Letters: Hippocratic oath for bankers? No, just prosecute

These letters appear in the July 30 edition of The Independent

Share

Your report (29 July) that the think-tank ResPublica is proposing that bankers swear a Hippocratic-style oath of good service made me wince.

As a retired financial services compliance officer, I can confirm that the traders responsible for rate rigging and interest rate swap mis-sales, and their senior management, responsible for the oversight of the traders’ actions via the operations of effective risk management systems and controls, would have been individually registered in that capacity with the Financial Conduct Authority and its predecessors. Moreover, each firm (bank) and each candidate, as part of that process, would both have been required to make fitness and propriety declarations, with follow-up checks then performed by the regulators.

The woeful paucity of prosecutions thus far, whether civil or criminal, against those guilty parties, with all of that machinery in place, just makes ResPublica’s suggestion seem all the more risible. 

That said, I am sure that those tens of thousands of entirely blameless back-office financial services employees on below-average wages (yes, they’re “bankers” too), who looked on powerless, and in horror, as their life savings and/or livelihoods were destroyed by the so-called “Masters of the Universe”, would have no qualms whatsoever about signing up.

Jeremy Redman
London SE6

 

Hit Putin where it really hurts

Your editorial “Own goal” (28 July) is precisely right. The remote prospect of Fifa dumping Russia as host of the 2018 World Cup plays straight to the hands of their keep-fit expansionist President. Sanctions must be targeted where they really hurt. This requires the resolve of the EU as a whole.

Undermining Putin’s power at home requires a body-blow to the Russian economy, with the inevitable knock-on effect on his core support. The logic of arming Russian separatists would almost certainly be lost on middle-class investors watching their portfolios haemorrhage, or captains of industry seeing their businesses collapse due to supply problems.

In the hand-rubbing occupation of redrawing borders, Putin will not listen to Europe, not even to Angela Merkel. If he is to be reined in, then his own people must do it.

Mike Galvin
Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

Nick Clegg wants the World Cup taken away from Russia in 2018. Four years is a long way off. The downing of the Malaysian plane may not be as significant then and may be overtaken by bigger events, even major wars, who knows? Will Nick Clegg be around to explain to the footballing world why the World Cup was taken away from Russia?

S Matthias
London SE1

So first we had Mr Putin, then President Putin, then “Putin”, and now you give us “dictator” Putin (“The dictator in his labyrinth”, 26 July). That only leaves “brutal dictator” Putin and we can go after him. I must go and buy shares in arms manufacturers and fracking companies. Oh, and renewing Trident is a shoo-in. Well done, one and all.

Colin Burke
Manchester

 

Hamas wages a propaganda war

The world, and your publication in particular, seems to have forgotten that Israel is a tiny country surrounded by 300 million Arabs, the majority of whom are pledged to bring about her destruction. Israel is forced to build strong defences and yet, when these work, she is castigated for their success, as if it is unacceptable that Hamas has failed to murder more Israeli civilians.

Hamas know that they cannot win militarily. Their objective is to win the propaganda war, thereby convincing the international community to force Israel to accept their outrageous demands. To win this war they need as high a death count as possible, preferably with hundreds of women and children. That is why they site their missiles in schools, hospitals and heavily populated areas.

Tina Son
Edgware, Middlesex

The images of Gaza published during the recent lull in Israeli bombardment reminded me of similar photographs you published of Homs after the Syrian bombardment there, also directed at “terrorists”.

The invention and perpetuation of an international “war on terror” has allowed any militaristic regime to justify the most heinous war crimes by simply classifying their intended targets as terrorists, and all innocent victims as regrettable collateral damage.

The Israeli assault on the residents of Gaza was the latest but not the last domino to fall in a long chain of events starting with the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land outside their internationally recognised borders. Until this original offence is corrected there will surely be no end to the succession of action and reaction from both sides in the conflict.

Peter DeVillez
Cheltenham

 

Scottish vote is about democracy

Mary Dejevsky’s piece on 25 July demonstrates yet again that The Independent, fine newspaper that it is, and its columnists, not to mention the English media as a whole, do not seem to understand Scottish politics.

She states that Alex Salmond is the “chief cause of the current tensions” when in fact it is the collapse of Labour in Scotland, a party that has been seen to be taking its orders from Westminster, that has created this situation, or should I say opportunity?

However this is not an election, it is actually a referendum. This is not an approval poll for Alex Salmond or the SNP, it is a referendum on Scottish independence.

Nor is it about romanticism, as cynical English commentators tell us; it’s about democracy and people living in Scotland having the opportunity to elect governments that will actually represent their interests rather than having governments that they did not vote for imposed on them. This is not a fight for the sake of a fight, it’s a struggle for democracy.

I would ask Mary if she could tell us when David Cameron is going to get off the starting blocks in his defence of the Union. The silence is deafening.

Gareth Harper
Largs, Ayrshire

As part of the UK, Scotland enjoys full diplomatic representation in 267 embassies and 169 trade offices around the world. In contrast, Alex Salmond’s vision is for an independent Scotland to finance around 70 to 90 embassies and 27 trade offices.

As part of the UK, Scots have a respected voice in the UN Security Council, the G7, G8 and G20. We are seen as one of the big players in the EU, not least because the UK is the second biggest contributor to the EU budget. An independent Scotland would never enjoy the same international clout.

Talk of a fairer Scotland, social inclusion, stopping London Tories from pulling Scotland’s strings, cannot hide the divisive political experiment that the SNP has embarked upon.

Scotland, as we have all come to celebrate in the past few days, is a great country. We have achieved greatness as part of the United Kingdom. We have forged our destiny together with our English, Welsh and Northern Irish neighbours, none of whom want us  to go.

Struan Stevenson
Edinburgh

The other day I was asked if the comparison between the Greek economy and the Scottish weather would produce a new currency for Scotland called the Dreichma. My response was to say unlikely, for with two fish at the helm, a Salmon(d) and a Sturgeon, it would more likely be chips.

Peter Minshall
Tarbert, Argyll

 

Bring the people to Westminster

Your editorial (28 July) argues that Ed Miliband’s proposal for a public PMQs is “the wrong answer to the right question” of bridging the gap between the public and the political elite, and that it would be difficult to ensure that the selection of “average” citizens for these sessions was truly representative.

I support Ed Miliband’s proposal, but would go further by bringing “the people” into Parliament directly, by introducing Citizen Senators into a reformed and renamed House of Lords, selected by lot as per jury selection.

They would serve one-year terms and be given training. They would compose 50 per cent of the chamber, with the remainder made up of “Expert Senators” selected by an independent appointments system, and “Political Senators” appointed by the party leaders. The bloc of Citizen Senators would be sworn to consider legislation purely on its merit, eschewing political or other bias, much as jurors are sworn to serve justice alone.

This system would have numerous benefits, including maintaining the admirable expertise of the present House of Lords, providing an antidote to the increasing professionalisation of politics and being truly representative.

John Slinger
Chair, Pragmatic Radicalism, Rugby

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Account Manager - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing, ambitious, en...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai  

China has exposed the fatal flaws in our liberal economic order

Ann Pettifor
Jeremy Corbyn addresses over a thousand supporters at Middlesbrough Town Hall on August 18, 2015  

Thank God we have the right-wing press to tell us what a disaster Jeremy Corbyn as PM would be

Mark Steel
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage