Posts Tagged ‘taxpayer’
Cameron On Cannabis Part 5 is here.
David Cameron’s mistakes about university places, immigration and cannabis have been on my mind over the Easter holiday. Given the huge resources he has to ensure that his information is correct, it’s not really acceptable for our prime minister to be so error prone. If the problem is that his attempts at spin are not working and he’s deliberately telling untruths but being caught out, well perhaps that’s even more worrying.
Whichever may be the case, and I’m ready to give Mr Cameron the benefit of the doubt about his sincerity, we are entitled to call him to account. I decided to give him another prod about the errors and mistakes he’s making about cannabis.
Dear Mr Cameron,
I refer to my last letter of 5th April 2011.
The statements you made about cannabis in your Al Jazeera YouTube interview were inaccurate and misleading. Please will you now correct them?
“Incredibly damaging…very, very toxic…leads to, in many cases, huge mental health problems”
This is simply not true Mr Cameron. Professor Les Iversen, chair of the ACMD, your chief drugs advisor, is on the record, repeatedly, stating that cannabis is very, very low in toxicity and relatively safe. Furthermore, all the experts agree that the risks to mental health are very, very small, certainly much less than alcohol or tobacco.
On the medicinal use of cannabis you said:
“…the science and medical authorities…are free to make independent determinations about that.”
This is also untrue Mr Cameron. The Home Office stands obstinately in the way of medicinal use despite overwhelming, peer reviewed scientific evidence. It denies the relief of a safe and inexpensive medicine to thousands who are trapped in pain, suffering and disability. This is a cruel policy and a disgraceful shame on our nation.
Please will you now correct these untruths Mr Cameron? They were your words. You were not advised by the Home Office. CLEAR represents the interests of at least six million regular users of cannabis in Britain, thousands of whom use it as medicine. We are reasonable, responsible, respectable citizens and taxpayers and we are entitled to insist that our prime minister speaks the truth
Recently, you also spoke misleading words about cannabis and mental health on “Jamie’s Dream School” and you said that “…if you legalise drugs you will make them even more prevalent than they are”, yet this too is contradicted by all the evidence in Portugal, Holland and the USA. Even the No 10 Strategy Unit Drugs Policy Project reported in 2003 that “There is no causal relationship between availability and incidence…problematic drug use is not driven by changes in availability or price.”
This time though you were talking directly to young people, those who your government says it is most important to send the correct message to. Mr Cameron, the only message that government consistently sends to young people is that it does not tell them the truth about drugs.
Please Mr Cameron, we are entitled to expect that you tell the truth and that you correct errors when they are made. These statements were not matters of opinion nor of interpretation, They are determined by scientific evidence. Will you please now correct them?
HSBC’s new chief executive Stuart Gulliver has been awarded a £5.2 million bonus for 2010 on top of his £1 million salary. His predecessor, Michael Geoghegan, gets a £3.8 million bonus on top of a £2 million salary.
It will be little comfort to the taxpayers of Britain that Douglas Flint, HSBC’s chairman, said the group would “not forget” the financial crisis and support from governments around the world, and that they entered 2011 “with humility”. These are crocodile tears of the most insincere and deceitful kind.
Eric Daniels, chief executive of Lloyds, 41% owned by the taxpayer, is to be given a £2 million cash bonus and receive a further £2 million in shares.
This is nothing short of robbery. No one is entitled to earn that amount of money when the survival of their business has been contingent on taxpayer support. Any incentive scheme or agreement which tries to permit such payments is itself fraudulent. If Daniels takes this money he should be arrested, his assets frozen and he should face trial for conspiracy and deception.
The man is a rogue and a charlatan. Nothing he has done is of any real value and even by the corrupt and perverse standards of the banking system, he is a failure. He is entitled to no credit at all for the recovery of Lloyds.
He is another banker robber. No different from a bank robber. He pilfers old people’s savings and cheats hardworking businessmen. Let’s lock him up before he gets away with it!
“There was a period of remorse and apology for banks. I think that period needs to be over.”
If this is what Bob Diamond regards as wisdom then he is stupid as well as deeply unpleasant.
The spectacle of this ostentatious, overpaid and arrogant Yank defending the banker robbers against their richly deserved condemnation is sickening. Almost as sickening as Cameron and his poodle’s capitulation over bonuses. See here for the full story.
We shouldn’t be surprised really. It was too much to expect that integrity and justice should triumph over the greed and corruption of the banks. They are worthless parasites on society which contribute nothing worthwhile at all apart from an administrative process for transferring money.
Diamond also says that banks should be allowed to fail and not be bailed out by the taxpayer. The man is clever. I’ll give him that. As clever as any cheap, wide boy, conman spiv. He says that Barclays took no money from the taxpayer but he knows full well that his own reckless, roulette wheel gambling was only possible because the taxpayer had no option but to stand behind him.
