Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


Parliamentary Inquiry into corruption at the banks won’t cut it

Ex-Barclays CEO Bob Diamond easily deals with MPs

Following the dismal performance of MPs in questioning city-slicker Bob Diamond, who ran rings around them, the Government has won a vote to keep the judge and QCs away from investigating the banking scandal and having been backed into a corner the Labour Party have succumbed and said they will now co-operate with the inquiry to be led by Conservative MP and Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie.

As Alan Johnson said on last night’s BBC Question Time, there is plenty more to come. Another 20 banks are being investigated by the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) with many more than Barclays expected to be implicated in interest rate rigging to increase trader profits and fleece mortgage holders and small business owners on their loans. There will come a time when David Cameron will be forced to call for a judge.

The Labour Party shouldn’t be so smug though as eventually it will be uncovered they knew about the LIBOR fixing and probably encouraged it. If that was the case, they could be implicated in criminal behaviour which may still see bankers banged up.

But I also side with Labour on the need for a public inquiry – Leveson-style – because politicians of all political hue are in cahoots (no pun intended – keep up!) with their banker mates in The City. This didn’t take long to prove when Bob Diamond called Treasury Select Committee Conservative member Jesse Norman by his first name (as he did with all MPs on the panel) and whilst Mr Norman tried to spurt a question out, Mr Diamond was reminiscing about the old times when he and Jesse both worked for – you guessed it – Barclays Bank!

Both main parties are up to their necks in this banker corruption:
Labour desperately tried to make life easier and richer for bankers whilst they were in office, as they needed to correct their reputation for being enemies of financiers and also they needed the bank’s taxes to create their huge welfare client state. The Conservatives on the other hand ARE friends of the bankers and many are either former bankers or ARE still bankers such as Deputy Conservative Chairman Michael Fallon, who sits on the board of Tullett Prebon. Many MPs also relied heavily on their City friends to fund their General Election campaigns back in 2010.

The above patently explains why politicians should not be questioning and investigating bankers: it is in their interest to ensure the bodies remain hidden from the public. This will not do.