Nigel Farage revealed his hand somewhat on the night of the Rochester and Strood by-election. This was on the same day that George Osborne had suffered defeat at the European Court of Justice when his legal challenge to new curbs on City bonuses was rejected. For those who missed it, Farage told the Evening Standard that “A lot of people in Rochester and Strood commute to London to work in the finance industry. They will be reading about this in the Evening Standard on their way home and may well feel dismayed by the verdict. It is the constant drip, drip, drip of Britain losing every single negotiation and ruling. We never win and it’s time we woke up to that fact.”
Quite. After all, if there’s one thing that’s going to unite the British public against bureaucratic European interference, it’s the capping of bankers’ bonuses at 100% of salary – truly, Nigel alone has his finger on the pulse of the man-in-the-street, understanding that what we really want are greater rewards for bankers, despite everything…
British bankers have, of course, proved themselves to be the very best in the world – at least when it comes to lying, cheating, fraudulently manipulating markets and gambling with nations’ economies (to the extent, let’s not forget, that they required a £1.162trillion bailout not so long ago) – so if we don’t reward them sufficiently then they might find some other country which will allow them free rein to do whatever the hell they please with no fear of subsequent prosecution or imprisonment.
Also this month, just as an aside, I was surprised to see that London’s £60bn insurance sector is allegedly ‘under threat’ because it is being lumped in with banks for regulation purposes. I must say, quite how insurance companies might ever be confused with a cartel of swindlers, thieves and tricksters entirely escapes me.