Former Scotland Yard detective on Peterloo & the banksters

Tony Gosling tony at
Fri Apr 19 01:15:39 BST 2013

Why we face a bloody revolution on the streets in 2013 !

On the evening of Thursday 4th April, I was 
privileged to address an audience at the Friends' 
Meeting House in Manchester. The topic of my 
presentation, for which I have to thank Phil 
Duval, both for the invitation and the theme, was 
'...How the banks are stealing your children's future...'

I didn't realise it before I got to the venue, 
but it stands literally a stone's throw away from 
the site of the Peterloo Massacre, (or the Battle 
of Peterloo) which occurred at St Peter's Field, 
Manchester on 16 August 1819, when local mounted 
yeomanry charged into a crowd of 60,000­80,000 
people, gathered to demand the reform of 
parliamentary representation and electoral enfranchisement..

The soldiers were local territorial volunteers, 
not regular army cavalrymen, and the local 
Yeomanry were given the 'privilege' of arresting 
the speakers. They were led by Captain Hugh 
Birley, (Birley owned a large textile factory in 
Oxford Road, Manchester. He had developed a 
reputation as an arrogant industrialist with 
highly reactionary political opinions);  and 
Major Thomas Trafford, (Sir Thomas Joseph de 
Trafford, 1st Baronet) and were essentially a 
paramilitary force drawn from the ranks of the 
local mill and shop owners, coupled with the 
local landed elites, who had active interests in 
suppressing popular local reform demands, despite 
the great distress of the ordinary working people in their community.

The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 had 
resulted in periods of great famine and chronic 
unemployment, exacerbated by the introduction of 
the first of the Corn Laws, legislation 
which  had been introduced to ensure that British 
landowners reaped all the financial profits from 
farming. The corn laws (which imposed steep 
import duties on cheaper foreign grain) made it 
too expensive for anyone to import grain from 
other countries, and thus maintained food prices 
at an artificially high level, even when the 
people of Great Britain and Ireland were 
literally starving, and needed the food.

Then, as now, the rich elites ensured their own 
hegemony at the expense of the poor and the 
working class, in a similar way to which the 
Tory-voting banksters today manipulate the 
financial markets through criminal activity and 
steal vast sums from their clients, while paying 
themselves vast salaries and obscene bonuses. At 
the same time, George Osborne and Iain 
Duncan-Smith cut working people's benefits, 
blaming the poor and those on benefits for the 
desperate financial situation the country faces, 
and set working class people in conflict against 
each other, while routinely ignoring the crimes of the rich and powerful.

  By the beginning of 1819 the pressure generated 
by poor economic conditions, coupled with the 
lack of suffrage in Northern England, had 
enhanced the appeal of political radicalism, and 
In response, the Manchester Patriotic Union, a 
group agitating for parliamentary reform, 
organised a demonstration to be addressed by the 
well-known radical orator Henry Hunt..

Shortly after the meeting began, local 
magistrates called on the military authorities to 
arrest Hunt, and to disperse the crowd. The 
Yeomanry charged into the crowd with sabres 
drawn, and in the ensuing confusion, 15 people 
were killed and 400­700 were injured. The 
massacre was given the name Peterloo in ironic 
comparison to the Battle of Waterloo, which had taken place four years earlier.

I was fascinated to have the privilege to address 
an informed local audience in such a setting, and 
I felt a strong sense of historical synergy as I 
talked about the crimes of the powerful today and 
the way they were impacting on the financial 
interests of ordinary people and how the crimes 
committed by the banksters would leave a legacy 
which our children and indeed our grandchildren 
would still be paying for in years to come.

The day had started well with the news that the 
three main protagonists in the HBOS collapse had 
been impugned in a scathing report by the 
Parliamentary Banking Commission which had said 
that  "toxic" misjudgements led to the bank's 
downfall and the need for a £20.5bn bailout by 
the taxpayer at the height of the financial crisis.

The report concluded: "The primary responsibility 
for the downfall of HBOS should rest with Sir 
James Crosby, architect of the strategy that set 
the course for disaster, with Andy Hornby, who 
proved unable or unwilling to change course, and 
Lord Stevenson, who presided over the bank's 
board from its birth to its death."

There can be no escaping from  the realisation 
that the UK is in terrible financial trouble. 
Putting it at its simplest, the main High Street 
banks are to all intents and purposes, frankly 
bankrupt, and Government is vainly seeking to 
enforce higher levels of capital adequacy in 
order to give them sufficient capital in depth in 
order to be able to withstand another (the next) major financial crisis.

How we got into this desperate situation is an 
appalling story of arrogance, hubris, bullying 
and incompetence, a toxic mal-administration of 
both the banking sector, and its functions. It 
was orchestrated by a group of men, Bob Diamond, 
Fred Goodwin, James Crosby, among many others, 
men who had reached levels of power from which it 
was virtually impossible to unseat them, and 
whose arrogance was blinding them to the reality of their actions.

