Holding bankers, doctors, business executives, MPs, police, media to account must lead to sacking/prison in worst cases

August 23rd, 2014

Once again it is instructive how they do things in the US, the citadel of capitalism, which is so very different from the secretive British State which protects its elites even from their worst wrongdoings.   The Bank of America has just been fined $16.7bn for misleading investors in its mortgage-backed securities, a colossal sum which vastly exceeds any penalties imposed on UK banks which were paltry by comparison, even though they were guilty of exactly the same malfeasance.   But there were two other codicils attached to the Bank of America settlement which have been singularly absent from the UK.   One is that the bank is now required to pay $7bn in consumer relief to communities still struggling to recover from the housing crisis the bank caused.   It is required to reduce the mortgages of homeowners in negative equity and to reimburse some who incure higher tax bills as a result.   Why is the same not being imposed on the Big 4 UK banks – HSBC, Barclays, RBS and Lloyds?   The other crucial point about the Bank of America judgement was that it specifically “did not preclude any criminal charges against the bank or its employees”.   Indeed Angelo Mozilo, chief executive of Countrywide Financial taken over by Bank of America, is currently subject to a new investigation by prosecutors.

By comparison, in Britain no banker has been sacked and disqualified from financial office, let alone prosecuted and, if convicted, sent to prison.   At the same time in Britain any unemployed individual on benefit who is 5 minutes late for a work programme or who misses a job interview because he was in hospital, has all his benefits stopped for 4 weeks and is left penniless, or for 3 months for a second ‘offence’.   Destitution for a relatively petty ‘offence’ in the latter case, and impunity for helping to tank the UK economy in the former case.   The class disparity is as stark as it is outrageous.   I am writing to the UK Financial Conduct Authority to seek similar penalties for bankers in this country as is now being required in the US.

The same should apply to business and media executives and all senior professionals like doctors, police and judges, MPs, civil servants, lawyers and accountants.   A doctor who misses a diagnosis that as a result leads to death, where it is found subsequently that the evidence for a true diagnosis was clearly available but ignored, should in the absence of mitigating conditions be liable to dismissal on the grounds that such a person cannot be trusted in future in such a sensitive position.   The same should apply to hospital staff who fail to abide by agreed medical procedures and it subsequently leads to death.   Business and media executives who grossly abuse their role to the severe detriment of the public interest should be prosecuted and, if convicted, made to lose their jobs and in the worst cases jailed.   In the case of police, MPs, civil servants, lawyers and accountants, a set of public standards needs to be laid down, and where these standards are grossly abused, the same procedure of prosecution, disqualification, and where justified a custodial penalty should be imposed.

Accountability in Britain has virtually collapsed and it urgently needs to be robustly restored.

3 Responses to “Holding bankers, doctors, business executives, MPs, police, media to account must lead to sacking/prison in worst cases”

  1. jeffrey davies Says:

    you are joking they in bed with the fraudsters they take their monies just like my earlier post on this they get backhanders the labour get union dues

  2. J.P. Craig-Weston Says:

    I find it strange that instead of advocating a more relaxed and less vindictive approach to unemployed people claiming befits for example, your declaiming this kind hysterical twaddle again.

    Get the all bad guys.

    Well yes, by all means let’s have another, witch hunt.

    We could start with Tony Blair and move on to most, (many,) of our MPs, (apparently.)

    What are the chances?

    The major banks are still largely insolvent and heavily dependent on tax payer subsidies in various forms to support their profits so all that would happen, (this has happened already and more than once will the rescued banks,) is that any such fine that was levied would probably end up being paid by tax payer or by their customers as increased charges, (this certainly happened with Osborne’s levy on the energy companies, which was thus immediately nullified, when he first became chancellor.)

    The vendetta against the Murdoch press gets increasing tired and lame, particularly when print is declining so massively anyway.

    Again, you say all this about the medical profession, but the culture of secrecy and lack of transparency and accountability that prevailed at Mid Staffs for example was completely endorsed by all our senior politicians among others Labour’s current Shadow Secretary of Health, Andy Burnham, (who wanted the Francis Inquiry t be held in secret like 3 others inquiries that preceded it.)

    There is story about the an chief constable of Manchester from the turn of century concerning bookies runners, (gambling was then illegal,) that goes:

    One day one of the main bookies asked to visit the chief constable to complain about the number of police officers on the take.

    The chief constable said OK fair enough give me all their names and I’ll see to it they’re all dealt with.

    So the bookie gives him a list of the names of the bent police officers which CC looks at and says, well no real surprises there, we’ve had our eye on these officers for a while now.

    Then he gives him a second list, which is somewhat more surprising but still not entirely unexpected, well I’ll admit we’ve had a few doubts about some of these men but nothing concrete until now, but OK thank you I’ll deal with it.

    Then he produces a third list, which the chief constable reads and then goes white, you do know that these are some of my most senior and respected officers do really accuse them of being bent, think very carefully.

    The bookie says yes and I can prove it.

    The then chief constable pauses for a long moment and they tells him, I’m sorry but I really can’t help you, I wish that I could.

    In a climate where the likes Stephen Green, Blair and far too many other like them are increasingly unapologetic about lording it over rest of despite all their well attested, “lapses,” what hope is there for anyone less wealthy, less professionally represented or well connected of getting fairness or justice.

  3. J.P. Craig-Weston Says:

    The turn of the 19th century.

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