Mr Darling says the government is ready to tighten laws to curb City bonuses in a bid to prevent bankers from taking excessive risks. The chancellor says he thinks large rewards for bankers had encouraged risk-taking and contributed to the current crisis.
He said he understood public anger over the issue and if tougher legislation was required ministers would act. Under Treasury plans, the banking regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), would be given powers to control bonuses in all banks, a move which is likely to require new legislation.
So Mandelson's attacks would have us believe George Osborne's statement that he would control City bonuses is opportunistic populism, but Darling's reaction to public anger is really a matter of prudent bank supervision?
That is scarcely credible coming from a government which has shown itself to be incapable of bank supervision.