By overseeing a campaign of institutionalised 
financial crime (PPI fraud, LIBOR manipulation, 
as well as other offences of downright 
criminality such as drug money laundering), and 
coupled with a campaign of debt-creation on a 
scale unimaginable only a few years ago, these 
men oversaw institutions in which all the 
ordinary rules of prudent commercial engagement 
were thrown to the wolves and trampled underfoot.

A report into Barclays bank has blamed "cultural 
shortcomings" at the bank for problems that led 
to the Libor-rigging scandal last year. The 
report said there was a sense that senior 
management did not want to hear bad news. As a 
result, the bank had become too focused on profit 
and bonuses rather than the interests of 
customers. Barclays' rapid expansion in the years 
leading up to the financial crisis produced 
"cultural challenges" at the bank. "The result of 
this growth was that Barclays became too complex 
to manage, tending to develop silos with 
different values and cultures," it said.

The bank became increasingly dominated by the 
investment banking business, which possessed a 
strong culture of winning. This meant there was 
an "over-emphasis" on short-term financial 
performance, reinforced by a bonus and pay 
culture that rewarded money-making over serving 
the interests of customers and clients.

In these few short paragraphs, the poisonous 
cocktail of mismanagement practices are laid 
bare; an over-emphasis on short-term profits, 
resulting in vast bonuses being paid to a small 
group of elites; the over-complexity of 
structure, leading to a focus on micro-management 
of specific profit centres, to the detriment of 
the wider institution, benefiting a small group 
of elites again; and finally the over-emphasis on 
investment banking (or casino banking, identified 
by gambling with other people's money), yet 
again, benefiting a small group of elites.

Reading between the lines, Barclays Bank, and 
indeed many other banks within the UK financial 
construct, had become the private playthings of a 
small group of spivs and chancers who were 
willing to put the rest of the banking structure 
at risk, all the time they were making vast 
profits and bonuses for themselves.

They were happily undermining the entire 
underlying banking structure on which UK plc 
depended for its future development and the 
continued maintenance of its complex democracy 
and social infrastructure, for their own personal 
benefit and gain. They were mortgaging the future 
of the entire British community by engineering 
fictitious money out of thin air, secured on the 
deposits of their customers, to be spread around 
in highly risky securitised lending to every Tom, 
Dick and Harriet who knew enough to be able to find their way to a bank.

As they wrote and re-wrote loans running into 
billions of pounds, they spread the risk around 
to other risk takers - who took the chance to 
sell the risk on to third and fourth party risk 
takers, who in turn played the zero sum game by 
balancing their exposures to risk by hastily 
structured credit default swaps. It didn't seem 
to matter how many times you turned the 
money-making handle, the profits poured out, the 
salesmen's commissions flowed and the banks made more and more money.

The City entered into a Faustian pact with the 
Labour Government of Blair and Gordon Brown, who, 
bedazzled by the profits being declared and the 
taxes being paid on these vast fortunes, (Brown 
never once stopped to consider that these banks 
were only declaring a very small percentage of 
their vast profits for tax purposes) the rest was 
being quietly stashed away in off-shore branches 
of their institutions and moved on to other tax 
shelters. That is why Barclays and other banks 
provided departments that focused on 
tax-restructuring (or evasion on a massive scale).

All the time Brown was believing the falsified 
figures, he could be prevailed upon to soft-pedal 
on the compliance brake, and insist that the 
regulators cut the boys in the banks some slack, 
while they were making all this money.

His Mansion House speech in 2002 is a masterpiece 
of hubris, the words of a man who had been taken 
for the biggest idiot in Christendom, and was the 
living proof of the greater fool theory.

The full text of the chancellor's speech at the 
Mansion House, London, June 26 2002 can be read 
- read it and weep! Here's a taste;

"...And, as you, Lord Mayor, have indicated this 
evening, the importance that the city attaches to 
integrity and the highest standards in the 
provision of financial services is the enduring 
means by which London's reputation as one of the 
world's leading financial centres is secured, and indeed enhanced..."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Yada, yada, yada, whatever!

And this nonsense is still openly subscribed to 
by politicians and citizens alike, so much so 
that the banking sector feels capable of holding 
the country to ransom with the threat that if 
they are brought to heel, they will simply leave 
and go elsewhere. The fact is they won't, but 
no-one seems willing to call their bluff. They 
believed it so much they poured tax-payers' money 
into shoring up the whole rotting edifice, and 
there is no doubt the banksters will need more 
recourse to tax-payer's funding before too long.

And thereby the seeds of the next harvest of damaging civil unrest are sown!

None of our political parties have the balls or 
the guts to take on the banks, because they still 
labour under the same misapprehension that banks 
aren't really organised criminal enterprises.

