Trust the Bank to trust the bankers

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Recently, the Government and opposition were debating the size and use of the Chancellor’s £1bn economic stimulus package.

Shortly after, out of the blue, the Bank of England conjured up 50 times more finance to kickstart the UK’s stalling economy. This is in addition to the £275bn quantitative easing since 2009. Experts can’t agree on the tangible benefits achieved except to profit the bankers and speculators.

But, since 2009, millions of people’s experience is that UK disposable incomes have dropped to their lowest level, since the terrible 1920s depression.

Most banks stifle business recovery by refusing low-risk loans. So why would any sensible person be willing to throw £50bn down the same drain called City financiers? Which UK business has the poorest customer satisfaction rating. Who has paid out billions, on several occasions, for ripping of their customers? They caused the current severe recession. They still resist essential reforms and want to pay obscene bonuses, unrelated to performance.

This is the appealing record of the British banks. So who in their right mind, would trust these banks with another massive sum. It could only be other bankers – those at the Bank of England. It is time MPs, trade unions and employers organisation demanded guarantees this £50bn is used with much greater care and targeted to do the UK the most good.

Peter Ward, former director, large investment company

Clarke needs to show compassion

Justice Minister Ken Clarke is making it necessary for compensation claimants for industrial illnesses to pay an indemnity fee of about £2,300 up front before a claim is processed. Effectively putting redress against an employer out of reach of the majority.

Campaigners against these proposals are appealing to Mr Clarke to think again and show some compassion.

I wouldn’t hold out much hope there if I were them. Ken Clarke is the man who when Thatcher’s health minister described ambulance drivers as ‘glorified taxi drivers’. ‘Nice’ old Ken strikes again.

Jeff McCann, address supplied

Why’s Libya so different to Syria?

MANY are asking why was it okay to intervene with military force in Libya but not in Syria now?

The reasons are many. Firstly, the analogy is false. Syria has, unlike Libya, a powerful army of 250,000 well armed and trained troops that have access to nerve gas and other chemical weapons.

They have advanced anti-aircraft missiles and aircraft that would make the airspace a very dangerous place for NATO planes.

Secondly, Syria has powerful friends, namely Russia and China.

Thirdly, it is untrue that Assad is isolated because the Arab League have lined up against him. We must not forget that Iran is a major supporter, in part because both Iran and the Assad government are Shia whereas the West’s Arab allies are mainly Sunni.

In any case it is time we stopped acting as the world’s sheriff in charge of a posse riding off to get the bad men of this world.

Col (Retired) Barry Clayton

address supplied