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Press Cycle 5 - Banking Act
#1
What do you think of the Government's Banking Act?

Deadline for the Cycle is 8th January at 11:59pm
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#2
Everyone wants people's deposits to be protected.  One foundation of a stable democratic state is people's confidence that their money is safe and can be accessed when needed.  For this reason, if there was truly no alternative to nationalizing Northern Rock, then such a step had to be taken to protect depositors.

However, aspects of the Banking Act, as explained by the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, are a cause for concern.  They go well beyond an immediate response to the crisis of Northern Rock and suggest that the Government is viewing the crisis as an opportunity to expand state control over our banks and financial institutions.  The Prime Minister Chancellor has suggested that the State may hold onto Northern Rock permanently, regardless of conditions.  And, the Government is demanding from Parliament the authority to take over other financial institutions, which should cause domestic and overseas investors concern.  If the Government truly wants to protect depositors as its primary goal, rather than use the Northern Rock crisis as an excuse to greatly expand State control over a huge part of our economy, its first move should be to greatly increase the amount of backing it gives to people's actual deposits.  The United States protects deposits to a level far above our own, and is set to more than double that level of protection in 2008.  Protect depositors by protecting deposits, not be having the State take over their banks.  Do not use a crisis measure as a general operating principle.
Will Conway
Conservative and Unionist
East Yorkshire Constituency

Backbench Appeal
Media Darling
Finite Resources
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#3
This is the same old hysteria from the Tory Party who have proven they would not act swiftly or decisively in the national interest to protect savers or the economy. Though the government has acted swiftly and in a way which has protected Northern Rock and the economy, the truth of the matter is in future we must be able to act even more decisively to protect savers and the economy to the best of our ability should we need to. 

The government's banking bill is not an attempt to mass nationalise every and any bank - but is a bill, complete with safeguards including time limits, that will allow the government to act decisively to take this measure again should it occur.  
Arthur Sweeney MP for Bootle (2001-Present).
                           Prime Minister (2007-Present).
Media Unknown/Backbench Favourite/Campaign Organiser.
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#4
I have just come from the floor of the House of Commons, where I delivered a speech in opposition to the current iteration of the Banking (Special Provisions) Act. A few things are clear from Labour's legislation. First, they have no plan to return Northern Rock to the marketplace. This means they are content to allow this albatross to hand around the neck of the British taxpayers for as long as they deem necessary. Second, they have no clear check on the power of the Chancellor who can nationalise any bank he feels poses a threat to the economy. Third, Labour doesn't even know how much this bill will cost the taxpayer, nor the full scope of what they are buying. This is a shambolic, rushed attempt by a single party - without seeking cross-party dialogue - that could have dire ramifications on the British economy and the City of London.

A progressive Conservative solution to the situation surrounding Northern Rock is one that I laid out in my speech to the Commons. We support a temporary and legislatively-directed nationalisation of the bank in order to spin off good assets and bad liabilities, to make the company competitive once again as a mutual organization. Re-mutualisation will support consumers, it will protect the taxpayer, and it will strengthen the British banking system. It is a shame that, in their rush to catch headlines, the Labour Government failed to consider all of the options - such as re-mutualisation. I hope that the Chancellor will consider my proposal and offer to work together to advance a sound economy as part of a side-by-side society.
Owain Pugh MP
Plaid Cymru for Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Campaigning Guru/Fundraising Extraordinaire/Media Darling/Maverick
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#5
Labour's Banking Act looks good until you think about what happens tomorrow. The Chancellor has so far been ambiguous on what he'll do with Northern Rock once it's in public ownership. He's been dithering, leaving it entirely in the middle whether the taxpayer will have to support Northern Rock for years to come or just until it's ready to go private again, or whether the government will seek to turn Northern Rock into an ideological football. We don't know. I am proud that the Conservatives, through the side-by-side society, are offering the first comprehensive plan to save and strengthen Northern Rock. We must not forget Northern Rock started out as a great example of civil society, a society to offer mortgages to its members and help them finance their homes mutually. We would save Northern Rock by stripping it of its bad assets, and then remutualize it to turn it into a social enterprise to the benefit of the choices and interests of consumers.
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (2019-)

MP for Barrow & Furness (2010-)
Secretary of State for Education (2019-)
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (2019-)

Shadow SoS for Public Services (2019)


