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.