On the Cameron and Clegg revolution…

You get the impression listening to Stormont politicians that Westminster is doing nothing but finding ways to make their lives more difficult… If you read nothing else in the FT this week, try this profile of the new coalition at Westminster. [paywall]  This quote from David Laws gives a decent impression of how it is for the cohabitees at least:

“The economic liberalism of the Conservative party and the social liberalism of the Liberal Democrats have been convincingly combined. And the liberals in both parties are now firmly in charge.”

That’s not far off how it feels on the Tory side of the house. And despite differences over Europe, it’s the depth of the cuts in state spending that’s likely to keep the right wing of that party sweet for some time to come. And politically:

Instead of embodying weakness, the coalition represented about 60 per cent of voters and held an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons, offering a sturdy political platform from which to put ideas into practice.

But do read it all…

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  • And the liberals in both parties are now firmly in charge.

    Which begs the all-important question: which kind of “liberal”? It’s an omnibus term.

  • JAH

    The coalition gave Cameron the liberal wing he wanted and which failed to get elected under the Tory banner. The problem is when the next election looms will Clegg and a % jump ship like Churchill did and become Tories or face utter annihilation at the polls as Liberals. There is no way the current Liberal party can survive on the scale of the past decade. And there’s no chance of Clegg being Deputy Prime Minister under Labour.
    And if these are “liberal” policies one wonders what Cameron will do when shorn of the Liberals if he wins outright next time.

  • DC

    I actually preferred the US Diplomat’s view on domestic politics.

    “The domestic political situation remains in flux, but with the Conservatives enjoying a consistent lead in the polls. A Conservative victory is not assured, however; the Conservatives have done a better job of criticizing Labour policies than of selling Conservative solutions.”

    Vive la revolution! Or maybe not.

  • DC

    …which begs the question – where did the Tories get this mandate from, the mandate to charge ahead in some cases with wholesale sector reform, big changes to NHS and breakneck speed cuts and so on? If – as the diplomat said above – they have offered no such policies to the electorate in order to do so?

    They must have got this mandate from the same place the Lib Dems got theirs on the introduction of the 9k tuition fees!

    In Germany coalition governments take a long time to form in some cases and that is because in Germany the political cohort are multi-class – stats show there is a good sweep of in particular lower and more generally middle classes in the mix – it has a less elitist political bunch.

    Now, take Britain, take Nick Clegg and David Cameron, ask yourselves how could it be that they managed to form a Coalition with such speed and in such a short period of time?

    Is it because in terms of behaviour and class and outlook there is really no difference there between them?

    Whatever you think about Tony Blair, he arrived into power in an old beaten up Rover car, take a look back to Clegg – he arrived at the doors of power in a Jag.

  • GoldenFleece

    DC, out of interest what would you have liked the Lib Dems to do?

  • Neil

    DC on the money. Of course they are representing the majority of UK voters, this is the inherent nature of ruling coalitions and goes without saying. Obviously if the Tories and Labour formed a coalition it would have been the largest coalition available, and following the logic above would have been what people voted for.

    Of course as mentioned above certain folk may find that they’re not getting what they voted for. The cuts are one thing, they were gauranteed to come, but taking the student example they most certainly didn’t get what they voted for.

    Unlikely many of them, the majority of whom won’t be able to own a home for some time, longer now they can add between 30 and 50 grand to their debt bill before they hit the housing market would have voted for the coalition. It certainly seems the young will pay for the mistakes of the old for years to come, while those who speculated and lost their money will be repaid in full by the young who will probably never reach the same level of wealth or even the basic of home ownership.

    No question a large chunk of the working classes were duped as well, not too many of them heard the politicians tell them ‘you are our number one target for financial pain’.

    Not sure how many Londoners heard the politicians tell them they would be forced to flee the capital when the Tories wielded their ideological axe on their usual victim – the poor. Of course ex investment banker and Liberal Democrat David Laws might choose to see things differently.

    Remember folks, we’re all in this (so called recession) together. Try not to breed now, it’s no solution.

  • DC

    Thanks for that Neil.

    I reckon these US diplomats should write as journalists on British politics instead because, while I’m not a God fearing person myself, the US diplomats do give a good god honest cut-and-dry take of British politics, the sheer frankness is something to be admired. This frankness can be lost in the national media perhaps through its inherent bias.

    Of course these national media outlets contend that they are impartial and profess that they most certainly do not hold any political bias!

