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Children Starve whilst Politicians squabble about our failed banking system

5, July 2012

A copy of what I have just written to my MP


Today please act so that we get an independent enquiry of our Banking Industry, if necessary disregarding your party whip.

I have been reading some First World War poetry and remembering my grandfather and his legacy. For all our freedoms he was stitched up on a Battlefield in Northern France, whilst many compatriots died. He had that ugly fold of skin for the rest of his life and during the Second World War, was a London Fire Watcher whilst his sons, my father included went to war and other of his and my relatives survived in occupied Guernsey.

I went into banking, first Barclays, then First National City Bank of New York (Citybank). Whilst at Citybank where I worked in the back office of the Foreign Currency and Euro-dollar loans and Deposits department in about 1973 I saw some dodgy dealing. I remember one day, around 1973 the then chief dealer told me almost proudly (I was on the verge of becoming a currency trader) how he had created a false market by lending $20million at below the going rate, knowing that would force others to lower their rates. Ultimately before close of trading ended that day he borrowed that same $20million back again at a lower rate than he had loaned it out at making a profit for our employer, profits that were shipped back to the USA.

I became a probation officer, I worked to keep our society safe amongst the damaged and dangerous, until I could do it no more because I was worn out, and the job had gone away from me, I was expected to be more a computer operator than a relationship maker with those damaged and dangerous folk.

After my forced retirement, I had a commendation, from the deputy chief probation officer for the way I had supervised a murderer, who had killed a prison officer in a Birmingham restaurant where he felt he, an Asian immigrant, had been racially abused by a man it turned out was a prison officer. Working with such folk was my daily routine. The supervisee had not complied with his licence and regrettably my colleagues did not immediately realise he was not reporting after, I having become too ill to work went sick. I never did hear the ultimate outcome, but my Chief Officer was summoned to explain, by the then Probation Minister, after the man had been arrested for another matter, I think involving domestic violence. I was expecting criticism but got praise. That was at the end of a thirty year career.

Today I hear on the BBC Radio Four Today programme, about many, many thousands of children in Britain starving and organisations like Camila Batmanghelidjh’s Kids Company struggling to raise money to feed those children. The sort of children I met during my 30 year professional life, many times over. Some who well fulfilled the cycle of deprivation theory propounded by the late Sir Keith Joseph.

Yet what are our parliamentarians debating – the formation of an enquiry into a damaged Banking System. In recent years I have had personal difficulties about the way banks operate confusingly and against the interests of customers, including LLoydsTSB, Barclays, Santander/Alliance and Leicester. Yet those at the top are earning millions whilst we have starving children. Parliament has failed in understanding and yesterday demonstrated it couldn’t even question Bob Diamond properly.

Please cast party allegiance aside and act to get a thorough independent inquiry under way quickly, and get on with sorting out the mess that has starving children and children still being shipped to the other end of the country to live in Care Homes, just like when I became a probation officer trainee in 1973.

Yours faithfully “


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