They still want to be fooled into thinking that 
the crimes being committed daily by the banks are 
merely a minor aberration committed by a tiny 
minority of people who are misguided. They have 
simply failed to grasp the full implications of 
the ways in which a committed cadre of organised 
criminals have run the British banking industry 
into the ground, and literally stolen its assets 
through the simple expedient of organised 
criminality and paying  themselves their insane 
salaries, their obscene bonuses and above all their bloated pension funds.

James Crosby alone, the now disgraced former boss 
of Halifax Bank of Scotland is sitting on a 
pension pot worth up to £25 million despite his 
central role in the mortgage giant’s collapse.

This calculates his annual retirement earnings 
from the failed lender is estimated to worth 
around £700,000 a year, according to the Sunday 
Times. No other citizen of this country would be 
able to run a major bank into the ground, be 
publicly humiliated for being a total and utter 
incompetent, and still be allowed to hang on to sums of money of this value.

It is now clear that if you are a friend of the 
Tory Government, you can organise and run frauds 
in the City realising multi-billion pound losses; 
you can manipulate the world's leading 
interest-rate setting mechanism to your own 
financial advantage and you can launder billions 
of dollars worth of drug money, all of which are 
straight-forward crimes, and no-one will do a damn thing to prosecute you.

Ironically, this would not have been a true state 
of affairs under Margaret Thatcher's control. The 
death of the former Prime Minister has just been 
announced, and I am reminded of the time just 
before her second election, when she too wanted 
to take on the welfare benefit issue as part of her election campaign.

She was reminded by Cecil Parkinson that if the 
Tories wanted to go up against the benefit 
culture, in order to be seen to be fair and 
maintain their working-class vote at the same 
time, they would have to do something about the 
plethora of City Fraud which was fast becoming a national scandal.

Her response was somehow typical of her;

'Well. we'd better get the handcuffs on, Cecil!

Later that day, Ernest Saunders was arrested 
coming out of his solicitor's offices, and the 
Guinness prosecution was set in train!

Under Cameron's administration and with Osborne 
riding shotgun on the financial sector, things 
are very different. You don't have to be an 
outright crook however, if you are just 
irredeemably incompetent and you destroy a 
once-proud bank through your own outright 
stupidity and arrogance, you can still be allowed 
to keep all the loot your have squirreled away!

But God help you if you are a single mother on 
benefits, and your boyfriend chooses to stay over 
for the night; if you are suffering from serious 
health issues and are unable to work. Don't try 
to get a loan to build your business if you are 
an SME, and don't ask for a pay rise, because 
there are none coming, and don't get ill because 
the Health Service we once respected is now run by accountants, not doctors.

The real issue here is not what the politicians 
choose to tell us, it is what the people who are 
affected by the changes believe for themselves. 
As one commentator said to me in Manchester last 
week, 'It's not too bad for you down in London, 
in some places there it's hard to appreciate 
there is a recession, but up here in Manchester, 
there are many, many, areas where there is real 
hardship, and where the anger on the estates and 
run-down housing ghettoes is growing by the day.

People may choose to believe that what Cameron 
and Osborne are doing is in the best interests of 
the country, but until they start demonstrating a 
reality about all being in it together, and 
taking away from the banksters the proceeds of 
their rotten games, and locking up those who have 
committed financial crimes, then no-one, but 
no-one is going to believe that the austerity programme is 'fair'.

This is the word that Cameron keeps parroting, 
that it is fair to attack the culture of benefit 
dependency, but if he really wants ordinary 
people to believe him, then he has got to start 
demonstrating that we live in 2013 and not 1819, 
because my evening in Manchester demonstrated to 
me that many in my audience believe that violent 
social unrest and street violence aimed at the 
elites is only just a stone's throw away.

Next time, it won't be the hit and run tactics 
used in Tottenham and copied elsewhere in the 
country, with gangs of young people just smashing 
shop windows and stealing designer accessories. 
Next time, the rioters will be standing their 
ground, and trading blows with the police, with 
everything to hand at their disposal. There is a 
real, tangible visceral hatred of the police in 
Manchester among the poor and the underclass, and 
some of the observations made to me about this dislike are very scaring.

Cameron and Osborne have got to demonstrate that 
there is only one law for all the people, not 
just the poor and working class, all the while 
their friends in the elites get away scot free, 
but that is what is happening. Their bankster 
friends have already effectively stolen our 
children's future, and there is a sizeable number 
of young and dispossessed people who are just 
waiting for the day to go and steal some of it back.

Peters' Fields are quiet today, but it will not 
take too much to see them filled with rioters 
again, fighting for much the same thing as their 
forebears fought for, 200 odd years ago. That was 
the right to be electorally enfranchised - to be 
treated as equal citizens and guaranteed fairness 
in their social treatment, a fairness which is 
being swiftly eroded, by the way in which the 
elites are being allowed to commit financial 
crimes with impunity. I predict these events 
because for many working class people, they have 
nothing to lose, and a man who has nothing to 
lose, has everything to gain from his actions.
+44 (0)7786 952037
Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered 
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that 
shall not be made known. What I tell you in 
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye 
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

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