Credit where credit's due, Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have at last made, in my view, the correct decision over Northern Rock. The word is it will be nationalised. So maybe Richard Branson will not call Darling darling anymore.
Branson could have started a bank at any time in the past. The only reason he wants one now is he could get one subsidised by the taxpayer. If he had to pay a fair price he wouldn't want it. The rest of the banking industry had their chance to save Northern Rock before news broke on the trouble it was in but didn't, so deserve no say in the matter.
My disagreement with the government is to say it's only a temporary measure. Why not think outside the box as they say. How about looking at the German model where Deutsche Post buys DHL? Let's roll Northern Rock into the Post Office and have a national savings bank again!