By Alex Robertson

I doubt if any reader of the newspapers or watchers of the television news coverage of the latest outrages in the banking sector could easily contain their sense of anger and betrayal.

From new flaky interest rate swap ‘products’ force-fed to their small business clients, to the market-rigging of the LIBOR rate which effected everyone in the country, the banking sector of the UK is utterly unfit for purpose and a total disgrace and disaster.

But it doesn’t stop there. My anger is aimed at the UK governments, firstly who allowed this calamity to happen, (thank you Messrs Brown, Darling and Balls who either knew or ought to have known that LIBOR was being manipulated 7 years ago, and did nothing about it), and even more for the cack-handed response of the Con-Dem coalition. How they trumpeted the need to reform the banking sector before, during and even after the last election. And then? Nothing.

For two years the coalition government have wasted untold millions on a fatuous referendum on a voting system nobody wanted, have spent billions in playing along with US imperialistic warmongering, and yet there has not been a squeak about banking reform.

What happened to the urgent need to split the retail banking sector from the dodgy investment banking sector? Or the disgusting bonus culture that is rife in the City of London and its outposts, identified before the last election by Dr. Cable as lying at the root of the 2008 crisis? And what happened to the urgent need to strengthen shareholder rights to restrain the unmitigated greed that permeates the entire business.

Nothing, in answer to each and every question above. Such silence raises the suspicion of corruption at the highest levels of government and banking. Indeed, if you listen to Mervyn King and Vince Cable, the City of London is corrupt to the core, a cesspit, and infested with a culture of cheating, rigging and activities which even the basest spivs would flinch at.

And Scotland is meant to somehow feel good about being a part of this unholy alliance of government and money-grubbers?

It is always much better to consider these matters free from any emotional distraction. And after I had gone for a good walk and worked off my anger, several points seem clear to me.

It is entirely possible that Westminster, or at least Downing Street, is in the pockets of the bankers, and in return for inaction they get bankrolled. The second point that comes into clearer view is that if we depend on Westminster to ensure a fair, honest and decent financial sector, then we are living in a fool’s paradise. And the third inference we can make is that this is just one more bit of evidence that the UK is a failed state.

I spent a long time working in South East Asia, and observed at first hand, in places like Indonesia and Malaysia, the deadly effects of corruption. Make no mistake, this is absolutely no time for timid pussyfooting around the problem.

The only way to tackle corruption is to root it out, from top to bottom, without fear or favour and to spare no effort or anyone’s feelings with a relentless, even at times apparently savage intent. We do not need an enquiry.

As Mr. Cameron and the Governor of the Bank of England say, we know very well what went wrong and what has to be done to fix it. The acid test is if Westminster will do the things they know are necessary or whether they defer to the fat-cats in the City.

The final conclusion I draw from this dreadful mess, is that anyone in Scotland who thinks it is a good plan to link Scotland to this corrupt UK needs to wake up. It is rather proof positive that Scotland is in danger of being dragged down by Westminster and London corruption and incompetence.

Better as far apart as possible in terms of government I should say.


# John Souter 2012-07-03 16:23
Better together -the happy marriage of Liebour & Libor.

Now, and this is Osborne's dilemma we wait for the repercussions on the UKs favoured interest rates on its bond issues?
# McHaggis 2012-07-03 17:05
Given the death of our manufacturing base during the 70's and 80's, the service sector, including banking became what this country relies upon to attract foreign investment.

The centre of banking in the UK is in London. London is a banking hub that services the whole world.

As far as I am concerned successive UK governments turned a blind eye or actively encouraged rampant capitalism in the sector to ensure London retained its place as a world banking centre.

Better together? with this level of stinking corruption?

Westminster is a cesspit.

How many more corruption scandals have to erupt before more than around 40% of Scots say "enough is enough"?
# UpSpake 2012-07-03 17:51
Insightful Alex and straight to the point. The status quo cannot be allowed to exist and the failure of Westminster and the political machine to handle this is due mostly to the fact that much of them, the bankers and the politicians went to the same schools/universities and joined the same clubs. Old loyalties die hard and protecting the old boys rife.
How many of the rotten Liebor core probably have been promised board positions on these criminal banks and probably are being retained as we speak as paid 'consultants' why don't we ask them ?.
Watch for Brown, in a few years to be on the board of some of them, Darling too for that part. They are all corrupt and incompetent but once you are a member of the club, the boys rally around !.
# gus1940 2012-07-03 18:30
Darling seems to have flipped again and taken up residence in the secret location where Labour hide Lamont between her obligatory appearance each week at FMQ's.