  • The more I read Mick Fealty’s intro piece here, the more it confuses me.

    Take that opener:

    You get the impression listening to Stormont politicians that Westminster is doing nothing but finding ways to make their lives more difficult…

    Well, yes. For once those “Stormont politicians” could have it aright.

    This is definitively not a government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is (despite the FT “liberal” gloss) rule by a particular interest group. So, deconstruct that sweeping statement:

    the coalition represented about 60 per cent of voters and held an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons, offering a sturdy political platform …

    What actually happened is that the ConDems piled up 67.6% of English votes, largely in the leafy suburbs and the verdant counties. In Wales they managed only 46.2%. In Scotland just 35.6%. Best not to mention UCUNF.

    Then consider the conurbations: Tyne & Wear; Durham; Cleveland; West and South Yorkshire; Merseyside, Greater Manchester; the West Midlands; Inner London. Together, ConDem MPs for all those areas amount to barely a score.

    This is the unvarnished actualité behind that assertion of the ConDem “liberalism”. The ConDems have already ditched any pretence to represent the idealistic young. What remains, in reality, is the “ideology” of gentlemen’s clubs, ladies-who-lunch and golf-club bars. Any interest in the outer reaches of the Saxon Empire is the ability to claw in taxes while cutting down expenses.

    If those “Stormont politicians” have woken up to that, they are not alone.

  • It is all very well to talk about the “pace and speed” of spending cuts but the debate on the economy is not looking beyond 2015 at the moment.

    What seems to be taboo, at the moment, is the fact that deeper spending cuts and/or radical new ways to finance the welfare state will be needed during the next Parliament if the UK is to avoid National bankruptcy. There is an argument developing that the planned cuts in this Parliament do not go far enough.

    So far, I have only noticed the Adam Smith Institute highlight these problems here

    http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/tax-and-economy/the-post%11war-settlement-is-dead/

    and today here

    http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/tax-and-economy/asi-report%3a-on-borrowed-time/

    I think the term “radical” is not appropriate to describe the policies of this Government. “Government of necessity for survival” is much nearer the mark.

  • Seymour Major @ 1:01 pm:

    Oooh, err … Matron, the screens!

    There are excellent reasons why nobody else is undertaking the hysterical extrapolations peculiar to the Adam Smith Institute.

    Using the same methodology, I can conclusively “prove” that by 2050 the whole of the 26 Counties will be concreted over for motorways, that Ireland will be winning at Twickenham by a margin of 200 points, and that the House of Commons will be reduced to three MPs.

  • Johnny Boy

    The UK electorate would have felt duped no matter what government they elected; none of the partys actually wanted to take about specific spending cuts, and would probably have ended up largely following the path the current government is now taking. The oppositions semblance of an economic policy is to say that they would cut less and cut slower, but it’s all they can say to make them seem different from the government, and it’s only possible for them to say it because they are in opposition.

  • There are excellent reasons why nobody else is undertaking the hysterical extrapolations peculiar to the Adam Smith Institute.

    The most excellent of these reasons is similar to the reason for Gordon Brown’s failure to recognise the warning signs of a Banking crisis

    ignorance.

    I suggest that you study the ASI’s analysis in detail.

  • DC

    Correct Seymour, the great leader should have spotted a bubble given he was at the nexus of government, finance and real economy.

    Unless the Great Leader was himself living in a bubble?

    A timely reminder of the old difference between socialists and conservatives:

    socialists had contended that capitalism was incapable of providing either full employment or decent living conditions for the mass of the population because it suffered from an endemic propensity to swing between boom and slump and because it distributed income and wealth in a highly inegalitarian manner.’

    As someone who likes to describe himself as centrist in outlook, I think the socialists are right after all.

  • DC,

    I dont wish to get embroilled in a Socialist versus Capitalist argument, not least because the overwhelming majority of Labour Party supporters favour a mixed economy. Anyway, most of us exhausted those debates in our student days and moved on.

    For what its worth, the statement you have made in italics about socialism is not true. Socialism is incapable of providing decent living conditions for much more than the minority, let alone the majority. I am, of course, talking about a system where capitalism does not exist.

    History shows that it is incapable of being electorally popular. It has only been practised, to any extent, through a totalitarian government. It can not be voluntary so the state has to seize control of all means of production, supply, labour and distribution. The system saps the desire of people to work hard because there is no reward for working harder. The system encourages laziness and skiving. All totalitarian states lose their humanity. Human rights law is not capable of protecting people.

