Bankers Laugh, Whilst the Country Wilts

On a day, (January 11th) that student protestor Edward Woollard, 18 from Dibden Purlieu, Hampshire was jailed for 2.8 Years[1], a sentence which for me was a clear signal from the judiciary that civil disobedience will not be tolerated, for the reckless dropping of an empty fire extinguisher on November 10 2010 from the roof of Tory party headquarters in London, causing no injuries, members of the U.K’S political and banking class continued on with their wilful & permanent injury of the country.

Firstly the wonderful Conservative/Liberal coalition government announced defeat in its battle to force tax payer owned banks such as HBOS and the whole banking industry to curb their excessive, disgusting yearly handouts to their chief executives and other boardroom members in the form of bonuses. Now anyone who thinks that a battle even took place between the government and the Banking sector and the likes of David Cameron & George Osborne ever had any intention of creating legislation to curb bonuses are living in dream land. These were the same people calling for even less legislation (if that is possible) on the financial sector in the run up to the 2007 meltdown.

Secondly the Chief executive of Barclays, Bob Diamond, told a treasury select committee “There was a period of remorse and apology for banks and I think that period needs to be over. We need our banks willing to take risks … so we can create jobs,”[2]. Agreed, it is time for the banks to stop saying sorry and start paying, time for executives and those responsible to be arrested and hauled in front of judge & jury. Not one criminal charge has been made, not one banker trailed and convicted in the U.K. for the very real and long lasting harm that their risk taking has caused. And we are to allow them to take further risks to create jobs? What a complete fallacy that these banks create so many jobs in the U.K. I am no financial expert but before the crash it seems pretty clear that instead of protecting and investing their customers money in U.K. industry, British banks and others round the world ploughed them in to the dark world of derivatives, and toxic mortgages that DIRECTLY created the financial crisis and the United Kingdom’s ‘sovereign debt crisis’.
The coalition attempts to blame the previous Labour governments for the crisis, who of course were no angels and made gross errors in judgement, in particular in allowing themselves to be led into the illegal invasion of Iraq by the messianic Blair & Bush coalition. However it was the bailout of the British banking sector and the subsequent recession and retraction of credit that put this country so intolerably in the red.

This coalition is certainly full of characters willing to defend their present & future intolerably swinging cuts on the public sector. The grand apologist of the coalition himself, Deputy Prime minister (I bet he still cannot believe it), Nick Clegg was on the ‘Today’ programme on BBC Radio 4 on Monday talking about the need to wean impoverished areas of dependence on the public sector[3]. So what exactly does Mr Clegg think is going to replace these jobs? British private companies who offshore thousands of British jobs a year to avoid labour regulations and higher wages? Clegg is a Tory, a Neo-Liberal Tory. Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and their irk are not stupid, they are well aware that these spending cuts are going to hit the majority middle and working class of the United Kingdom in jobs, services and living standards. They will look to make these cuts permanent.

The reality of this situation is that for the next 32 months whilst Edward Woolard, ( who was moved to protest due to the cuts on the higher education budget due to the austerity measures instituted by a government in league with the very people who caused the deficit,) languishes in jail, hundreds of thousands (at least) of Britons will lose their jobs, tens of thousands of people, families, around the Unite Kingdom will lose their homes as Interest rates on their mortgages inevitably rise. However it will no doubt be a time of record profits, bonuses, risk taking and further bailouts for an industry that has been allowed by successive Tory & Labour government’s to become a monster at the heart of the U.K. economy.

JONATHAN WOODROW MARTIN is a History graduate living in England. He can be reached at jonathan4.martin@live.uwe.ac.uk


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Jonathan Woodrow Martin is a graduate of HCRI institute at The University of Manchester and can be reached at jwoodrowm@gmail.com.

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