Cameron is defending his party’s hedge-fund paymasters


10:30 am - December 12th 2011

by Owen Tudor    


      Share on Tumblr

Cameron’s claim that he exercised his veto in Britain’s interests has won plaudits from the right-wing media, but needs to be exposed as the most staggering hyperbole, and proof that his Government exists for the benefit of the few and not the many.

The key issue on which Cameron split from the rest of Europe was the Robin Hood Tax – something he claims to support at a global level.

This week saw the Conservative Party’s dependence on hedge funds exposed once and for all by, of all people, the Financial Times.

As Carl Roper has argued over at Stronger Unions, attempts by Conservative Central Officer to argue that all this money doesn’t buy anything in the way of access and influence ring staggeringly hollow, given that this is precisely what Tories claim unions are doing.

Already mobilised by the success of campaigners in getting a draft European Union directive tabled, the inclusion of common corporation taxes and a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT, aka Robindhood tax) as one of the four key objectives for the summit sent the financial sector into overdrive.

They were revealed to be demanding legal action against any attempt by the EU to impose even a eurozone FTT.

As Will Hutton argued in the Observer yesterday, claims that the interests of the City’s financial ‘masters of the universe’ align with the interests of the rest of the UK stretch credibility.

The million-strong financial sector workforce are mostly working in high street banks and insurance companies, and only a fraction of the third of a million working in the City are implicated in the high frequency trading that an FTT would target.

As several European commentators noted, the common perception of Europe’s other heads of government is that it is precisely the deregulated City of London (and its close allies on Wall Street) that got us into the current mess in the first place.


cross-posted from Touchstone blog

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Owen Tudor is an occasional contributor to LC. He is head of the TUC’s European Union and International Relations Department and blogs more regularly at the Touchstone blog.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


The key issue on which Cameron split from the rest of Europe was the Robin Hood Tax – something he claims to support at a global level.

No it wasn’t.

Right outcome (the veto), wrong reasons (protection of City Spivs).

I think at the end of this Britain in its mad defence of City interests will be the ones holding the steaming turd.

Go fuck your self.

Tory politicians looking after the interests of Tory voters.

Blimey – next you’ll be claiming that Labour politicians look after the interests of Labour voters.

Commenter #3/Ross seems like a nice person.

@4 – except the labour party treated it’s core voters and supporters (the unions) with contempt. It was those groups who didn’t traditionally support labour that got the breaks.

Oh I am sorry that I have had enough of incompetent bastards who do not understand the very subject they are trying to influence or govern, running around the UK and Europe causing absolute chaos and damage to millions of people who just want to live there lives.

Well Owen, you really do need to start listening to the people actually examining your beloved FTT.

Like the EU itself, or the House of Lords Committee looking into it. You know, those people saying that it won’t raise any revenue, it’ll lose it, as the economy will shrink?

And you’ve still not, months later, come back and told us whether you understand tax incidence yet, have you?

@ Tim W

He clearly does understand it, just willfully ignores the reality for his trade union’s political agenda and therefore refuses to admit any fault.

Notice also how he’s quietly dropped talk of how much money the FTT would raise and now its simply a tool to stop speculation….

10. Leon Wolfson

@8 – “I love bubbles”

Yep, you keep on advocating them, they only hurt the 99% significantly, after all!

@7 – Great, I hear Somalia is LOVELY this time of year. Seeya!

Great, I hear Somalia is LOVELY this time of year. Seeya!”

Canada’s actually sweeter little chap(Y)

Now anyone would think from Tim Worstall’s comment above that no credible person supports a financial transactions tax. That, however, would not be strictly accurate.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/apr/13/world-economists-robin-hood-tax

” that no credible person supports a financial transactions tax ”

“They may not have spotted the credit crunch coming, but academic economists from top universities including Harvard, Cambridge, Kyoto and the Sorbonne now agree that bankers should pay the price.”

So credible they failed to see events unfolding and now fail to see its not bankers set to pay the price…right…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYye0zZ3fH4

I don’t see what’s so complex about this – how thick are your skulls?

14. Leon Wolfson

@11 – That’s a civilised nation, you’ve expressed a wish not to live in those.

Yes wanting a functional capable government is a wish to live outside of civilized society, you do have brain damage, don’t you.

16. Luis Enrique

I’m not sure the FTT had anything to do with it, but if it did, why the hell was the FTT part of the deal to save the Euro? It has nothing to do with it. Sure, some more tax revenue would help but it would hardly be material for Italy, Spain and if nations want to tax their banks they are free to do so. Why on earth woudl the Germans and French insist that adopting an FTT is part of the deal? Especially knowing that the UK was against it, whats the point? If the FTT really as the reason Cameron said no, then the French and Germans cannot really have wanted the UK to sign else they’d just have left the FTT out of the treaty.

If the FTT really as the reason Cameron said no, then the French and Germans cannot really have wanted the UK to sign else they’d just have left the FTT out of the treaty.

