Author: Jack Robinson

Our bankers are immoral. Who’d have thought?

It’s been a bad week for the banks. In the past few days we have heard of two new scandals in the industry. First, leaked e-mails have revealed that staff at Barclays bank (and others, pending investigation) have been fixing the ‘Libor rate’; they have manipulated lending rates to massage their own losses and gains. Second, the FSA has found that Britain’s banks have been unfairly selling complicated products to small businesses whilst they were supposed to be protecting these same small businesses from volatile interest rates. The details don’t really matter. What does matter is that we see...

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Bob Diamond quits as Barclays Chief

  Bob Diamond, Barclays Chief Executive, has resigned under huge pressure following revelations this week about staff at the bank fixing lending rates. Barclays was fined nearly £300m for attempts by members of its staff to fix the Libor rate earlier this week. Diamond had agreed to waive his bonus in response to these sanctions but this gesture was not sufficient to save his job. He is due to appear before the Treasury Select Committee tomorrow to face questions over the conduct of his bank. Responding to pressure from politicians, the media and the Bank of England, Diamond’s position became...

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Should I be ashamed of my football club?

I was offered tickets last weekend to go Anfield for the F.A. Cup match between Liverpool F.C. and Brighton & Hove Albion. I love Liverpool Football Club; I have done since I was very young. I normally jump at any chance to go to Anfield, but not this time.  The Evra-Suarez affair has made me angry, embarrassed and made me think. At the outset, my viewpoint was clear. Luis Suarez was alleged to have racially abused Patrice Evra last October in a match between Liverpool and Manchester United. This was a high-tempo affair with passionate players and supporters, it...

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Was that 1981 or 2011? You could have fooled me.

Papers from the National Archives have today uncovered comments by Lord Howe in 1981 concerning Liverpool in the aftermath of the 1981 Toxteth riots. The riots lasted nine days with over 500 arrests, it was some of the worst disorder in recent memory. Merseyside Police were greatly criticised for their handling of the disorder, particularly their indiscriminate use of violence upon those even simply caught up in the violence. Under the 30 year rule, we can now access the discussions of Lady Thatcher’s cabinet at the time. One can read how Lord Howe, the Chancellor, recommended to the Prime...

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Arab League observers find continued violence in Syria

Observers sent to Syria by the Arab League have uncovered evidence of persisting violence perpetrated by President al-Assad’s security forces. Large crowds are known to have gathered to express their grievances about the regime and its treatment of the people to the observers sent from the Arab League. Despite the presence of the observers, with whom the Syrian government has agreed to cooperate fully, violence and the killing of protestors continues. The Arab League expelled Syria in November in response to violent suppression by the security forces of the country’s pro-Democracy movement. Thousands of civilians have been killed by...

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