As the Guardian and others have reported:
Labour has pledged to “unashamedly champion” the UK's financial services sector, as it promised to cut down 10,000 pages of regulations and ruled out a windfall tax on bank profits.
The detail of this story does not matter, largely because there is little of it. This is a story about Labour policy after all: beyond a headline, there is never anything very much to one of those.
But what we do know is that:
- Labour intends to slash City regulation.
- It will not tax banks more.
- Bankers' bonus caps would not be reinstated.
- It will be demanding 350 free banking hubs in the UK - so one for roughly every 120,000 adult people, which is obviously (not) going to solve the problem of access to free banking services.
- It wants UK resident people to invest a lot more in shares, even though we know this almost never delivers new funding for investment.
Politely, this is gross irresponsibility.
It not only makes Labour a cheerleader for the sector that has done more than any other to bring the country to its current dire state but also closes another route to tax and simultaneously abandons the duty the government has to provide people with the banking and savings services that they need so that their money is safe.
What does this feel like? Gordon Brown in about 2005 is what this feels like, and he, of course, helped create the crash of 2008 and all that followed by his own responsibility in this area.
I can't quite believe that Labour is stupid enough not to learn even the most basic lesson from its own history, but apparently, it has not. In my opinion, the deep-seated lure of securing a well-paid job in the City after being in office does, even now and before Labour has got into office, lead them to appease the sector that needs most of all to be reformed if the economy of this country is going to serve the needs of the people who live within it.
I really do despair of them. Stupidity of this sort is off the scale that I thought it possible to measure.
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