It is staggering that the Treasury's package for a banking bail out does not involve the appointment of directors to manage those banks will received tr he funds.
What the government is asking for is the same as Paulson asked for in the USA: money for banks without accountability.
This failed in the USA, and rightly so. It must fail here. When the government provides the capital of banks; when the government provides the guarantees that keep them going; when the government has to act because it is clear that the management of banks have failed they cannot ignore their responsibility to the people of this country to hold those managements accountable for what they do with that cash.
To suggest that this can simply be done by limiting the pay of directors and limiting their dividends is simply unacceptable. What we are seeing is the failure of democratic accountability as the resources of the state are passed to an elite in society who will be allowed to use them as they will. That cannot be allowed to happen. The state cannot deny the responsibility it has in this way.
I heard George Osborne speaking about this a short term again. He was ridiculously weak: he would offer no opinion on interest rates and said as Chancellor he would have no control over them. And he had no clue as to what he wanted of this banking deal apart from the limitation of bonuses: which is ridiculous.
Now Alastair Darling is speaking and is saying for shares we get dividends. That is ludicrous. They are loss making now. And shareholding is ownership. There is no indication of the responsibility that comes with ownership here. He can't even agree dividends if he has no representation on the board.
Mass opposition to this move has to happen. very soon.
And John Humphreys is asking Alastair Darling is asking the Chancellor the right question now: how can you force the banks to change. And as he points out there is no pressure in here to make them do anything. He's right: it's not good enough. Now we have to have influence.