« Afghan end game? | Main | Scrappage deal for MPs »

October 27, 2009

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Nursing pajamas

Yes I agree also on the need for an election and whatever the result would be,atleast there will be a new mandate.

dave

why does gordon brown explicitly rule out a formal separation of retail deposit-taking and investment banking?
Under gordon brown, banks that look after the savings of households and businesses will not be banned from engaging in speculative trading in securities, even though such trading and investment has caused so much of the losses that have hobbled the banking system.
He is saying no to a British version of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act.
This is how Brown puts it: "We do not envisage, as some have advocated, a rigid divide in future between 'narrow banking' - retail and corporate deposit taking - and investment banking and trading conducted at an international level".
Much flows from this, including that we as taxpayers will continue to provide a guarantee to banks, even those engaged in what many would see as high-risk international speculation, that we won't let them collapse..
Why is the prime minister keen to maintain this pact between taxpayers and institutions that underwrite and sell equities and loans transformed into tradable securities? Well he remains persuaded that "global financial flows and liquid capital markets have brought massive benefits to our economy".
So Brown is keeping the faith with financial globalisation: "there is no room for parochialism or protectionism in our model of the future", he says.
But note that he says global banking can only be made safe if there is effective global regulation, not "a patchwork of national regulators."
So it's worth pointing out that there is a bit of a rupture here between the traditional notion that where taxpayers' money is at stake, decisions should be taken by national governments (that there should be no taxation without representation).
Or to put it another way, the sanitisation of financial globalisation explicitly requires us to be happy as taxpayers to underwrite global banks that call themselves British, even though we as taxpayers would have only modest influence on the rules constraining the behaviour of those British global banks.

why did labour follow america and change the banking laws allowing this financial crisis to happen?

why wont labour reinstate the regulations that stopped the banks getting us into this mess?


rwendland

Paul, it seems a common misconception that military spending has reduced since 1997 when Labour came into power. How about posting a graph correcting this misconception on the blog, if you know of a good one anywhere?

I cannot track one down one in real Pounds - perhaps because MOD keeps changing the way it accounts. Nothing like that in the MOD Annual Report and Accounts.

But looking at the SIPRI data Military expenditure of the UK in Pounds (non-real) has gone up 62.1% 1997 to 2008. In real US$ it went up 18.9% 1997 to 2008, though some of that will be dollar/pound increase.

And here is the last few years “Total departmental spending” from the MOD 2008-09 accounts (Table 1.2, page 21), in billions:

2003-04 £35.9
2004-05 £37.5 +4.42%
2005-06 £38.5 +2.66%
2006-07 £38.9 +1.11%
2007-08 £42.4 +9.05%
2008-09 est £44.6 +5.27%
2009-10 plan £46.2 +3.46%

Not tabulated in real pounds, but this seems a significant real increase.

It doesn't look like a cut in budget that has caused the MOD problems. It looks like it is caused by their major-kit priorities like Albion amphibious assault ships ahead of helicopters or regiments, and procurements going well over budget without curtailing other or new procurements. It would be nice to see a graph showing this.

John

The legal seizing of the assets of anyone caught with even small amounts of cannabis for examplein the USA has encouraged wholesale corruption, false imprisonments, planting of evidence etc that keeps the whole wheels of theprohibtionist machine oiled while it crushes familes and alienates communites.

When money is used as an inducement for enforicing the law corruption is not very far behind

Kay Tie

"I do not believe that any council would deliberately put a vulnerable child in the care of a sexual predator."

That's what happened here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5834779.ece

This isn't the case I know of, by the way.

Note also the reference to a similar case from Essex CC. This is discussed here in more detail (along with several others):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/sep/23/foster-carers-left-in-dark

These aren't "isolated incident, lessons must be learned" cases. They are the few that escaped into the sunlight of publicity.

There is a systemic problem with the way we are governed that not just permits but actively encourages this kind of behaviour.

Kay Tie

" I do not believe that any council would deliberately put a vulnerable child in the care of a sexual predator."

