Wednesday, 7 December 2011

In whose interest?

In response to sustained pressure from his own backbenchers, David Cameron has strongly stated that whilst his top priority for the Euro summit is to find a solution for the Eurozone, he will veto any changes which threaten the UK’s interests.  So far, so good; it’s difficult to argue against that in principle.
What’s a lot harder to see is how a failure to achieve a solution to the crisis can possibly be more in the interests of the UK than being prepared to yield a little.  And for the Prime Minister even to talk in the terms he’s been using almost invites the speculators to continue betting on a failure to reach an agreement.
But what’s least clear of all to me is how he is deciding what is, and what is not, in the interests of the UK.  It seems to boil down to protecting the rights of the speculators and gamblers to continue the sort of activities which have done so much damage over such a lengthy period.  And protecting their interests is not at all the same thing as protecting the UK’s interests – in fact, there are plenty of people who might suggest that the two are actually in direct conflict.
It makes for good rhetoric, and cheers up his own supporters (including those people in the City who make such generous donations to the Conservative Party), but it will surely look to many as though he is prepared to go on sacrificing the interests of the many so that the few can continue to enrich themselves at our expense.

8 comments:

Welsh Agenda said...

I heard the report on Radio 4 nerws this morning which used the terms 'protecting the UK's national interest' and 'protecting the City of London' interchangebly.

I reckon they got it about right.

Siônnyn said...

You are right - Cameron is almost alone these days in opposing the Robin Hood tax, yet he has nailed his colours to the mast on that one. The tiny transaction charges would not, as he says, affect pension funds and private investors, who buy and hold, but rather those speculators who - often electronically - buy and sell securities of large value hundreds of times in a day just to cream off a tiny margin. This tax would remove the profit.

Spirit of BME said...

Little “Spliff” Cameron is not deciding anything on this issue.
Leave aside what is reported in the State media, I dined with some “chaps” in the city yesterday and to them it’s very simple.
Cameron (like all politicians) in this crisis are political clerks, that have to devise a model that does not impinge on the City ability to make money. The idea that some “foreign financial basket cases –their words, could legislate and govern their activity is a not on. The idea that the Papal States + Greece would embrace the Protestant work ethic is a nonstarter;-we are more likely to see the Pope marry Madonna first, modern Greece has been in default for 50% of its existence and Italy not far behind. So, the City and Wall Street will make the decisions.
Now, these chaps are not against monetary union ,tax harmonisation or a super state, they will defend to the end the Union of England, Scotland and what is left of Ireland, but they reverse this principle when it comes to the EU and the reason is that what governs the British model is that English Paramountcy prevails. So, let’s not call it “UK interests” its English interests that Little Spliff is there to defend.

You mean there's more??? said...

Quite

Anonymous said...

Protecting the City from over regulation would appear to be one of the main reasons for the Con Dems in drawing this red line in their negotiations with the rest of our partners in Europe. Is this the same City that created the the financial crisis that we are in? Is it the same city that the FSA is recording upto 30% unexplainable market movements before trading in sensative stock. If we can't regulate it perhaps we should look to the EU to initiate some action as it is clear our current government will not act and the previous one was terrified of taking on the vested interest associated with the Square Mile.

Siônnyn said...

Only few weeks ago, Cameron was saying that he was not against a transaction tax, but it would have to be universally adopted. Now that Europe seem intent on introducing it universally in Europe, he has done a U Turn.

It is disturbing to think that the PM of the UK confuses the national interest with the interest of his most munificent Bankster tory donors.

Boncath said...

John
It is not unusual
One tends to forget that politicians tend to look to the future from a very personal prospective.
I suspect that Cameron has taken a good look at his future surrounded as he is by friends and foes within his own party and attached to a coalition which seems perpetually on the brink of falling apart and is already planning his exit strategy -- a nice pension. a job in the City fees for speeches at functions of like minded souls and perhaps a ghost written autobiography
suitably air brushed of course

Dare I mention the Kinnocks and Peter Hain who have also done very nicely out of politics

Cost Benefit analysis applied to politicians tells us that the public bears all the costs while politicians reap all the benefits

Anonymous said...

Contrary to the statements banded about by politicians and the media the UK has never decided not to join the Euro. It was automatically disqualified from joining when the UK crashed out of the ERM. It has never qualified since. Greece falsified it's entry.

The 'veto' which the UK prime minister wielded, not only exempted the UK from a say in the ESM treaty (a stabilisation mechanism to control Euro member state debt) but it also exempted the UK from access to the fiscal coordination and surveillance mechanism associated with it. This means that the UK will be oblivious to any 'shocks' that are foreseen such as defaults, or member state budgetary policies that are processed through this mechanism. Essentially, the ECB will be armed, so will other EU states, even those who sign up to the treaty not in the Euro, but the Bank of England will be blind. In fact the trading floor of the currency speculators and the traders in the London stock exchange will be better informed and wise long before the UK government has a clue about what's occurring.

All the national states of the rest of the EU will be able to reassure the markets in advance that 'this is what we have done', whereas the UK prime minister will be thrown the question of 'what are you doing' across the floor of parliament. His answer will be 'I don't know what's happening'. The markets will act fast, and the UK government will be held to ransom by the very institutions the UK hope to protect. Some profit may be generated by the traders but such activity would not benefit the UK as a whole. What's more the lack of regulation will leave the UK government even more exposed.

The UK is entering very dangerous territory.