It is really quite disturbing how often I find myself agreeing with Michael Portillo. On last night's This Week he called for the withdrawal of Barclays' Banking Licence (11 minutes in). A banking licence is literally a licence to print money, a function that is privatised within a capitalist economy. It is important that people grasp that being allowed the privilege of creating money in this way is the result of a political decision, and should only be extended to those who will use it responsibly and for the social good. The Barclays executives have shown themselves to be not fit and proper people to hold a banking licence, and unless Bob Diamond and the other executives involved in fraud resign then the government should withdraw the lience.
I had pre-empted Michael Portillo both by sending a letter to the Guardian and launching a petition on the Downing Street website. The text of the petition is as follows:
'Within a capitalist economy banks perform a vital function in
facilitating the production and exchange of goods and services. In
return for fulfilling this role responsibly they are allowed to hold a
banking licences, which brings them great benefits in terms of the
ability to create money through making loans. The systematic
manipulation of the LIBOR value to serve its business interests makes
clear that Barclays is not a fit company to hold a banking licence. We
call upon the government to withdraw Barclays banking licence.'
Please sign the petition and sent the link to your friends.