Susan Murray, in rightly criticizing Nigel Lawson’s climate change denial, suggests that he “presumably knows his economics”. Well, maybe not.
As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Lawson deregulated the UK
banking sector and set off the “Lawson Boom” which ended in the spiralling unemployment and crippling interest rates of the early 1990s.
But that was just the start. Mr Lawson himself admitted (on the BBC Analysis programme on February 1, 2010) that his reforms had, as an “unforeseen consequence”, seen an end to the separation between merchant banks and high street banks. He “didn’t give it a great deal of thought at the time”.
This casual removal of a fundamental safety measure led, perhaps only too forseeably, to abusive and reckless banking practices resulting in the 2007 banking collapse whose aftermath has virtually bankrupted Britain.
So now, he has taken to lecturing us on climate change. As future sea levels rise while droughts and floods devastate livelihoods and what’s left of the UK and world economy disappears down the plughole, will Lord Lawson in his dotage be muttering about “unforeseen consequences” of carbon emissions? Probably.