Traits: Media Darling, Campaigning Guru, Constituency Appeal, Finite Resources
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#6
I am going to ask that the last two Tory posts here are copy and pasted to Press Cycle 8 over here: https://politicsuk.net/Bosworth/thread-174.html as this thread only has 2hrs left and this is a topic that deserves its own cycle.
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#7
It's ridiculous that the government is still trying to pretend everywhere - on the social media, in the press and in Parliament - that we oppose nationalizing Northern Rock. What we oppose is the way this government rushed through negotiations and concluded it had come to the last resort, and then nationalizing Northern Rock without a concrete plan for its future. The savings deposited in Northern Rock are important - but so is the taxpayer's money that will be needed to execute any plan the government arrives at. By rushing through, by not looking beyond the passage of this bill, by not committing to returning the bank to private ownership at some point, the government are committing the taxpayer's money without knowing whether the taxpayer will get optimal value for that money.
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (2019-)

MP for Barrow & Furness (2010-)
Secretary of State for Education (2019-)
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (2019-)

Shadow SoS for Public Services (2019)


Traits: Media Darling, Campaigning Guru, Constituency Appeal, Finite Resources
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#8
The Chancellor just called me out on Twitter for not delivering a speech on the Banking Act, even going so far as to say "Hope the Shadow Chancellor will apologise to the House." Well, it'd be helpful if the Chancellor paid as much attention to the Commons as he did to social media, because I just spoke at length about the inherent shortcomings in his rushed, single-party Banking Act. Just because the Chancellor would like practically unchecked emergency powers to nationalise any bank he wishes, doesn't mean Parliament must bend over backwards to give those powers to him. Accountability is important, both on the campaign trail, to the press, and most importantly in Parliament. I am proud that I have been holding the Chancellor to account in all of these arenas. And that the British people are seeing through Labour's stunts.
Owain Pugh MP
Plaid Cymru for Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Campaigning Guru/Fundraising Extraordinaire/Media Darling/Maverick
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#9
Closed, the Tory comments moved to PC8 will not be counted for marking purposes in this cycle.
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#10
The Recession, part 1 of who knows how many, kicks off with the untimely demise of Northern Rock. Now before I start marking I want to say that the polls have already baked a lot of the Government's actions in which has arrested their slide and has given many a reason to be optimistic that maybe the recession won't be as bad as feared when it eventually comes. Labour did an excellent job in the crisis and the press reflects that, so before we start I'm giving an XP to the Prime Minister and his Chancellor to reflect the public noticing that the Government stepped in to end this particular bit of crisis.

Now onto the cycle itself, we begin with the Tories being, well, Tories. Conway shows up to lambast the Government for using the crisis to nationalise the banks beginning the development of a line I hope they see through to the end (I don't read cycles until I mark them, then I read them sequentially so I don't spoil my view of the comments as I read them). The Government are suggesting they may hold onto Northern Rock permanently, this is causing some disquiet among investors and the market, they could have chosen just to defend savers. How the Government answers this critique will be interesting going forward. Sweeney's response is actually not brilliant when you remove the fact that the Government acted quickly from the equation. That fact buys you an awful lot of goodwill but it does not write you a blank cheque. There's a bit here about not trusting Tories but there's no actual reason or response to their point which, as usual, will be fine for now but will wear thin over the course of this cycle and round if they keep up the assault. A quick glance shows that it's literally all Tories from here on out.

Beddow comes out swinging 3hrs before the deadline (poor form) accusing the Government of having no plan to re-privatise, no checks to the power, and no way to count the bill. This is a decent attack line and because you left it late Labour had no chance to respond before the conversation moved on (see Discord announcements for what the A-Team will do about it moving forward). The tag line is good as well. Then we skip two because they belong in the Mutualisation cycle rather than here.

Ashbury and Beddow end the cycle. Ashbury's comment was a good way to sum up the Tory position and rebut Labour's critiques, the public are now behind the Tory line and do not believe that they are content to watch banks collapse and see people homeless which will help you when you talk about your remutualising policy in the next thread. Beddow's comment starts poorly (nobody cares about Twitter beef) but ends strongly with a good tagline to round it all out.

I think it's a shame that this cycle was so dead for so long, the Tories brought a lot to the table at the end of the cycle but didn't bring it initially (I'm going to assume because of the by-elections). If Labour had been as quick to the marks as the Tories were after the by-elections then this could have been interesting. Instead whilst Labour have been out talking about the by-election results the Tories snuck back in here and wrestled the narrative away from Labour building themselves quite a nice chunk of goodwill in the same way Labour enjoyed it before. I am disappointed that the Tories didn't develop their arguments against nationalisation from a strategy perspective because I think that was as fruitful an avenue and in retrospect probably feeds into remutualising more effectively than the route they chose to take in the end, it points to me that maybe remutualising wasn't the policy from the get go and was brought in after the fact to show that they have policies as well. That being said I do think that the Tories win the cycle and do enough to make the general argument competitive. I'm giving XP to Ashbury and Beddow.
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