Royal Bank of Somewhere
In 2012 Lesley Riddoch wrote: “We are currently witnessing the collapse of de-regulated Britain. All we can anticipate is a welter of sticking plaster solutions when we need fundamental change. Radical change requires firmly held, widely shared moral beliefs so that any new reforming government is empowered to avoid shortcuts and dispense with stop-gap solutions. Britain needs a New Deal. But only the Scottish part of British society may be capable of seriously considering or delivering it.”
This remains true today.
So let’s not be surprised when the financial institutions WE bailed out – not some remote British Government – not the English electorate – not the big warm embrace of UK:OK fiscal probity – let’s not be surprised when they turn around and try to intimidate us.
Never forget that every household in Scotland bailed them out for their greed and incompetence.
Lest we forget, how much was that again?
RBS received a £46 billion bail-out in 2008 and 2009. That’s RBS that is 81 per cent owned by taxpayers (you and me). That’s who is threatening you this morning for the very temerity to consider democracy in your country.
That’s RBS that squandered every penny of taxpayers’ rescue cash after racking up £46 billion in losses since the financial crisis. That equated to more than £1,500 for every taxpayer in the UK.
So, it’s these guys (who are apparently headquartered in London anyway) who we are being asked to consider as shrewd and wise financial experts and as a rock of security.
That’s the banking and financial sector still mired in bonus culture, still paying obscene salaries to people who have failed and failed again.
The Memory Hole is hard at work this morning. Remember Tony Curzon Price writing: “Britain really did become a large hedge-fund with a small country attached to it. No country in the world faces as large an imbalance as we do, and rebalancing will take much more than resignations. Or public inquiries.”
According to the IMF, the British stuck £1.2 trillion behind the finance sector. Read that again: well over a trillion pounds in bailouts, and loans and state guarantees on bankers’ trading.
These are the people threatening you this morning.
A few other facts worth recalling. In 2013 RBS chairman, Sir Philip Hampton, described the day RBS was fined £390 million for widespread misconduct – as “a sad day for banking”. In 2010 Stephen Hester was given a two million pounds bonus in the midst of the LIBOR rigging. This is a man on a staggering £11.1 million salary. (1)
They never worked in your interest and they never had your interests at heart, so it’s not a huge surprise.
Neither is it a shock to the system that The Scotsman has announced it’s support for the No campaign this morning. Despite desperate efforts to pretend that they were a balanced mix of value-free news and comment, the paper has been part of the downward-spiral of mainstream news for years.
In April last year it’s sister paper Scotland on Sunday deliberately linked fascism, Scottish nationalism and the white supremacists of the Klu Lux Klan. That was an extraordinary departure for a newspaper outlet. They wrote:
“Today, the ruling party of Scotland has nationalism as its creed and is suspiciously coy about its own history. Elsewhere in the nationalist family, the BNP, before it plunged into fratricidal warfare, trounced the Far Left in recent Scottish elections and, in 2010, received a respectable 1,000 votes in Alex Salmond’s stamping ground of Banff and Buchan.
To this should be added growing sympathy for the agenda of Ukip. The Scottish electorate now appears more receptive to radical nationalism than Mosley’s blackshirts could ever dream of.”
This was a piece titled “uncomfortable truths in Fascist Scotland”, a smear and possibly Scottish journalism’s lowest point.
The Scotsman are not alone nor are they unique. They are entitled to their editorial views, just like every other news outlet in the country, bar one.
You’ll remember the Economist’s wonderful Skintland map? The question on everybody’s lips has been ‘where is the money going to come from?’ This has always been the wrong question. The real question is where does the money go to?
So there’s nothing new today. The full forces of the media and financial elite are ranged against us. They were yesterday and they will be tomorrow.
Don’t be intimidated. On Sept 18th these rich and powerful people only get one vote, same as you and me.
Remember: with Great Responsibility Comes Great Power.