BCfm’s weekly politics show presented by Tony Gosling
For all the shows back to Easter 2009 visit the Friday Drivetime archive page.
First hour: George Osborne’s Budget 2013. News review with Eastville LibDem Councillor & former leader of Bristol LibDems Steve Comber. A green light for UK banking fraud: RBS & Barclays LIBOR and HSBC Money Laundering, how much did they make and how much was the out of court settlement? Steve Comer, former leader of LibDems in Bristol & LibDem councillor for Eastville, reviews the weeks news with Tony and Martin Summers. Discussing cuts in Avon Fire Authority which Steve Comer sits on including a halt to recruitment of fire-fighters. This week’s 2013 budget and clips of (VIDEO): Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne coughs and flounders during the budget speech as he confesses that December’s Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) growth forecast of 1.2% has been downgraded this week to 0.6% – National debt looks likely to double under this government from £800bn to £1.6tn. Martin points out Coalition are fiddling figures to make it look like deficit is going down, Steve says we need to borrow to invest, locally there are some schemes to do this; ‘Workfare Makes You Free’ – Labour Party abstain from obscene retrospective Workfare vote after government and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) caught breaking the law forcing science graduate Cait Reilly to work in Poundland for free; Bristol West LibDem MP Stephen Williams at PMQs about £10k tax threshold; Two Hinkley Point nuclear power stations given planning permission – subsidies discussed, choosing what to back in the ‘free market’; Hugh Bailey at PMQs asks Prime Minister David Cameron to scrap the bedroom tax entirely – Mayor George Ferguson says Bristol City Council won’t evict those who can’t pay; Anglican bishops, with the exception of Nigerian Elf oil shark & city banker Archbishop Welby, opposing benefit cuts – cutting benefits in a crisis stupid, better to introduce a citizens income. Royal Charter to be set up to regulate the press but clause quietly inserted to prosecute bloggers and this starts looking like an unnecessary establishment fix-up.
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Second hour: former financial editor of the Scottish Sunday Herald now London based blogger Ian Fraser on the Big Bang open season on fraud indicated by the Court Of Appeal overturning four fraud convictions in the County NatWest Blue Arrow rights issue where dealers fraudulently misrepresented the share price. European Central Bank (ECB), European Union (EU) & International Monetary Fund (IMF) or Troika impose one off tax of between 6% & 10% on Cypriot bank accounts in exchange for bailout. Blue Arrow, County Nat West trial, rights issue for Manpower buyout; financial bribes for Libor rigging. Libor ‘Rain Man’ dealer Tom Hayes was known to be the best Libor fixer in the business. Hayes’ pay package more than doubled from $2m to $5m when he moved from UBS to Citi bank, however, he was fired by Citi in September 2010 and in December 2012 he was arrested by London’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and bailed without charge. Separately, he was charged with wire fraud, price-fixing and conspiracy by the US Department of Justice and his extradition requested. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Hayes is now turning queen’s evidence, ‘singing like a canary’, and seeking to prove to the authorities that Libor rigging was condoned at the highest levels at his former employers. Jennifer Arcuri, a close friend of Hayes, said he is helping police with their inquiries. He believes he’s innocent, Arcuri told the WSJ. She added that trying to rig Libor was common industry practice. It was like spanking children in the 1970s – condoned from the top. Libor trader Roger Darin also charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and an antitrust violation; Robert & Vincent Tchenguiz are suing the Serious Fraud Office for more than £200m following the agency’s investigation into their role in the collapse of Iceland’s banks, this case could destroy the SFO. Financial press too close to the city, being taken on jaunts & jollys by them; Cyprus and contagion, painting the European Central Bank as Europe’s new feudal overlord. Interview with Labour’s former mayor of Frome Bob Ashford, who was barred from standing for Police and Crime Commissioner because of a minor offence committed when a teenager. His campaign to change the law is called Wipe The Slate Clean www.wipetheslateclean.co.uk – Strange that senior police officers, officers of all ranks, even Chief Constables and Assistant Chief Constables are not even vetted, many have serious criminal offences on their record and new recruits are not vetted. Marina Morris Voxpop where she asks whether or not you actually trust the police, Jimmy Savile and phone hacking have undermined trust in the police for many Bristolians. International stories briefly covered with Old Labour Oxford economist Martin Summers: Texan man elected in Istanbul as Syrian opposition ‘Prime Minister’ Ghassan Hitto; appears that chemical weapons have been used near Allepo in Syria by the Free Syrian Army, UN investigating. US and NATO preparing for intervention in Syria. Iraq war started ten years ago this week on WMD lies from German secret service BND’s agent Rafed Al Janabi, codename ‘Curveball’.