You can't argue with the logic of what Ken Clarke said today about the merger of HBOS with Lloyds. It does now seem that this merger, although an enticing prospect for Lloyds at the time, may result not in the saviour of HBOS, but the failure of HBOS and Lloyds.
The fact that ken Clarke was excluded for so long from the Tory front bench means he does come to the whole credit crunch debate with the freedom to speak his mind, but also with some gravitas, something the Tory front bench lacks at the moment, someone the press actually believe and go to for real information, not spin. At the moment the press really only have one port of call for a political expert on the credit crunch, and that is Vince Cable. Perhaps Ken Clarke might be able to get some of Vince's action. However, as Paul Walter points out, Ken has not really moved with the times. He mumbles and "erms" his way through interviews lacking the incisive direct point that Vince Cable hits so often.
So whilst I agree with him on Lloyds, perhaps it is clearer to see why he has been away from the front line for so long.
For me, Ken Clarke was the obvious choice as Tory leader in 1997. At a time when people did not like the Tories at all, he was the sort of leader who would have made them credible (something they never were under William Hague) and not loathed.