Anorak News | Northern Rock: John Betjeman, Panic And Gordon Brown’s Billions

Northern Rock: John Betjeman, Panic And Gordon Brown’s Billions

by | 18th, September 2007

northern-rock.jpg NORTHERN Rock is in the mire. As Anorak reported yesterday, it is a victim of globalisation.

It’s big news. And today we bring you our Northern Rock round-up.

DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “Brown’s big gamble.”

Gordon Brown has “put his political credentials on the line” by guaranteeing all savings in Northern Rock accounts.

Well, not his money. Your money. Brown has put up $£21bilion of taxpayers’ money to halt the panic withdrawals.

No risk to your money, savers. So why wait in line to get your money back? Does Brown’s word count for nought?

As the Telegraph’s front-page picture shows, it’s not raining, the hoodies are back in school and Northern Rock customers are in the “hearing aid beige” years. Queue? Why not? You can always video Bargain Hunt.

Pages 2 and 3: “A British crisis in sensible shoes and orderly queues.” The spit of John Betjeman lives in the subs department.

The paper spots customers with fold-up chairs. This in not the last says of the Weimar Republic, we read. The slogan is ‘Better safe than sorry”.

Pages 4 and 5: “Security for savers comes at a price.” Savers taking their money from Northern Rock accounts may consider National Savings & Investments, says personal finance reporter Myra Butterworth. NSI is backed by the Government. But, then, so is Northern Rock.

Page 7: “A message from Northern Rock: Ya-boo suckers!”

No. Instead chief executive Adam J. Applegarth furrows his brow and offers his “sincerest apologies”.

“We’re open,” says the message.

DAILY EXPRESS front page: “As banks panic spreads Brown guarantees to pay out…with YOUR money.”

Page 4: “Has this Labour Government wrecked the British economy?” wonders the Express, inviting readers to phone in and vote “YES” or “no”. But what with the 25p call charge, we advise not calling and placing the money under your bed or in a watertight jar.

Page 5: “Rewards for board weeks before crash”. Mr Applegarth secured a 10% pay rise, his salary up top £760,000.


THE INDEPENDENT front page: “Banking crisis: the fear spreads.” And it’s being spread by the Indy.

Don’t panic!

Billions have been stripped off banks shares. Is Alliance & Leicester next? What about Bradford & Bingley.

Page 2: “Fear spreads to other banks”.

Page 3: “Patience, good humour and touch of the Blitz spirit.”
The Indy is in the queue. Is that Vera Lynn in line? Are Northern Rock Germans?


Alistair Darling has issued his “Dad’s Army-style message”.

Pages 10 and 11: “KEEP ON ROCKING.” No surrender. Although Ian King, the Sun’s business editor, says “failure not an option”. It rarely ever is. Failure is just what happens when you are not successful.

DAILY MIRROR front page: “Government’s Northern Rock guarantee: ‘EVERY PENNY IS SAFE’..So what should you do with YOUR cash?”

Well. Is it’s safe, why do anything? Leave it with the Rock.

Page 6: “ROCK SOLID.”


Page 10:2 “What should you do with your money?” Well, as the Prime Minister says, leave it in Northern Rock and don’t panic? The Mirror doesn’t really offer much advice, only that the bank is OK, you should pay no attention to the people demanding their money and consider the 40p you spent on the Mirror a shrewd investment.

THE TIMES front page: “A £28bn cheque to stop the panic.” That’s £7bn more than the Telegraph’s headline figure.

Pages 6 and 7: “Panic infects other mortgage lenders as fears grow about exposure to crisis”. Look at those Alliance & Leicester shares dive, dive, dive. It really is just like the Blitz.

Page 7: “A catastrophe has been averted,” says Anatole Kaletsky. “Credit is rooted, quite literally, in the Latin credo ‘I believe’,” notes Kaletsky. All very good, but people will believe in different things. And the grey heads believe they should stand in line and get their money (see images in all papers).

Page 8: In any case, Northern Rock sponsors the Newcastle Falcons rugby union team. And thanks to England’s showing in the rugby World Cup, rugby union is now as popular as squash. Geordies should remain loyal to the local business, says the message.

And in Swindon they continue to queue.

DAILY MAIL front page: “BLACK MONDAY. As frightened savers continue to besiege Northern Rock, Labour, in a desperate U-turn, takes the unprecedented step of guaranteeing them their money. With another two banks wobbling, the critical question remains: Will this stop the panic?”

Pages 4 and 5: “Who’s next? The three big names in the frame…” Alliance & Leicester. Bradford & Bingley. Paragon. Start queuing now. But do not panic! DO NOT PANIC!!!

Pages 6 and 7: “Could bank go for just a penny a share?” Shares in Northern Rock have fallen. But they have further to go. Wanna buy a bank? Start saving – although not with the Northern Rock, obviously…

THE GUARDIAN front page: “Spread of banking panic forces ministers to guarantee savings.”

Pages 4 and 5: “Queues grow as weekend of worry takes toll.”

More worry to follow…

Posted: 18th, September 2007 | In: Money Comments (6) | TrackBack | Permalink