regulation was coming to an end with the nationalisation of the ailing Northern Rock bank.
While Mr Darling cannot be blamed for a global financial downturn, he can be called to account for a British high street banking catastrophe which has been waiting for a positive solution since mid-September.
During the intervening months there has been unacceptable dallying: a lack of competence which has led to further lack of confidence, as the bid to find a private buyer came and went amid anticipation of big bucks being made by a few.
Now Northern Rock’s future becomes a potential liability for every British taxpayer.
The nationalisation is said to be for a “temporary period”. Given the risks, that is a wholly unsatisfactory situation.