Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

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The banks are corrupt

It’s not as if this headline is shocking news. We’ve known it for years even before the crash of 2008. The last Labour Government knew the details of the multitude of corruption and immorality pervading the banking system during the boom years before 2008 with even a whistleblower from Barclays bank telling them the Libor interest rate charged by leading banks in London when lending to other bank was being rigged. But what did Gordon Brown and Ed Balls do with this information: nothing, diddly-squat!

I wrote in January about how Capitalism has never grown up. I re-read it today and the words are very pertinent to this week’s news that Barclays Bank and perhaps many more of our UK banks fiddled the interest rates used for inter-bank lending on the money markets to ensure traders made huge profits and also made more money out of mortgage holders and credit card consumers, as the Libor rate also propagates down to interest rates we pay on our mortgages and credit cards. This must be illegal with the prison sentences not being in single figures but double-digits: 30 years, send him down type of sentences. Prosecutors should start with the Theft Act 1968.

Like many ordinary people who work in the corporate sector in this country I am sick to my back teeth with the majority of employees getting paid a pittance for their work whilst a handful of executives and directors at the top trouser millions of pounds every year. As I’ve said before, anybody who works for a business and did not start it up does not deserve a salary of £1Million a year, and in my cases board members and CEOs of FTSE 100 companies are paid much much more. Unlike entrepreneurs like James Dyson, these FTSE 100 CEOs have never had to take a personal risk to do with the company in their careers. But still they are paid in some cases more than James Dyson can take out of his business as a salary.

Capitalism has failed to mature since Thatcher unleashed free enterprise in the 1980s. She lifted millions of people, like my mother and father, into the burgeoning middle-class and they benefited enormously from captialism. But by the early-1990s, the FTSE100 elite had taken over the system and the first thing they did was pull up the ladder and hoard all the cash the companies make up in the board room. The directors, CEOs and bankers rigged the system so only 1% of a population now benefits from capitalism – the rest of us are merely slaves to the system. But as I said back in January, I am no socialist. I love the free market and capitalism. The problem is the ordinary worker has been locked out the capitalism system for nearly twenty years and we want back in – as is our right.

The Government now must do two things in quick time:

1. Strip Barclays CEO, Bob Diamond, of his director licence thereby forcing him to step down as CEO and board member of Barclays Bank. He can then fly back to Massachusetts with immediate effect.
2. David Cameron must order a judge-led enquiry – Leveson-style – into the working practices and ethics of the banking sector in the UK.

The peasants aren’t as stupid as the finance sector elite and the Government think we are. We might just revolt unless our anger can be vented.