The FTT wasn’t part of the treaty. What Cameron asked for, and was refused, was a protocol about the City of London which stated, effectively, that the UK would hold a veto about financial regulations that directly affect the City. That’s arguably nothing more than a formal restatement of a well-established convention – that Member States get a veto when something directly affects an area of particular national interest.

This would probably include an FTT (which, as a tax needs unanimity anyway), but extends more widely to cover the sort of regulations aimed at hedge funds which France, in particular, has been pushing for more than three years. It’s been argued that asking for this sort of formal arrangement was an indication of the UK’s lack of faith in its partners, and it was this that triggered its refusal. Incidentally, for those who argue it’s all about DC’s love for banks and bankers, one of the things that Cameron wanted a carve-out on was to apply stricter capital adequacy ratios on UK banks than are allowed for under EU law.

Anyway, France & Germany refused to accept this (for whatever reason) and in its absence (especially having asked for it) Cameron had little choice but to veto a new Treaty, not least because accepting it on those terms would need to be ratified by a referendum, which would have been lost.

The idea that this was all about the FTT is nonsense on stilts.

“I’m not sure the FTT had anything to do with it, ”

Both Cameron and Sarkozy have said it was part of it.

“Why on earth woudl the Germans and French insist that adopting an FTT is part of the deal?”

Because a FTT works better if contains more countries, particuarly a country like the UK with a large financial sector. There is also an element of wanting to get back at hedge funds, currency speculators, banks etc who they blame for the crisis.

“French and Germans cannot really have wanted the UK to sign ”

Perhaps, if they insisted agreement on FTT was an essential part of the deal. But I think it is more simple that that – the rest of the EU has simply got sufficiently pissed off at the UK’s eurosceptic press and attitude that they no longer care whether we remain a part of it. Whilst the tabloids are praising Cameron for standing up for britain (in reality standing up for hedge funds), the rest of europe simply views it as a ‘toys out of the pram’ moment. Rather than be seen to be constructively helping the eurozone find a solution, we are now irrelevant. Not a position any country with asperations to be influential wants to be in.

Well the restoration of confidence from the Great Summit to end all summits lasted precisely one day. Mr Market is correctly giving the nonexistent proposals to do anything about the problems in the EZ a big thumbs down today. A one day rally must be a record even for these numpties. The downgrade fun still to come with France heading for a two notch downgrade.

20. Luis Enrique

This is worth a read

http://fistfulofeuros.net/afoe/a-deep-seated-hostility-towards-european-construction/

It too wonders why anything except just what was needed to alleviate the current crisis was involved. But more than that, it sounds like the agreement itself is very problematic, to say the least.

Can we nix this myth once and for all? The FTT was *not* something demanded as part of the treaty. Cameron petulantly militated to get safeguards about the FTT, a separate issue from the euro treaty. He put it on the agenda. Don’t swallow the rubbish pumped out by the europhobic press about this.

22. Leon Wolfson

@19 – Because of Cameron, yes. That’s what he did, and you’re cheering.

*claps*

@15 – You’ve repeatedly objected to a functioning government. The brain damage is yours, you’re unable to reason through the consequences of what you call for.

Because of Cameron, yes.

No numpty, because the Treaty is pretty much irrelevant to the actual crisis.

“you’re unable to reason through the consequences of what you call for.”

I guess your right, its how I came to be so against government cuts I appear to be an extremist, yet at the same time are for cuts right across Europe, I am actually angry at my prime minster because from my point of view he tried to block this..its all his fault.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fund paymasters http://t.co/W96h054w

  2. Flo Fflach

    Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fund paymasters http://t.co/W96h054w

  3. Kelly

    Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fund paymasters http://t.co/W96h054w

  4. allen_osuno

    Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fund paymasters http://t.co/W96h054w

  5. David Sheen

    Cameron is defending his party’s hedge-fund paymasters | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/nixuaxIL via @libcon

  6. Watching You

    Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fund paymasters http://t.co/W96h054w

  7. Alex Braithwaite

    Cameron is defending his party’s hedge-fund paymasters | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/5hsKN1TS via @libcon

  8. Emma

    Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fund paymasters http://t.co/W96h054w

  9. Jamie

    Cameron is defending his party’s hedge-fund paymasters http://t.co/6ppn9Drx #EU

  10. Stephen Carter

    Cameron is defending his party’s hedge-fund paymasters http://t.co/Qcxux77c

  11. City of London at center of Europe controversy

    […] pressure to regulate the sector to protect the world from the effects of future crashes. As Liberal Conspiracy pointed out “ the common perception of Europe’s other heads of government is that it is […]

  12. Chip Browne

    Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fund paymasters | Liberal …: Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fun… http://t.co/u6vhqw3x

  13. Divisions over Europe, credit crunch take II and a pummelling at PMQs: round up of political blogs for 10 – 16 December | British Politics and Policy at LSE

    […] Democrat Voice labels Cameron a hostage to his party and the right wing press (not to mention his hedge-fund paymasters) when it comes to Europe, although Eoin Clark at Liberal Conspiracy has 10 reasons why Cameron […]

  14. Chip Browne

    Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fund paymasters | Liberal …: Cameron is defending his party's hedge-fun… http://t.co/TAm5E4pI





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.