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Wednesday, 04 July 2012

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I disagree entirely. One of the worst features of the coalition has been its abject failure to pin the blame for our predicament firmly onto Labour. It goes far wider than LIBOR. The ruined public finances, the effed-up civil service, the profoundly stupid and reckless rescue of the banks... the whole damn thing.

Labour are to blame for everthing that happened before the Tories got in. And the Tories are to blame for everything before Labour got in. Where do the Lib mobsters fit in!

Bob Diamond walked away untouched - as intended.

What bugs me is that none of the regulators or controlling agencies seems up to their job. Every week we read of this or that regulator failing to do what we pay them to do. Trouble is, if they did their alleged jobs they would necessarily send in a big bill, so one has the itsy bitsy suspicion they are told to soft-pedal - and keep drawing their pay.

As for the banks - a very tricky problem indeed, we now seem to be scraping the bottom of the money-barrel and shortly the spoon will be licked clean too. Could it be that HMG was so desperate for the last shekel it gave a nod and wink - I reckon so. But now the cat is out the bag and we might as well go for root and branch reform, the system is buggered and not going to get better as it stands. Hang on for a bumpy ride.

I agree that 'Dim Dave' lost the chance right at the beginning to ram home Labour's culpability and on the back of it to force through some truly radical cuts which he could have blamed on Brown & Balls. The reason he failed was because he has no philosophy, no ideology, in fact, no idea at all, bar getting re-elected. There have been no cuts, we're still borrowing hand over fist and today, I gather, the hopeless old twat in the BoE is about to start the printing presses - again - despite it have nil effect on the previous two occasions.

The only Prime Ministers with principles in my life time (aged 76) were Alec whatisname and Margaret Thatcher. There doesn't seem to be any chance of another one before I pop my clogs.

Good God, old Alec Douglas-Home, blink and you'd miss him! Prime Minister for two days short of a year according to Wiki. At least he got rid of Retail Price Maintenance, one of the biggest rackets ever inflicted upon the British public.

Aye, Alec looks pretty good in retrospect.

If I remember rightly, he was way behind Wilson in the opinion polls when he took office; but only lost by about 4 seats. Why was that? Because he was perceived to be a gentleman. Just like Mrs Thatcher. I can remember telling an Italian that she was actually a bloke in drag. An Italian eavesdropper nearly drowned in his soup.

I'm sorry, but I disagree. Osborne SHOULD be placing the blame exactly where it belongs. It was Labour, in the form of the innumerate and chip-riddled Chancellor, who petulantly removed bank regulation from the Bank of England, which he perceived as embodying the worst the wicked Establishment.

Eddie George and then Mervyn King have been blamed by the determinedly ignorant for matters which were and are not their responsibility. Bank regulation was removed from the BoE and handed over to the bunch of incompetents in the Keystone Gestapo of the Financial Services Authority.

Once the BoE no longer had real-time monitoring of banks' capital, liabilities and gearing, the Jock banks were able to go wild in the expansionary ambitions. Similarly, the jumped-up building societies like Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley grew on their delusions of adequacy. The FSA simply did not have the necessary expertise or sanctions to reign them in.

Note how HSBC remained largely unscathed, Barclays survived and Lloyds TSB was only brought down by its forced purchase of HBOS.

If the BoE had remained in charge, this simply would not have happened - just as it had not happened for the previous century and more. Osborne is absolutely correct in laying the blame firmly at the feet of the bloody Brownites.

And, for what it's worth, I wholeheartedly agree with U. Quotes. Cut the redundant and distracting apostrophes.

I can't say that I am too disturbed by the LIBOR rigging which is way above my head but as a former small - er, no - tiny businessman (there was just me!) I do think the behaviour of the High Street banks in stitching people up with iniquitous loan agreements that they knew were impossible to service was verging on the criminal, or at least, the mafia would have been proud of it!

I remember when I retired and moved down here to the south west I received a call from my local Lloyds inviting me in for a chat and I said no. My wife asked why and I told her that all they wanted to do was sell me something. Even though I was out of business it had still permeated my consciousness that banks had changed!

Your penultimate sentence - exactly, spot-on, hear, hear!

Your last sentence - there's two hopes of that, as they say in Glasgow.

Thanks, Andrew.

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