    One of my abiding memories of 1989, just after the Berlin Wall came down. There were Russian Soldiers there. They were scavenging amongst rubbish dumps because they were literally destitute.

    Nobody said capitalism was perfect but, as the Chinese discovered, it is much more likely to provide better living conditions for the mass of the population. Let us not hear any more about the merits of socialism (in its pure form anyway) because it will always remain a fantasy.

    By the way, do you have any constructive criticisim to make about the Adam Smith Institue’s predictions? Be careful. They are not alone and they are based upon hard data. Malcolm appears to have come out with his non-sensical comment purely because he did not like it.

  • Seymour Major @ 6:28 pm:

    Any comment on “socialism” which is based on sweeping assertion and arrant nonsense (note the lack of hyphen) such as that is contemptible. It is, in any case, mere trollery and coat-dragging, irrelevant to this thread.

    Malcolm appears to have come out with his non-sensical comment purely because he did not like it.

    1. Totally fallacious. I object to grotesque exponential extrapolations based on inadequate evidence. Suchy would not pass scrutiny in a sixth-form economics seminar.

    2. Yet also too true. The ASI (financed in substantial part by the booze and fag industries) has dumped on us enough with its spiffing wheezes. Shall we celebrate its past greatest hits: the poll tax, rail privatisation, bus deregulation, low alcohol duty (and so the booze “kulcher”), the “reconstruction” of Iraq … ? Can we not wait for that magical Flat Tax?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    It seems that everone wants to ignore the facts.

    The total debt in the UK is £4 trillion this includes government debt, pension shortfall, PFI’s and private debt. It is hoped that some of this may be repayed when bank shares are sold.

    That means that all taxpayers in the UK are in debt to the tune of about £130,000, to repay this will take about 25 years without taking into account the tax required for the current years spend.

    We will not stop borrowing for another 4 years, so in about 40 or 50 years we might have repaid the debts Labour ran up on our behalf. We can only hope we can make a profit on the bank shares.

    Who says we didn’t need to make cuts now?

    Time our local politicians started to live in the real world and agree a budget.

  • Reader

    Malcolm Redfellow: low alcohol duty (and so the booze “kulcher”),
    I didn’t know the Adam Smith Institute controlled Labour policy for the last 13 years. Nor did I know that we had low alcohol duty. Do the French have booze cruises to Dover these days?

  • DC

    Seymour

    Only getting to post now as I am currently struck off Slugger at home due to the yellow card that was issued – but I can reply at work – so far.

    Re the Adam Smith thing and and massive public debt, I’ve a question for you which might answer your own question: are you happy with the amount of money leaving the banking sector and financial services sector and it going into private pockets?

    Perhaps if less was allowed to go into private pockets and more collected at a national level such public debts could be paid down quicker while maintaining social cohesion?

  • DC

    Golden Fleece

    Re:

    DC, out of interest what would you have liked the Lib Dems to do?

    Answer: to do what they said they would do on tuition fees.

  • DC @ 2:48 pm:

    Precisely.

    What is becoming more obvious is that the LibDems would have had more power outside a coalition.

    There was the alternative: a “confidence and supply arrangement”. So the continuance of governance would have continued (as it did in 1924 and 1929); but the 50-odd LibDem MPs would have a veto over those extremes of Tory policy, now being rammed through, partly in the name of the LibDems.

    That is why we now need to ask about the very political actions of the Governor of the Bank of England in cementing the coalition.

    That, too, is why we should wonder if the Tories had and have a longer game-plan: the extinction of the LibDems as a separate force.

    After the next General Election, any survivors of the wreck of a once-decent party may ruefully wonder if the brief use of ministerial limousines and receipt of those iconic red boxes was worth the sell-out.

  • Munsterview

    How delightful on a miserable cold day here in the South, to call up slugger and find the focus on politics, real politics and nothing but politics on a thread. We should try that more often ! So malcom first.

    Malcom :

    “……This is the unvarnished actualité behind that assertion of the ConDem “liberalism”. The ConDems have already ditched any pretense to represent the idealistic young. What remains, in reality, is the “ideology” of gentlemen’s clubs, ladies-who-lunch and golf-club bars. Any interest in the outer reaches of the Saxon Empire is the ability to claw in taxes while cutting down expenses.

    If those “Stormont politicians” have woken up to that, they are not alone “.

