Galloway: Sharks and spivs ruining UK's financial system

PUBLISHED: 00:44 20 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:38 05 October 2010


OUTSPOKEN MP George Galloway has slammed London's financial "sharks, gorillas and spivs" in a week which has seen the collapse of Lehman Brothers and a crash rescue bid launched by Lloyds TSB. They have brought the financial system to "rack and ruin," he says in a letter tonight (Friday) to the East London Advertiser

Mike Brooke

OUTSPOKEN MP George Galloway has slammed London’s financial “sharks, gorillas and spivs” in a week which has seen the collapse of Lehman Brothers and a crash rescue bid launched by Lloyds TSB.

They have brought the financial system to “rack and ruin,” he said tonight (Friday) in an angry letter to the East London Advertiser.

“We have absolutely no sympathy for the sharks, gorillas, spivs, former masters of the universe and short sellers—whatever they are—who have brought the financial system to rack and ruin,” he argues.

“Most of them will have secured themselves golden parachutes’ should they now find themselves out of a job.

“But there are thousands of people who have been working long hours to earn a basic living in the financial industry who will now be jobless and maybe even homeless soon because of the gross irresponsibility of those who just sought to boost their bonuses and inflate their profits.”

The MP—whose Tower Hamlets constituency of Bethnal Green & Bow is wedged between Canary Wharf and the City of London global financial centres—blamed the big corporations for failing the British public.

“The glittering spires of Canary Wharf and the Square Mile have produced little trickle down’ to the vast majority of people of Tower Hamlets,” he continues.

“Now those same institutions are going to plunge millions in this country into severe financial problems as a result of the credit crunch.

“Unemployment alone is predicted to rise to two million by the end of the year.”


But he also attacks the Prime Minister for allowing the banking world to take charge of the nation’s monetary matters when he first became Chancellor 11 years ago.

“Brown foolishly handed over control of monetary policy to a bunch of unelected bankers days after New Labour was elected in 1997,” he says.

“He presided over the deregulation which the spivs and sharks have exploited.

“Now he must take back control and force interest rates down, as the noted economic expert Graham Turner has urged. Britain must lead the way.”

Galloway is calling on the Government and local authorities to adopt radical measures to reverse the effects of “this financial meltdown” and its dire consequences for the real economy.

The Respect Party founder insists the Labour Government draws up plans to inject investment into the economy and meet pressing social need.

He pointed to direct investment in council house building “which has been neglected for the last 25 years.”

His attack came after the National Housing Federation had just announced that the Government target of three million new homes by 2012 was now impossible because of the slump in construction.

It might take another nine years to achieve that target, he warns.

“But it won’t be impossible if the Government launches a crash house-building programme now,” Galloway believes.

The MP, whose East End constituency forms the major part of the Labour-run London Borough of Tower Hamlets, believes the local authority—which has six Opposition Respect’ councillors—also has a role in tackling the crisis.

“The Government needs to enable Tower Hamlets and other councils to grant mortgages again as they used to 25 years ago,” he urged.

“They also need to ensure funds are available to meet increased demands on Town Hall resources that are going to occur—without penalising less-well-off council taxpayers.”

Galloway, writing from the House of Commons, co-signed his letter with Cllr Abjol Miah, his Opposition Respect group leader on Tower Hamlets council.

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