Pre-Election Labour cover-up becomes constitutional crisis because LibDems also Bank with CoOp
Brown, Balls, Darling, Cable and Osborne implicated
Bailin proposal will stuff innocent older people on smaller incomes
If ever there was a scandal to demonstrate how none of the three main UK Parties care about any of us, this one is it. Sources close to the team working round the clock to reconstruct the Cooperative Bank say this tight group is facing a huge dilemma on several fronts – and yet not a squeak is emerging from the multiply-mouthed MPs at Westminster. The Slog analyses why.
In an unbelievable tale of perfidy, cover-up and backside protection, the situation at the effectively insolvent Cooperative Bank is threatening to drag several senior MPs into a scandal which may well, before its finished, wind up forcing the taxpayer to State-subsidise the funds of two Parties – Labour and the LibDems – in 2015 Election. This is what I’ve argued for over seven long years, but the manner in which this could come about is well beyond disgraceful….and currently, unconstitutional.
Everyone involved in this series of mendacities comes out of it minus any pretensions to dignity. And it reaffirms more than ever the need for an apolitical organisation like the UFD to start applying pressure on the reptiles in charge of Britain.
The story starts at the Financial Service regulator (FSA) during 2008 when, despite the fact that most High Street banks at the time were close to the edge and facing near-certain ruin, the Coop gaily carried on paying dividends and underwriting the activities of the Coop’s supermarkets suffering from intense price competitition. An insider at the time reports that “there was no way either the regulator or the Treasury and the Bank of England could have failed to notice the Coop’s inexplicable behaviour.”
Where the chicken and egg positions lay at this time is a matter of conjecture. Some believe Alistair Darling didn’t want a “cooperative” bank being seen to fail, others that Gordon Brown was the prime mover in turning a blind eye to it and applying massive pressure to the FSA. But one thing seems certain based on most accounts: Ed Balls was (and is) a Coop sponsored MP, and he knew that 30 or more others were. He made it aggressively clear to all the parties involved in the Labour Movement that the end of the Coop would be the end of the Labour Party as a solvent political influence.
So everything was to look normal. The Coop was married off to the Britannia Building Society, presenting the two of them as strong players free of the neoliberal banking madness. In fact, Britannia’s real situation was awful. But Balls, 32 Labour MPs, Unity Bank - and all the Trade Unions of any size – were mightily relieved. So too were Nick Clegg’s LibDems, who also bank with the Coop.
And so an election came, with a limpwristed Tory campaign forcing them into a Coalition of convenience with Clegg’s minority Party. Thus former Labour man and Libdem economic spokesman Vince Cable became Business Minister. He too was desperate to save the Coop, and taking over the Lloyds branches (after the EU’s competitiveness/monopoly intervention) seemed like manna from Heaven: the Coop could be bunged support funds on the grounds of helping the bank bailout in general.
David Cameron didn’t want a bankrupt Coalition partner. George Osborne didn’t want more banking trouble….and his LibDem cohort Danny Alexander didn’t want to lose his funding either. And of course, the Labour Party remained as frightened as ever….thus, as silent as the grave.
This entire mess has become the Scandal that Dare not Speak its Name at Westminster. But with the coming of the Coalition, the Coop crisis is today a constitutional crisis waiting to happen…if it were to be nationalised.
But it isn’t going to be nationalised: there’s going to be a bailin. Just like Cyprus.
The bailin is not just a ‘preferred’ method of solving the problem: it is the only way of saving both the Government and the Opposition’s necks. Vince Cable has been forced to accept that, if nationalised, the Cooperative Bank would belong to the State….and the State would thus be underwriting all the debts, deposits, pensions, donations and election funding of the Labour Party, the entire trade union movement, and the LibDems.
What should really happen here is that the depositors should be protected, and the creditors’ interests sold off. But in the current environment, there wouldn’t be any buyers. So we’re going to have a bailin….and this is going to be disastrous for tens of thousands of Labour and older voters who have, all their lives, trusted in the honesty and probity of the Cooperative Movement.
The situation is that, as per the template that never was (but now is in perpetuity) the bondholders take the brunt of the haircut. But the bondholders in this case are – research has now shown – older, downmarket people aged 70+ who have nothing beyond their Coop Bank deposits apart from the State pension.
Since the General Election, the debt allegedly owed to the Coop by both Labour and the LibDems has become beyond belief – another cover-up of gigantic proportions. 25 Labour MPs are sponsored by the Coop, and a further 90 by the Unite Union. 158 Labour MPs in total are members of trade unions banking with the Cooperative.
To save the Coalition and Labour Party necks, older innocent citizens are to be wiped out.
To save the faces of Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, David Cameron, and George Osborne, thousands will lose their savings.
Now let’s put all this into some kind of recent-history perspective.
From 2005-2008 – cognisant of the coming crash via George Brown and the Treasury/BoE pronouncements in private – senior Whitehall and Local Government Mandarins basically cooked up the biggest insider-trading scam in history. They illegally awarded themselves massively increased pension pay-outs.
From 2008 until the present day, both New Labour and the Tory Party have acquiesced in the de facto bankruptcy of Britain by turning a blind eye to banking bonuses, derivatives and other jiggery-pokery; bailed out banks and rebuilt them at the taxpayers’ expense…while watching their employees continue to take massive bonuses; and helped banks like RBS steal from and otherwise defraud the entrepreneurial future of the country.
Now we see that, having loaded both the Coop and Nationwide banks with politically face-saving debt, the Westminster shower propose to stuff their own citizens in order to avoid a constitutional Party funding crisis….and avoid threatening the livelihoods of around 160 MPs and Trade Union bosses.
We cannot trust any of these self-serving, idiotic nasties. They act only in the interest of their tribes and their sugar daddies. Without an Unaligned Front for Decency (UFD) or something similarly apolitical, we are going to lose both our livelihoods and our assets to save their worthless arses.
Footnote: Someone on the Left I admire has pointed out that the reference to ‘Golf Club’ in relation to the legal UFD entity sounds especially off-putting. Let me reassure everyone that, from Nigel Farage downwards, nobody of the rabid Golf Club sectarian tendency would be welcome in the UFD. It is meant to be culturally radical, not politically revolutionary. It is trying to arrive at something more in keeping with Nelson Mandela’s dignity than Pol Pot’s insanity. It is merely using the same egalitarian mutualist form as a golf club: any other resemblance is highly unlikely.