Sometimes you may wonder why people get involved in political life - motivators can not doubt be wide and varied, from righting an obvious wrong, a particular issue (or issues) that need sorting out or fixing, a passion for the environment, social justice, even a somewhat selfish desire to better themselves - while the later is less palatable, it is the case in certain circumstances. For the life of me I can find no obvious reason for getting involved in politics for David Cameron, George Osbourne, Boris Johnson, Nick Clegg, and their ilk - other than a need perhaps to have something to do everyday.
Now, we have been repeatedly told that we are all in it together, sounds nice,but, its not quite true, most of us are very much more in it than some are. The Guardian (05.02.2011) revealed that a number of Con Dem ministers set up blind trusts so that they can continue to profit from financial interests which could present a conflict with their government responsibilities.
Ironically there was a threefold increase in this sort of thing under the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government by way of comparison with the previous sleaze tainted New Labour government. The Guardian noted that 16 ministers, including the energy secretary, Chris Huhne, the justice secretary, Ken Clarke, and the cabinet office minister, Francis Maude, put blind trusts in place, as recorded by the official register of ministerial interests.
Do you remember this...
"It is wholly untenable to have millions of people making sacrifices in their living standards only to see the banks getting away scot-free."
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, 17 December 2010
and also this...
"Bankers have to realise that the British public helped to bail out the banks and it is very galling when they see bankers pay themselves unjustified bonuses."
David Cameron, Prime Minister, 17 December 2010
The previous New Labour government made much of its light financial regulatory touch, at least until the wheels came spectacularly off the wagon, will the Con Dem's make much of their effective refusal to take any action over banking regulation. Before they were in government and before the last Westminster election Vince Cable (now the Business Secretary) and George Osbourne (now the Chancellor) were at it hammer and tongs as to who was going to be toughest when it came to regulating and controlling the worst excesses of the banks. And since they went into government?
The Con Dem UK Government missed an opportunity to break up and 'privatise' the larger 'publicly owned' financial institutions, they should have sold the shares on the open market with specific quotas on how many shares any one institution can own. From where many people are sat these bloated overgrown banking organisations appear to be a serious block on the ‘free market’ and too busy lining their own pockets.
George Osborne and the Tories appear to have reluctantly gone along with the much publicly stated need to regulate the more unsavoury aspects of the banking sector, but, whether they will actually and eventually do anything is open to question. Perhaps they ought to declare an interest regulating the banks in the City may impinge on the acquisition of future lucrative directorships in City banks unless they have them already that is?
One question that may also remain unanswered is whether or not they will do anything about tax evasion, tax avoidance and the regulation tax havens? It's odd really because the Con Dem's have displayed such zeal in their efforts to chase people on benefits. Sadly I suspect the answer will be no (in relation to tax evasion at least) as any such move would ruffle more than a few feathers in the City and no doubt more than a few awkward questions at dinner party's?