Andrew Turnbull: The benefits of the miners' strike and the ERM

From the valedictory lecture given by the retiring Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service at the Treasury in London
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The Independent Online

Secondly, out of the wreckage of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, I worked, with many others, on building a macro-economic system admired around the world:

* Regular meetings to discuss interest rates;

* Proper documentation presented to those meetings (it seems amazing nearly a decade and half later that that was not the case before);

* An inflation target;

* Minutes of meetings and explanations of interest rate changes;

* Unmuzzling of the Bank's Inflation Report.

It was on these foundations that Gordon Brown built operational independence for the Bank of England, and the separation of responsibility for monetary policy from financial supervision, and the separation of the responsibility to market the government's debt.

Thirdly, I worked closely on ending the constitutional nonsense under which a Minister in the Cabinet responsible for administering a large part of the criminal justice system was also a judge and the presiding officer of the House of Lords. I accept that there was a failure of presentation at the time but the substance of the proposals has proved sound. We will soon have a proper process for judicial appointments, with carefully worked out understandings about the extent of the Minister's discretion, and clear identification of the Lord Chief Justice as the head of the Judiciary. We will also have a Supreme Court, so that those who increasingly sit in judgement on the actions of the executive, as in the Belmarsh case, do not sit as part of the legislature.

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