    Agreed ! I regularly visit Eastbourne, my sister in law is a Teacher and a comfortable suburbanite. Her late parents were Donegall and Fermanagh and strictly Labour. She and a lot of her friends went Lib Dem, they were intelligent enough to realize that the Gordon Brown ‘keep churning out money’ could not continue, corrective action had to be taken and they took the selfish view that the Conservatives would ‘ring fence’ their lifestyle such as it was.

    She voted lib Dem knowing that she was de facto voting for the conservative swinging ax and it was selfish, self protection, not politics. Through my sailing interests I always get a a feedback from a few dozen people in yachting circles while ‘talking boats’ with owners in the yacht harbors there. Not too many laborites in those circles!

    Malcom is correct it is about the clubs, bars and ladies who lunch etc and preserving such as they can of that lifestyle. The Cons I know are unapologetic about it and while the Libs cloak their self interests in ‘values and fiscal responsibility’ at the end of the day it is the same shared interests.

    England South East do not give a damm about Newcastle Upon Tine, never mind Newcastle on the A 2!

  • Munsterview

    DC
    “……socialists had contended that capitalism was incapable of providing either full employment or decent living conditions for the mass of the population because it suffered from an endemic propensity to swing between boom and slump and because it distributed income and wealth in a highly inegalitarian manner.’……”

    Self evident to the likes of you and me perhaps, there will always be a constituency for that view. However the advocates for these values are often the worst advertisements for it, both in street demonstrations and work practices. Take one of the issues to hit the headlines here in the South Yesterday in a Dail Committee for example regarding ‘workers’.

    The Department of In-Justice paid 50 Million for a sophisticated fingerprint and face recognition system for the civilian staff in the Garda HQ to operate. This was to be used against foreign nationals in particular who were abusing the welfare system with multiple claims in the Republic and other jurisdictions.

    The civilian staff refused holding that it was a function proper for the Garda force to operate. However if all twelve were upgraded to the next level with pay, bonuses and perks, they were prepared to operate the system.

    As it has been designated a civilian operator project, the Guards cannot operate it and the civilians will not, so Fifty Million euros of technology is just sitting there for eighteen months gathering dust and no resolution in sight.

    DC : This in it’s own way, and there are hundreds of other examples like it North and South, are as much of an abuse of the system and people as anything our Builder and Banker buccaneers are doing, the scale is all that is different.

    We cannot keep demanding decent work conditions, maternity leave, pensions etc that is the entitlement of any worker while at the same time turning a blind eye to these restrictive and opportunistic practices that bleed the taxpaying public while depriving things like special needs per school education to pay for it.

    Things like special need teachers are cast aside, a few moans on Joe Duffy but it is quickly buried under the collective misery, workers like these in Garda HQ on the other hand can instantly strike and have union muscle behind them to protect each little bastion of privilege.

    These things cannot be justified and it is high time the labour movement stopped giving hostages to fortune. I have held a shop stewards card, a site conveners card and sat in the branch committee of a union in my time am left wing and pro labour.

    However if we are to build a new society on these Islands, then there are no ‘sacred cows’ that can be exempt from slaughter, be they Capital or Labour !

  • Munsterview

    How delightful on a miserable cold day here in the South, to call up slugger and find the focus on politics, real politics and nothing but politics on a thread. We should try that more often !

    Malcom :

    “……This is the unvarnished actualité behind that assertion of the ConDem “liberalism”. The ConDems have already ditched any pretense to represent the idealistic young. What remains, in reality, is the “ideology” of gentlemen’s clubs, ladies-who-lunch and golf-club bars. Any interest in the outer reaches of the Saxon Empire is the ability to claw in taxes while cutting down expenses.

    If those “Stormont politicians” have woken up to that, they are not alone “
    .
    Agreed !

    I regularly visit Eastbourne, my sister in law is a Teacher and a comfortable suburbanite. Her parents were Donegall and Fermanagh and strictly Labour.

    She and a lot of her friends went Lib Dem, they were intelligent enough to realize that the Gordon Brown ‘keep churning out money’ could not continue, corrective action had to be taken and they took the selfish view that the Conservatives would ‘ring fence’ their lifestyle such as it was.

    She voted lib Dem knowing that she was de facto voting for the conservative swinging ax and it was selfish, self protection, not politics. Through my sailing interests I always get to talk to a few dozen people in yachting circles while ‘talking boats’ with owners in the harbors there. Not too many laborites in those circles.

