Mark's campaign notepad and other stuff

Notes from the writer/LibDem parliamentary candidate for Somerton & Frome

Election Day -57: Mansion House breakfast with the Lord Mayor

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My day started early this morning with a breakfast briefing to Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidates at The Mansion House, hosted by the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Nick Anstee.

The old Liberal image of beards and sandals was laid to rest here; around the table were an impressive crew of articulate, energetic young men and women (yes, mostly younger than me!). The standard of debate was high, not least because of the quality of those there to field our questions, the two Sallys: Muggeridge, Chief Executive of the Industry and Parliament Trust, and Scutt, Deputy Chief Executive of the British Banker’s Association. I found Sally Scutt’s analysis of the current financial situation highly illuminating, and her honesty in facing up to the challenges very refreshing.

My conclusions from the discussions were two-fold; one, we have still have a major problem reconciling the regulation of more “creative” (derivatives, secondary securitization) banking activity in the City with dependence the City has on the income from this activity. Unless we have genuine global regulation, which seems unlikely, individual countries are not going to forsake the benefits only to see them go elsewhere. All that’s going to happen is that primary lending to small lenders and individuals will continue to be tight, restricting the consumer economy, while offshore banks, hedge funds and speculators go on making hay.

My second conclusion is that Liberal Democrats now have strength in depth; Vince Cable is of course the most capable politician when it comes to understanding finance and economics, and Nick Clegg impresses more and more as a leader, but my fellow PPCs are willing and able to be part of the next Government.


Written by markblackburn

March 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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