I will not shrink from the truth. Men like Bob Diamond are unfit to be in charge of banks. I would prefer him and his cronies to be in jail but I would be content with lifetime disqualification and, in his case, deportation.
If I considered it as the plot for my next novel, I would discard it immediately as being completely unbelieveable. It is outrageous. The story of the way the banks have wriggled and wormed away from their responsibilities is the biggest scandal the world has ever seen.
Today the shameful figures are revealed of the number of complaints that our high street banks receive. See here. It is an appalling litany of failure and disrespect of customers. Complaints are at the very bottom of their priorities. They are inefficent. They have bonus systems that discourage staff from accepting complaints. Santander, which so many used to know as the Abbey or Alliance & Leicester, cannot manage to answer even half of its complaints within two months! It is shocking. It hasn’t got better since we all bailed them out. It’s got worse. Oh, except for the bonuses. They just get bigger and bigger all the time.
These problems, affecting the modest balances of ordinary people, may seem trivial in the context of the billions that the banks have already cost us but they are not. They are crucial. This is real money belonging to real people and needed to pay real bills. It’s not the cocaine, champagne, Ferrari fantasy of some City boy ponce. These figures indicate precisely the contempt, the utter disregard which bankers have for us even though it is we, ordinary people, who have been called on to rescue them from their catastrophic mistakes.
Where is Vince Cable now? He is the biggest disappointment of the coalition government. His brave words as recently as the LibDem conference are all hot air. He has let us all down. His promises were empty.
We want the banks split up so that they are no longer too big to fail. Only today, in Ireland they are realising that their nation is still held to ransom by its bankers. So is ours.
We want retail and transaction banking separated entirely from casino investment banking so that there can be no more threat to our economy from the spivs and gamblers. We don’t want any of these sharks anywhere near our money. John Diamond, the putative new head of Barclays has made a £100 milion fortune on the back of the taxpayer and the banking crisis. He is not a fit and proper person to be in charge of a British bank. The government should ban him immediately.
Late last year the Office of Fair Trading let the banks off a £40 billion hook. These were the extortionate charges illegally debited from customers’ accounts over the previous six years. See here. This was in addition to the £850 billion cost of the original bailout. See here.
How much more are they going to get away with?
When will David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Vince Cable stop dithering?
Stop the banker robbers now!
Who is this pompous, conceited, arrogant, Boris Johnson lookalike?
He’s Dave Hartnett, Permanent Secretary at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. He’s refusing to apologise for getting tax deductions wrong for six million British taxpayers.
Just who the hell does he think he is? We’re back to Sir Humphrey and lazy, fatcat incompetence and corruption again. You’d think the civil service would have managed to drag itself entirely out of the 19th century by now wouldn’t you? Not this prize plonker. Maybe because his overgrown schoolboy, pudding basin haircut is just as messy as Boris’ he thinks he’ll endear himself to the British public? Hogwash. He’s the very opposite of Boris. He represents everything that’s bad about Britain – self-satisfied, smug, deluded, living in the past.
I say let’s get him sacked. Let’s create the biggest outcry against a useless civil sevant that the country has ever seen. Let’s lose Mr Hartnett his job. Let’s put him in his place – in the queue at the Jobcentre. Then we’ll see who’s a cocky, scruffy, little git won’t we?
We don’t want Bob Diamond in Britain. He’s to be the next chief executive at Barclays Bank. See here. He’s not the “right sort of chap” for us or, if you prefer, he doesn’t have “the right stuff” for Britain. He’s a wide boy and a high stakes gambler. We don’t want him anywhere near our banks, our savings or our overdrafts. Why can’t he just go back to the land of the free and the home of the brave and chowdown with all the other cowboys? He’s the wrong man for Britain.
It’s people like Bob Diamond who were directly responsible for the banking crisis and for bringing the world’s economy virtually to its knees. He won all his bets so he’s alright. Let’s be clear though, it’s his behaviour and those like him that is to blame for the massive cuts that we’re all facing. He has robbed our parents of their pensions, hamstringed our business world, destroyed our children’s jobs and sabotaged their children’s education. He is laughing all over his flabby, smug face at our expense.
He’s won a £100 million fortune on exactly the sort of gambling which has destroyed our economy.
Vince Cable should stop posturing. He was great in opposition but it seems, even in government, all he can do is snipe from the sidelines.
I say, deny Bob Diamond entry into Britain on the grounds that he would be a danger to the country. Barclays may claim that it has accepted no help from the taxpayer but its exploitative business model depends on blackmailing us with its size and importance to the economy, just like all the banks.
What we needed to do was clamp down hard on their excess, split them into smaller pieces, separate casino investment from banking services, force them into accountable lending policies, severly limit earnings levels and make it clear that they work for us, not vice versa.
We may already be too late. Britain’s banks continue to be out of control.