So Sir James Sassoon has joined the Eton boy, Osborne, and the Barclays banker, David Laws, at the Treasury, as Commercial Secretary – a post invented and designed for him. Sir James was vice chairman Investment Banking at UBS Warburg between1985-2002, where he specialised in privatisations.
The capture of the Treasury by the City of London is now complete.
The war on industry and the public sector can now begin in earnest.
Their first target? Britain’s small businesses. “The Treasury has axed Labour’s proposed credit adjudicator scheme, designed to give statutory redress to small businesses denied bank lending” according to the FT today.
So the City, after cutting off the vital artery of direct bank lending to small businesses, has now, after capturing the Treasury, cut off another……God help Britain’s struggling private small business sector – so dependent on government spending.
And let’s all wave goodbye to economic recovery. For Osborne and Law were rewarded for their crude hacking away at public spending yesterday, by a fall in sterling.
A sign that ‘the markets’ are not too dim-witted to grasp that cutting public spending will hurt the private sector, and with it, economic recovery.
As if vicious attacks on both the public and private sectors are not absorbing enough, Sassoon, David Laws and Osborne have found time and energy to destroy the reputation of Vince Cable: a man whose formidable reputation for honest, straight talking was built on a ferocious critique of the City of London.
It’s sad, and a tad distasteful watching a junior nonentity from the Liberal Democrats join with the City and the Tories in the ruination of a man that until quite recently, was perceived as a political titan.
It’s even sadder watching Vince collude in this destruction of his reputation.
Last night’s interview with Paxman was painful to watch. Cable whose department and with it his political authority, is about to be weakened by the bankers, was challenged about his sudden about-turn and support for spending cuts.
The crisis in Greece, it appears, is the explanation. It only came to his attention the day after the election, and caused his volte face, although there are few parallels between Greece and the UK, as the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has argued. According to the NIESR, comparing the UK to Greece is ‘misguided’ as Britain’s outstanding debt stock is well below 100% of GDP, while Greece’s has been at this level for 20 years. Furthermore, Greece is captive within the straitjacket of the banker-designed single currency system. Unlike the UK, its government has been stripped of control over interest rates, and the exchange rate.
Cable’s pathetic defence of the indefensible reminded me of Enoch Powell’s comment that ‘all political lives end in failure’.
Sadly that truth may come to apply to an honest, decent man that once challenged the reckless, and economically unsustainable power of the City of London.
If so, it would not be fair.
7 thoughts on “Update: bankers complete capture of UK Treasury – & attack Cable”
‘End’ is right. This is ueber-Thatcherism run riot. Osborne’s Freudian slip, public spectre, seemed to me to accurately cast the darkness his policies will bring about. Cable has been suborned. It was probably too much to expect him to remain on the sidlines. And it may have been possible that he did not foresee the price he might have to pay in order to stay on the team. Personally, I consider the price to be too great.
He can, of course, still resign, but he may feel that he has already been too compromised to do so, having already embarked on a journey of historical revisionist propaganda.
Should he not leave it too late to resign from the Cabinet, he may still be able to salvage some of his reputation. We can all hope that he comes to see this.
This is the complete takeover by the “financial industry” of the “real industry” besides the “private good” of the “common good”.
Thanks for pointing out soooo clearly, Ann!
Ann, another factor in the debacle we are witnessing is the caliber of the journalists who do much of the interviewing. And I do not mean the Pax. Many of them simply do not seem to be up to the job we need them to do.
During the election, I saw egregious misstatements of fact, even directly contradicting an “expert” they had just interviewed – the individual may just as well not have said anything at all so little impression did it make.
On the other hand, we see hyperbolically effusive remarks made as part of the introduction of some interviewees – which naturally influences how the information provided is to be interpreted, often unjustifiably so. For example, I see no justification in introducing an institution as “the highly regarded”. Highly regarded by whom? Or “he foresaw the crisis”. So did Vince Cable. Does it follow from this that either such an interviewee or Cable are correct in their pronouncements now? No.
Neither of these tactics constitutes sound journalism. And they contaminate the debate. Some of our most popular mainstream media journalists are guilty of this.
Re Cable’s claim that he saw the evidence, he actually never produced any in the interview. All he produced were claims made by King and the Treasury, claims which do not go undisputed. If a famous interviewee foresaw the crisis and this constitutes a sound reason for accepting his present views, should we not conclude that, because King markedly failed to foresee the crisis, we should be quite skeptical about what he says now?
I had hoped, somewhat forelornly as it now turns out, that having an alliance between the Tories and the LibDems would soften the financial policies of the former! I even thought that we might escape the excesses of a party that is hell-bent on rewarding the rich at the expense of the poor at every turn. But no! They have managed to find a few LibDems who are of like mind and installed them into the places where moderates like Vince Cable might just have had a chance of derailling their beloved policies. The Tories are showing themselves to be very much in the driving seat and intent on pursuing their policies regardless. I suspect this country will be bankrupt sooner rather than later. But then they won’t really mind about that – they will have made the friends they need in the city, made their money from the situation and transferred it far away from these shores so they can enjoy it whatever happens!
Just sent this link to my MP, a Conservative!
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The sad end of an era. What will they think of next?