    Malcom is correct it is about the clubs, bars and ladies who lunch etc and preserving such as they can of that lifestyle. The Cons I know are unapologetic about it and while the Libs cloak their self interests in ‘values and fiscal responsibility’ at the end of the day it is the same shared interests.

    England South East do not give a damm about Newcastle Upon Tine, never mind Newcastle on the A 2!

  • GoldenFleece

    “Answer: to do what they said they would do on tuition fees.”

    DC, that’s a very odd thing to come from a Labour supporter! Didn’t Labour do the exactly same thing as the Lib Dems not once but twice?

    I’m guessing who were against the coalition tho before tution fees came up.

    So after the election, what do you think the Lib Dems should have done?

  • Munsterview

    DC
    “……socialists had contended that capitalism was incapable of providing either full employment or decent living conditions for the mass of the population because it suffered from an endemic propensity to swing between boom and slump and because it distributed income and wealth in a highly inegalitarian manner.’……”

    Self evident to the likes of you and me perhaps, there will always be a constituency for that view.

    However the advocates for worker rights are often the worst advertisements for it.

    Take one of the issues to hit the headlines here in the South Yesterday in a Dail Committee.
    The Department of In-Justice paid 50 Million for a sophisticated fingerprint and face recognition system for the civilian staff in the Garda HQ to operate. This was to be used against foreign nationals in particular who were abusing the welfare system with multiple claims in the Republic and other jurisdictions.

    The civilian staff refused holding that it was a function proper for the Garda force to operate. However if all twelve were upgraded to the next level with pay, bonuses and perks, they were prepared to operate the system.

    As it has been designated a civilian operator project, the Guards cannot operate it and the civilians will not, so Fifty Million euros of technology is just sitting there for eighteen months gathering dust and no resolution in sight.

    DC : This in it’s own way, and there are hundreds of other examples like it North and South, are as much of an abuse of the system and people as anything our Builder and Banker buccaneers are doing, the scale is all that is different ?

    We cannot keep demanding decent work conditions, maternity leave, pensions etc that is the entitlement of any worker while at the same time turning a blind eye to these restrictive and opportunistic practices that bleed the taxpaying public while depriving things like special needs per school education to pay for it.

    Special needs depravations get a few moans on the Joe Duffy show and then it is quickly buried under the avelance other complaints while these cosseted workers if they are touched, can call an unoffecial strike and union muscle.

    This things cannot be justified !

    If we are to build a new and faired society on these Islands thate can be no more sacred cows, be they Capitalist or Labor.

  • Munsterview

    seymour :
    “……Nobody said capitalism was perfect but, as the Chinese discovered, it is much more likely to provide better living conditions for the mass of the population. Let us not hear any more about the merits of socialism (in its pure form anyway) because it will always remain a fantasy…..”.

    The Chines also try people for corruption, strip them of all their wealth if guilty, give them a bullet in the head and then bill their immediate family for the cost of the bullet. Do you advocate that aspect of the Chines system also ?

    Yes China is allowing aspects of Capitalism, but it also has checks and balances. Can you tell me how many people were tried for white collar crime in the North or South in the last twenty years?

    I am not a doctrinaire opponent of business. ‘Been there, wore that T shirt’. I, at one period met a weekly payroll for twelve and made a few bob. The deeds of my house went across the bank counter to secure 50% of what I needed, the other 50% came from my own resources. In the late seventies I had a start up debt of 32K before one penny came back and when it did I got the lifestyle I earned with 80 hour weeks. For the first six months I had 50% of my foremans salary to live on.

    I got a few years out of it, I was in second line services, in19 81 I spend Boxing day on the phone with other Business men discussing the recession, I was in fact acting as de facto contact center for about seventy all over Munster. Out of 67 still in business, 21 decided to call it a day leaving 46. Between Boxing day and Particks day another 35 had gone, so was the support base for my business.

    I got no help or favors on the way up ( on the contrary the Garda Special Branch did every thing possible to fuck things up for me and other republicans business people like me ) and even less on the way down despite taxes etc being in order. I was involved with over half of these business men in helping them to sort out their affairs and I know the hunan cost both themselves and their families payed.

    I have no problem with small or medium business capitalism. Multi National companies are a fact of life as is the EU and the Global Village. My computer problems are sorted out over the phone with someone in Bombay. We are as likely to get a Socialist Republic in this Island as we are to see Ian Paisley die a converted Catholic!

