The Chancellor’s response to the £1.1bn windfall handed to him by the fine on the banks is a classic in Osborne double-speak. We’re told the money will be “used for the wider public good”. He means tax cuts as an electoral bribe. He says “today we take action to clean up corruption by a few so that we have a financial system that works for everyone”. Today? Why not when the corrupt manipulation of the £3.5 trillion a day foreign exchange markets was uncovered years ago? “Taken action to clean up corruption”? – almost nothing has been done to prevent another banking crash and the foreign exchange market remains, breathtakingly, unregulated. “Corruption by a few”? – the truth is the whole industry was (and still largely is) rotten to the core as the chatroom exchanges between the traders of all the main banks clearly reveal. “A financial system that works for everyone”? – one can only wonder at Osborne’s gall in spitting out a lie with such bravado, which he knows is a lie, and probably knows too that everyone else knows it’s a lie. The bankers’ bonuses, overseas speculation, contrived tax avoidance, and mortgaging of prime property in central London works works in no-one’s interests except their own.
But the Chancellor hadn’t finished the stream of untruth. He went on: “It’s part of a long-term plan that is fixing what went wrong in Britain’s banks and our economy”. Part of a long-term plan? – in that case why is the deficit this year about £100bn instead of the £40bn he predicted in 2010? Fixing what went wrong in Britain’s banks? – what went wrong, among repeated acts of criminality, was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which severed investment (casino) banking from retail banking, and which Osborne himself has latterly refused to put right. Fixing what went wrong in our economy? – what went wrong was the bankers’ ramp which Osborne then massively exacerbated by deploying the dead hand of austerity to deal with the deficit rather than stimulating the economy to pay down the deficit much faster through growth.
No doubt he’ll us in the same vein in the Autumn Statement on 3 December that he’s using the £1bn windfall, or other unfunded giveaways, to plough back increased resources into the NHS, without mentioning that he’s stolen £20bn in cuts out of the NHS in the last 5 years. And no doubt too he’ll tell us that he’s getting tough on the hated bankers even though none of them are being sent to prison for embezzlement and misfeasance on a industrial scale, yet more than a million poor and disabled persons have been sanctioned (i.e. had all their income taken away) for trivial infringements not a billionth the size of the bankers’ corruption. But then, that’s Osborne for you, through and through.