There's no such thing as "the council". The social services department is composed of people acting as individuals within a system, driven by their own motives and incentives. In the case I'm tangentially connected with the reason the care worker put the abusing kid into care was to spite the previous carers who had made a complaint about unprofessional behaviour of the care worker (not reading reports).

The worker in question is both stupid and malicious, a dangerous combination. Alas the system virtually encourages these people into the profession because of the low pay and poor conditions. As a result, the abusing child has been damaged, their siblings have had their life chances damaged, and the poor innocent little boy who was abused has potentially had not just his life wrecked but may well go on to bring up damaged children of his own (so much child abuse is effectively inherited). All this because of one individual who is well-endowed with a feral cunning and able to manipulate a weak and negligent system.

"Local Aauthorities are so terrified of another Baby P incident they are taking more children into care than ever."

All the public expects is that they act competently. Instead we veer from one extreme reaction to the other. Just look at the Independent Safeguarding Authority to see what is coming down the tracks.

I watched In The Thick Of It last night. It wasn't comedy, it was a documentary on the way we are governed. It was bloody depressing.

Paul Flynn

That's a thoroughly exceptional case KayTie. Local Aauthorities are so terrified of another Baby P incident they are taking more children into care than ever. I do not believe that any council would deliberately put a vulnerable child in the care of a sexual predator.

Kay Tie

"I thought my restrained comment on Kelly was whinge-free."

You're one of the innocent ones. You're just sucking it up (what else can you do?).

"Anyone who believes that our councils are dragging babies from the arms of their loving parents in order to line their own pockets, will believe anything. "

All kinds of awful behaviour has been cloaked by official secrecy of the family courts. I have close family involved in the social services and the behaviour of some of the staff is best described as wicked (such as deliberately concealing from a foster family that the child being fostered is a sexual abuser, with the consequence that their own son was sexually abused). These things never come to light because of the secrecy and closing of ranks.

You give unchecked powers to people, they become corrupt and do wicked things. The laws you voted for have been doing this yet for once you've got a taste of injustice yourselves. A tiny taste compared to the poor innocent boy who was sexually abused. It is clearly too much to hope that any MP learns a lesson (other than "should keep things secret").

Go and read this judgement from the Court of Appeal:

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/reports/article3897138.ece

Tell me that you think it's just fine and dandy to give local authorities unchecked powers and provide a cloak of secrecy under which to operate. To then give them financial incentives is sheer lunacy.

Of course, being a socialist, you will no doubt believe that good intentions are what count.

Paul Flynn

kayTie, I thought my restrained comment on Kelly was whinge-free. As for your other commenta. It's sound like another malign pessimistic view that the worst outcome always happens. Is this a personal point or is another tabloid 'we can be more hysterical than anyone else campaign' ?
Anyone who believes that our councils are dragging babies from the arms of their loving parents in order to line their own pockets, will believe anything.

What next? Labour slaughter of the first born? cull of people with ginger hair?

Kay Tie

"a) going to get hammered unfairly"

Aww, boo hoo. I'm all up for collective punishment of innocent MPs, the harsher the better. For years they've been pushing excremental legislation out through the anus that is Parliament and dumping all over innocent people.

The latest turd to land on our heads is the extension of asset forfeiture powers (already dubious in the hands of SOCA) to local councils, who will keep a share of the assets seized. Talk about incentives for corruption! If they will take babies from innocent families in return for adoption bonuses, you can be sure they won't hesitate to misuse these powers.

Tony

I agree on the need for an election as soon as possible.

Regardless of the outcome it will at least give the winning party a new mandate (whatever your views on the voting system)

They would then be able to act without having to second guess the effect on the electorate

This might lead to

a) the deficit being actively controlled
b) a decision on Afghanistan - in or out
c) Europe - where we go next

And as for MP's expenses the public don;t want a pound of flesh - they just want openess on the whole issue
MP's really only have themselves to blame here as they voted for the system that has been discredited and as a result some of them are

a) going to get hammered unfairly
b) accept a harsher regime that would have been accepted earlier

It makes sense for Wales to be have the same as Scotland but not if it leads to the calls for independence.

On a practical note 50% of economic activity in Wales is UK government driven/ departments - independance would need to factor that in

The comments to this entry are closed.