    Do you think it was or is fair to allow rampant capitalism with ‘light touch’ or no touch regulation. As alias has frequently pointed out, it was not just a Property Bubble, There was equal speculation and squander mania on stocks, shares and other stupid speculation also. Meanwhile the real business of the country went on !

    Our exports are up 9% on the start of the year, this small island, or the twenty-six county part of it supply 25% of all beef eaten in Europe. One in five McDonnell beef-burgers in Europe have Irish beef. The agribusiness is just of one of such triving Southern Business sectors. I may be giving a few hostages to fortune here to the usual clowns, but never the less, this is an article, I had requested from me for a blogg on a Canadian site some days ago to give my take on the Irish situation.

    http://www.henrymakow.com/ireland_the_revolt_has_started.html

    One of my sons is with the same International Medical Manufacturing company since leaving Third Level. He has a key position in the production process. He has also had to work overtime constantly for the past two years as production is just about keeping up with export demand. He and his finance are currently in the process of building their own house.

    He is not one just one of the lucky ones, an uncle is a signioficant builder and he had plenty of connections and job openings years back for fast track and fast money. Instead we discussed the pros and cons and he decided to build a career and a future with a good multi national company. He made his own luck. He put need before greed and is now reaping the benefit of that decision.

    I have a daughter is in Hotel Management in Scotland, she emigrated when the Celtic Tiger was still going strong, money no object, not beacuse she could not get a job here, but because having lived for a few months in Southern France, she knew Rip off service Ireland could not continue and she also wanted to have a cereer in a stable situation.

    There are plenty more young people like them who did not lose their heads or their values!

    Seymour : Society cannot operate without a ready supply of finance. Do you think that it is acceptable that the very productive sectors of society that behaved responsible should now be starved of finance?

    Small business here in the South are folding daily, not because they have failed, many are in fact triving, they are failing because they have been deprived of sufficient cash flow to continue operations. It is the early eighties all over again.

    Rampant, free, unchecked, capitalism allied to total corruption gave us the Southern mess. If you are advocating Capitalism, then what is your answer for making capital available for productive business and commerce while restricting these excesses?

    Almost twenty years ago an American Christian Leader gave me his book that predicted exactly what would happen to the Western Financial System, he was out a few years in his predications, but as to what would actually happen, he is spot on to-date.

    If his other predictions continue, we aint seen nothing yet!

  • DC

    I have only just got to your question. Thank you for it.

    are you happy with the amount of money leaving the banking sector and financial services sector and it going into private pockets?

    At the end of the day, I am a patriot. I want what is best for my country. What makes me most happy is if the Government handles this issue on the basis of what is right for Britain – not whether anybody else is happy or not with shareholders receiving dividends or employees getting what might look like unwarranted bonuses. What is not right for Britain is any taxation policy which drives businesses out of the country. This applies just as much to banks as it does other businesses.

    By the way, this topic is linked to a specific debate about Corporation tax, on which I hope to be able to express a fuller view very soon.

    The argument about taxing banks too heavily or restricting bonuses might sound right morally justified. What you have to remember is that Banks are a business. They depend for their success upon people with exceptional ability. People in the banking sector are very well aware of this. From an outsider’s point of view, it looks as though this is just shafting the taxpayer and the saver. That is hardly surprising when you look at headline-grabbing cases such as Sir Fred and RBS. What we do not want is a brain drain with a consequential loss of trade in the one area where the UK is a still world leader and which contributes positively to the UK current account. In fairness to Gordon Brown, he was well aware of this and did what was necessary to salvage it in 2008.

    My approach is that we should take what we can out of the banks but we must not kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

    Vince Cable might fret. George Osborne has a cooler head. In a much more measured statement recently he said that:

    “the banks will pay the “maximum sustainable” amount of tax without forcing them to leaving Britain.”

    I was satisfied with Osborne’s remark. I hope that answers the question DC. Keep the questions coming.

  • Munsterview

    Society cannot operate without a ready supply of finance. Do you think that it is acceptable that the very productive sectors of society that behaved responsible should now be starved of finance?

    Agreed. By the way, we do not have “Rampant Capitalism” If you study the economic law making that there has been over the last 200 years you, you will realise that is the position. When a wrong occurs, as in this crisis, lessons are learned and things are tightened up.

  • Sorry, my last answer to you Munsterview should not have read “agreed” No, the productive sectors should not be starved of finance.