A devastating new report has raised serious concerns over former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling’s role in the UK’s financial crisis.
Revelations from an investigation by the Independent on Sunday (IoS) show that the Better Together chairman may have colluded with the Bank of England to conceal the true state of at least one of Britain’s giant banking institutions leading to a seemingly fraudulent report to potential investors.
The Clandestine Con
The newspaper revealed that the former Labour UK Chancellor and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, along with the Bank of England (BoE) and regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) deceived the public in order to rescue failed bank HBOS (Bank of Scotland) with £25bn of taxpayer funds.
These fresh revelations threaten to further undermine the already tarnished economic credibility of the Better Together leader as he seeks to fend off a surge in support in the polls for Scotland becoming independent.
- Darling fully aware of HBOS vulnerabilities
- Public duped by £25bn and private investors by £4bn
- What did Darling and Brown know? Asks former HBOS exec
Investors, the report claims, were the first to be swindled to the tune of £4bn with a game of smoke and mirrors, based on a false prospectus that the bank was worthy of investment but failed to mention secret lifeline support funded by taxpayer money.
This gargantuan liability was something HBOS “failed to mention anywhere in the 194-page document – which is supposed to detail all possible risks to potential funders”, the IoS reported.
Furthermore the newspaper states that documents published on the BoE website reveal that Darling and Brown were “fully aware of the vulnerabilities of HBOS”, even receiving daily FSA reports into bank’s marketability from at least September 2007.
Paul Moore, a former HBOS executive who claims he was muzzled by his superiors after warning of the banks’ financial problems told the IoS:
“We need to know what former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Chancellor, Alistair Darling, knew about this.”
Though taxpayers were duped into picking up the £25bn bill, the revelations are just the latest in a string that show wide scale complicity and fraud at the heart of the UK government and the financial sector.
This new report clearly shows that questions must be answered over the previous government’s conduct, particularly as the financial sector crisis is directly responsible for the extreme economic problems today faced by millions of families and thousands of businesses across the country.
Worthy of Trust?
Even in a country suffering financial ‘scandal-fatigue’, this should be devastating news for the Darling–led Better Together campaign and also United With Labour, which is fronted by Brown.
These two top figures in the No campaign are asking voters to trust in their economic credentials as they seek to convince voters to remain inside the UK and stay bound to a financial system still engulfed in a corruption epidemic.
Both politicians have warned Scots multiple times about the economic risks of going independent, however these latest revelations throw up serious doubts over the veracity of these warnings.
Given the deceptions reportedly perpetrated when Brown ran Britain, and when the financial system collapsed while Darling was in charge of our national finances, economic advice from either figure should not hold much weight.
It would seem that both politicians are now on the No camp’s balance sheet as both assets and liabilities.
Learning from Mistakes
Cleaning up the mess that the collusion between government, regulator and bank brought is critical if the UK’s banking sector is to finally return to health. However, no senior banker has been charged for involvement in the financial crash, and it appears unlikely that Darling and Brown will be held accountable despite these damning findings.
Being fully governed from Holyrood could allow us to keep a closer eye on our political system – and so help prevent shady dealings between our politicians, the financial sector and other institutions to occur. However, we must also have an engaged and conscious public, a vigilant media, and learn to use the tools of technology to guarantee transparency in order to do so.
In view of these continuing regulatory scandals we are likely to see a growing demand for an independent Scotland to adopt its own currency, along with a Scottish central bank and financial regulators to keep our eyes fixed as closely as possible on the financial system and economy. Of course, that would be for the citizens to decide between themselves and their political parties to reflect upon.
In the meantime, Darling and Brown warn us that we must vote No based on their economic wisdom, and argue that we’re better governed from Westminster. The more we learn about what types of clandestine activity occurs within the Westminster corridors of power, the less credible the Better Together case becomes.
Image from Downing Street