There’s plenty of predictably shrill shrieking from plenty of the usual suspects this morning pointing the finger at Labour for the LIBOR scandal.
I’m surprised it took them so long. After all, we were in power and it was our regulatory system which appears to have been inadequate.
But now the accusations are becoming more sinister and more serious. We are told that “Whitehall” put pressure on Bank of England Governor Paul Tucker. The Tory Party seem to have taken “Whitehall” as shorthand for “Ed Balls”. Spectacularly wishful thinking, or as Lewis Baston acerbically noted on Twitter this morning:
“Funny how people who swore ‘JH’ in Michel emails didn’t mean ‘Jeremy Hunt aware’ can interpret ‘Whitehall’ as being Balls-Brown conspiracy.”
But if there is any possibility that any senior Labour figure was responsible in any way for the LIBOR scandal, then it is surely in our interest to find out what happened and ensure that the same thing can never happen again. That’s why why it’s essential that an independent, judge-led enquiry is held, rather than an increasingly partisan parliamentary enquiry that seems designed – in Osborne’s own words – to put “Ed Balls in the dock”.
In fact the enquiry seems to blatantly partisan that the preferred chair – Tory MP Andrew Tyrie – looks like he might shy away from presiding over what many will consider a political show trial.
And to further compound the mess he’s making of the LIBOR aftermath, the PM has opted to give Parliament the final say on what kind of enquiry should be held. However, government MPs will be whipped to vote for a parliamentary enquiry – not an independent one.
In reality MPs have no say at all. It’s a sham vote for a sham enquiry.
A parliamentary stitch up won’t have the neccessary confidence of the public.
Only by avoiding the whiff of partisan political point scoring will we stand any chance of finding out who is to blame for LIBOR. And if any Labour people were in any way at fault for illegal practises in our banks, no-one wants to see their misdeeds unveiled and punishment received more than decent, honest Labour Party members – because this kind of behaviour has no place in our party.
If it was ever part of the way we operated in government, then we need to know.