Cable, Osborne and Darling (COD) as possible Chancellors after the election joined in a debate on Channel 4 last night that was, refreshingly, not a particularly bloody battle, even if it was part of the wider 'COD war' of this election campaign - economics being the battle ground. We need more of this togetherness - there was little of the ranting politicians usually do when they are on their own or at question time in the House of Commons. A joke or two peeked out - perhaps they are human?
Vince Cable, following Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg's Spectator piece (Interview Fraser Nelson 13 March 2010), continued the theme: Bankers=Scargill. Is this fair? The Times (30 March Philip Collins) says Vince Cable's comment 'pin-striped Scargills' in the city is graphic but silly. Arthur Scargill and his miners captured power for about a decade to the mid-80's. The threat ended. Bankers have increasingly wielded power for over 200 years and with record bonuses even now being paid - nearly two years after the banking crisis - what has changed? Why is Cable so silly? Probably Collins doesn't get it. He doesn't get it that bankers privately take the cream that is credit creation, lapping it up and granting themselves awesome bonuses. This profit belongs to us - our taxes could be cut! The government should commandeer profit from credit creation - it is common wealth and one of the classic Free Lunches. Cable talks about a banking cartel. What do you always do with cartels? Break them up. No exceptions. But banking interests are more powerful than Arthur Scargill. Leading economist Richard Werner has been campaigning for banking reform for nearly 20 years - see the previous blog post Fri. 19 March.
Cable also mentioned the Lib-Dem proposed mansion tax - an annual charge on £2m homes. This is the re-emergence of what Lloyd George in 1909 in The People's Budget tried to do - charge a rental on all land proportional to its value. Great ideas never die! Cable teased that the Tories had wasted the North Sea oil revenues and want the current financial system to continue relatively unchanged for the continuing benefit of their city friends. The Tories need to nail this one as it seems to be a general suspicion. A mere bank tax is a sop to enable banks to continue their monopoly - nothing really changes.
In Free Lunch terms: Round One of the COD War to Vince Cable and the Lib-Dems.