As the much lauded leader of Better Together he seems to have been struck dumb and vanished.
# naemairleesplease 2012-07-03 19:30
He was interviewed on channel 4 news earlier this evening.
# Jim Johnston 2012-07-03 20:42
Thanks nmlp.

Darling kind of let slip that "up to the financial crisis" he was well aware that the banks were rigging lending rates. I doubt that he ever understood the implications of what the banks were up to, but he seems to think that at that time,(pre crisis), it was just what banks do. Obviously post crisis, no one sat him down, told him to get the thumb out of his mouth, and explained to him, the massive damage that the banks nice little earner was actually destroying peoples lives and businesses.

It's truly terrifying that numpties like Darling, Brown and Osborne can get anywhere near economics capable of destroying peoples lives.

We now know the bankers are worse than gangsters or drug barons, we always knew many politicians can lie through both sides of their mouth at the same time, but I for one never knew the true horror and misery these two together can bring down on joe publics daily life.
# Albamac 2012-07-03 23:42
"We now know the bankers are worse than gangsters or drug barons, we always knew many politicians can lie through both sides of their mouth at the same time"

and we all know that the 'outraged' masses will continue to support both through the ballot box and the bank account.

That's why I've lost interest in online discussions.
# Macart 2012-07-03 21:17
Oh, this'll leave a mark in the morning.

Incompetence, complicity or both?

Blair - Brown - Darling - Balls, these names will figure prominently in the months to come.

Vote YES and clean house.
# graememcallan 2012-07-04 00:40
Agreed, Macart - a YES vote will allow us a fresh start and the opportunity to write our own constitution and get rid of the dead wood/institutions holding us back - what's not to like about that chance?
# Macart 2012-07-04 05:58
Were it down to me I'd have a far more Augean solution to the whole sorry mess graeme. The thought of diverting the Thames through Westminster has certain appeal.

I can't believe that after so many scandals, the open troughing from expenses through to cash for access, that people would still vote to stay tied to this thoroughly corrupt and corrupting establishment. If they put FFA on the table tomorrow, I'd still vote for the off. I don't believe there is any reform, any mitigating circumstance, any amount of contrition which would persuade me to vote for retention of this union.

With a new fully empowered parliament and a shiny new constitution to keep it in check we have a chance to put things right and get people involved and invested in their future.

Now where's me shovel.
# call me dave 2012-07-04 16:44
Quoting: Macart:

The thought of diverting the Thames through Westminster has certain appeal.

Love it!
# maxstafford 2012-07-04 10:26
I have absolutely no knowledge of financial mechanisms but I wonder; would it be possible for people to set up new, 'good' banks to provide traditional services for the honest working public, away from London's institutional criminality?
# UpSpake 2012-07-04 11:40
Maxstafford. Look no further than Airdrie Savings Bank. Last of a long dead breed !. Luckily we still have the DNA !.
# Kiltshy 2012-07-04 15:58
The SNP need to look at linking our independent currency to the uk pound, I would rather have it linked to the US Dollar or maybe even have our own currency, don't forget we have the oil to back up our own currency. Make no mistake this Libor interest rate mess is making headlines all over the world as the worlds banks look at libor when dealing with other banks where ever they are in the world.
# rhymer 2012-07-05 11:29
To all those murder / football / celebrity gossip readers out there
- please note that other news sources are reporting on the cheating and the lies that the city of London and Westminster have been telling for years now.
You have been warned (You may now return to page 3)
# lochside 2012-07-05 22:45
Johnny Rotten on QT tonight was doing well at slagging the whole Westminster/Wall street cartel until he demonstrated a side that many of the English celebrity elite (and not so elite) seem to have: braying about how inclusive they are and then poking a racist stick at the Scots, by implying we wouldn't have elected a First Minister, if he 'was English'. Needless to say Dimblebore did not chide him in any way.
# Adrian B 2012-07-06 03:01
RIP Jonny Rotten. You are now part of the establishment. Call yourself the antichrist, no you are just a pawn. I hope that you now understand your place in history.

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