Hands off our banks! Neelie Kroes decrees that Britain must split and sell rescued banks now!

Chris Neal outlines his tax payers’ revolt.

In October 2008 Messrs Brown and Darling assured the British tax payer that we had a reasonable chance of recouping or even making a profit on the £50 billion plus we were pumping into rescuing our banks. Sweden was held up as an example of how this was possible from the state rescue of their banks in 1992. In actuality, Swedish tax payers only recouped about half of their ‘investment’.

The Swedes did not have to deal with an unelected Brussels official able to mete out decrees based on stringent European Commission rules on competition and state aid. Dear Neelie Kroes (pronounced Nelly Crows) has it seems now told Darling that he must sell. Even yesterday Alistair Darling told us that he would take a “longer term view” in selling the state owned banks selling only when “the price is right” and “It’s not going to happen tomorrow morning but it is going to happen over the next three or four years”. He went on to say this “Because the taxpayer had to put a lot of money in to stabilise the system, equally the taxpayer ought to get that money back.”

Quite right Alistair, glad you’ve worked that out.

Nelly last week almost ended the hopes of Lloyds essential capital raising dangling her Damaclesian sword by threatening to impose draconian conditions on UK banks rescued by the government. Nelly has a loud whistle and loves nothing more than to interfere in the game by blowing for penalties and describes herself thus “My job is about acting as referee. If we think of the European economy as a football match, I set and enforce the rules of the game. We make sure it is a fair match and that there is punishment for people and companies that break the rules and spoil the game for others.” I couldn’t but help notice her use of the Royal “we”!

I have no problem with correct controls being in place to protect and encourage competition and can see the justification for a Competition as well as a Monopolies and Mergers Commission. It may well be good for competition to see the British banks split. What is implicitly wrong here is that the timing imposed by this unelected unaccountable Brussels official is likely to cost U.K. tax payers billions by not waiting until the recovery is complete. Why should Nelly have the right to interfere in this way?

The suitors are made up of foreign banking groups, large retailers and I expect Virgin, will we see Spain’s BBA, a Chinese bank, Tesco or maybe Sir Richard smiling broadly as we are forced to sell more of our Crown jewels? They will be buying British tax payer assets at knock down prices and able to make billions out of us going forward.

The Tax Payers’ Revolt

Nelly, Alistair, and Gordon need to be told that they are our banks so please get your hands off!

If you intend to give them away then give them to us, the tax payer, the shareholders and the customers of all the composite parts.

We want a nationwide mutual and by the way we want the Post Office as well!

Our business model would ensure current accounts have 100% deposit cover and savers can choose to lend their money via mutual funds that lend to businesses or individuals within our community responsibly.

We will go to tender to appoint the management of our bank to an operator in exchange for 15% of our net profits, establish a community charity fund with 10% and share the remaining 75% amongst ourselves.

The European Question

New Labour have emasculated Parliament, led us into a federalist interfering European state that preaches democracy but is anything but and betrayed us by denying us the promised referendum and for what purpose? Could it be to elevate Blair and Milliband as European President and Foreign Minister, unelected, unaccountable and even more uncontrollable, or to leave any future British Government and Parliament with no more power than a local authority beholden to top down dictates from Brussels by the same people who have presided over the last twelve years? Neelie Kroes is just one example of how Europe will impose its will.

Tim Montgomerie wrote this weekend on Conservative Home:

I’m told to expect a “muscular” response to Lisbon’s ratification and a manifesto commitment to fight for repatriation of key powers from Brussels. One member of the shadow cabinet told me that ‘we don’t need a mandate to renegotiate from a referendum… A manifesto mandate will be just as good’. CCHQ is worried that a referendum could easily become about issues other than Europe. ‘Imagine,’ said one key official at CCHQ, ‘if we are in the middle of very, very difficult budget cuts. The unions and our political opponents would urge voters to use the referendum to kick the Tory government in the teeth. A manifesto mandate is safer, cleaner, less distracting.

This has to be the correct way to deal with Brussels as once the Constitution/Treaty is ratified then it is indeed a case of stable door, horse bolted. If all else fails then I have found one clause in the treaty to encourage my classic liberal colleagues “the Treaty of Lisbon explicitly recognises for the first time the possibility for a Member State to withdraw from the Union.”

Oh for Cromwell to wander into Parliament and confront this Labour Government with an updated version of his speech from 20th April 1653:

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of our democracy, and defiled by your practice of top down government; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country to the Brussels federalists for a mess of pottage and a title; and like a Judas betray your Queen and country for a few pieces of money; is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you?

Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more sense of democracy than my horse; you have sold our Gold; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for the whips? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d Parliament into a den of impotent lickspittles, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves become the greatest grievance. Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do; I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place; go, get you out! Make haste!

Ye venal slaves be gone, not to Brussels by Eurostar but to your shires to beg the forgiveness of the people you purport to represent! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!

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