Royal Bank of Somewhere

TN4-HESTER.JPGBy Mike Small

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.

Scotsman-Klan-AlbaIn 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.

 

 

 

1) Treanor, Jill (5 November 2008). “RBS chief’s £11.1m salary deal revealed”The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 8 August 2009.



Categories: Commentary

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22 replies

  1. Thanks Mike, a timely reminder that it is our democratic free will that is being undermined here.

    Share this article far and wide everyone.

  2. Having these mega-banks headquartered elsewhere is no bad thing. It would remove the issue of their liabilities being too great for a state the scale of Scotland to stand behind. They’re London-based in all but name anyway, so that may as well be formalised to complete the picture.

    All that really matters is the jobs. More on this in my blog post last month: http://haivers.com/?p=75

    As regards the charge of fascism – what brass neck! Pot, kettle & black. I blogged on that same point yesterday: http://haivers.com/?p=143

    The mistake they make is thinking that this loud noise will work.

  3. What’s happening now should make it clear to people that Britain is run by corporate elites and they won’t go down without a fight. What did we expect?

  4. Just saw the “Skintland” map – unbelievable.

    The financial jitters are entirely of the UK Govt’s making. They have had 2 years to take their case to Scots and hammer out a constitutional deal which they could have sold to the whole UK to keep it together – if they cared so much about union. Instead, they’ve done so little democracy in the last 2 years that they’ve proved to us all the truth of the SNP’s critique of Westminster.

  5. They cannot, must not be allowed to dictate our future. The media is a done deal, their day is almost over and that rag the Scotsman is closer to the precipice than most. I’ll lose no sleep over their demise after their actions throughout this referendum.

    The financial institutions though need to make a decision. Stay or go I care not which at this point, but whatever they decide they better be aware that consequences swing both ways. Investors and custom can pull out of banks faster than any bank can pull out of Scotland.

    • Nature behoves a vacuum Mac and so true about the customers pulling out faster than the banks can, see Husband Andrew Brown’s comment below. We have been going to do this for a while, nearly went when the Banks collapsed but as we would have joined the Co-operative we had a lucky escape. The Royal Bank used to be a decent bank, could it be going to London ruined it. We got £100 in compensation this year for their bad service.

      • Had an update on the banking. Basically they are moving their registry, not their operation. Still the way it has been spun by the media has been appalling. The FM though picked up on something that will leave you cheering. BBC humiliated in front of the worlds press – I kid you not.

  6. Macart763, spot on. A vote for independence is for good. Corporate relocations will only be ‘needed’ to calm the market’s jitters until it is seen that Scotland does have a reliable economy. It is short-termism and nothing to worry about.
    Last weekend, the pound fell … to a 10-month low. I’m surprised that was all. So, like oil, currencies fall and rise and fall and rise, depending upon myriad global circumstances and events. Who is worried? Not me.

    • Correcto.

      Right now they’re behaving like their own worst enemy. Markets react even to loose language and sound bite. If shares and prices are fluctuating its not because of a referendum, but because of what certain eejits in parliament and the banking sector are saying and doing within the referendum. Its a stupid and unnecessary gamble on their part and its put peoples money and livelihoods at risk. And all so they can attempt to influence a democratic vote. If anything they are underlining the urgent need for change of the system.

  7. Reblogged this on Bampots Utd and commented:
    Don’t let them frighten u vote yes for a brighter future for all !

  8. Pardon the Jim Sillars / Pat Kane / et al reference and remember that from 07:00 to 22:00 on 18th September 2014, YOU, every registered voter, have the power of sovereignty over our country. Your pencil has the power to decide the future of Scotland.

  9. Just closed our joint bank account with the Royal Bank which we’ve had for over 40 years. Apart from reacting badly to being bullied I don’t want my money handled by an organization that cannot cope with change. I also submitted a complaint and suggested that they might like to leave for England today and restyle themselves the Royal Bank of North British Cringers.

  10. Coming thick and fast now. The lies, the threats, the warnings, the empty promises. The sneers, the jeers, the insults, the condescension, the sheer contempt.

    They’re trying to bludgeon us into submission. We want to grasp the future; they want to pull us back.

    I’m still voting Yes.

    Vote Yes to Scottish independence on September 18 and begin to build a better life for coming generations.

  11. oh the shits is coming thick and fast now sky news 2.30 comment from asda cant remember the exact comment but more or less said nothing it was along the lines of we operate in many different markets so our business plan would have to be altered to suit the country we operate in and that was news give us a break the spin from sky was doom doom doom this lot think we are all f/n dumb i mean for f/f sake

  12. The story of the British State has been rumbled. It has all been a sham. We were just too close the shelves to see the Fiction sign above.

  13. Great article as usual Mike. You see through these people like I do. They are throwing a pathetic tantrum and beating their chests like dominance animals who do not want us to vote per se! Anti-democratic forces trying to intimidate and cause fear and panic. They have committed a national breach of the Peace in Scotland like thugs who would send salesmen to the doors of elderly ladies and men to scream at them You Will Lose Your Pension if you Vote Yes! They are beneath my contempt. They are overpaid fact-cats who think they can rule like the Feudal Elites. Democracy is coming, to Caledonia and they dont like it. Let’s create a maximum wage and if the fat cats wants to leave, we shall sing together So Long, it’s been good to know you………….

  14. They are showing in full animated, loud-mouthed, technicolour the type of state and society we want to leave behind. Independence is not merely for its own sake, but to build a new type of government and democracy that values all who stay here, rather than one which jeers and insults us because we know we can do so much better than under the present rotten system. Better together ! Just listen to what’s being said and done, and it’s evident that we’re not. It has to be YES.

  15. If RBS released this story as a scare-factor, then they are trying to influence the democratic process, which is invidious, unethical, and what one might expect from a company which caused so much financial grief in trying to swell its own coffers. If, on the other hand, it’s the Westminster government – as the RBS paymaster – who is using this story, then that’s also unethical and yet another chip off any residual trust. Either way, a spin. And dodgy dealing on the value of RBS shares. Personally, I’m closing my RBS account.

    But it’s also interesting that the BBC still thinks banks and bankers are people to be listened to. After all, corporate greed is still running high.

  16. Sir Philip Hampton CEO of the RBS was finance director of British Steel in 1992 when Ravenscraig closed with the loss of over 10,000 jobs. That closure was politically motivated – perhaps RBS recent announcement about closing their head office in Scotland – with the loss of 10 jobs – is also politically motivated. Should we mention that RBS was bailed-out by tax payers to the tune of nearly £50 Billion. Ex CEO Stephen Hester left RBS with a George Osbourne sanctioned £1.6 Million leaving package – some of which will no doubt be donated back to the Conservatie Party…Hester being one of their many very, very rich banker donors.

  17. Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    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.

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