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A possible leader for UKIP whom I dislike more than I dislike David Cameron

Tim Congdon has thrown his hat in the ring to become the next leader of UKIP and that means UKIP could possibly end up with a leader whom I dislike even more than David Cameron (hard to believe, eh?).

I have disliked Tim Congdon long before I knew who David Cameron was. I remember him at a conference long ago – his reply to my suggestion that lending should be from real savings, and that governments should not subsidize or bailout banks (via such methods as the Bank of England lending them money) was to suggest that I supported a ban on overseas trade that (he stated) the Ming dynasty in China had imposed.

“Paul only you could hold a grudge over something like this” – not if the man had changed his opinions, but he has not (it is still corporate welfare all the way with him). Nor has he changed his manner – he does not debate, he just claims that foes do not understand banking.

If he means do not understand how to get paid lots of money for being an apologist for subsidies to the banks then he is right – although “understand” is not the correct word.

32 comments to A possible leader for UKIP whom I dislike more than I dislike David Cameron

  • Paul Marks

    Ian – you are a naughty cat.

  • Aetius

    I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it, Paul. Nigel Farage will almost certainly get re-elected. He has the name recognition and the endorsements. Also, the membership realise why he stood down before – to focus on trying to oust John Bercow in Buckingham at the general election.

  • Paul Marks

    The Buckingham election.

    Mr Bercow (full disclosure – another person I have had a grudge against for many years) was not a member of the Conservative party, and even when he was a Conservative M.P. expressed utter contempt for Conseratives (for example he was about the only person on the planet who thought Mr Cameron was “too right wing”).

    Yts the Conservative voters of Buckingham put the corrupt, wild spending nonenity back in the House of Commons – to be Speaker.

    What is it about Buckingham?

    The Conservative party M.P. before Bercow correctly noted that most private schools were better than most government schools (even if the government schools had a similar amount of money to spend) and his conclusion was……

    That the private schools should be nationalized.

    Perhaps he wanted the University of Buckingham (the only independent university in the U.K.) nationalized as well.

    Why does Buckingham keep sending such shits to the House of Commons?

  • Mark Wadsworth

    Paul: “lending should be from real savings, and that governments should not subsidize or bailout banks”

    Any normal person would see that as a statement of the blindingly obvious, and I can understand that you’re still a bit miffed with his response.

  • Governments shouldn’t subsidise or bail out banks, but, and we’ve all been over this already I know, lending does come from real savings. Banks get into trouble when they find they’ve loaned those savings to people who can’t pay it back, which is what happened recently.

  • Verity

    A personal dislike stronger than a dislike of Cameron. Hard to imagine.

  • I agree – Congdon’s understanding of economics has long struck me as defective. He published an article in the last couple of months (I forget where) advocating – can you believe it – lighter bank regulation. This was on the grounds that we cannot do without the fraudsters and criminals of Wall Street.

  • Paul Marks

    Fraud is not a matter of “regulation” it is a matter of the laws of fraud (which existed in Common Law long before regulations).

    The thousands of pages of national and international (“Basel” and “Basel II”) regulations do not stop fraud – if anything they promote it, by giving customers a false sense of confidence.

    In a related area – how many people lost money because they said to themselves about Bernie Madoff “he is regulated by the SEC”?

    “Then we need a better SEC” – NO, we need customers who stop trusting the government and show some common sense.

    For example, if a investment manager is offering you higher rates of return than other people and he is rather vague about WHAT SPECIFICALLY HE IS INVESTING In – then he is very likely to be a fraud.

    And if a bank (for example banks in Iceland – of all places) are offering you higher interest rates (for no clear reason) then there is something very likely to be wrong with them.

    If Tim Congdon was saying the above I would AGREE with him – but, of course, he is not.

    In reality Congdon backed the various mad schemes of Northern Rock and so on (offering people great deals – and based on magic pixie dust and rainbows), even as it went bust I remember him on television saying of Northern Rock (an organization that “borrowed short and lent long” i.e. that turned even the rules of fractional reserve banking on their heads)
    “it is sound”, “it is a great bank with a first rate business model” and so on, and so on.

    Congdon is just terrible.

    No doubt he thought that Anglo Irish (a bank that has basically destroyed the Republic of Ireland) was “sound” and had a wonderful “business model” also.

    By the way regulations will never protect people from people like Congdon – on the contrary, in spite of all their talk, such people tend to have very close relationships with the regulators.

    I repeat go back to the Common Law of fraud – and to COMMON SENSE in investment.

    It is not a “gift horse” so freaking well look in its mouth.

  • John B

    UKIP’s corporatist inclinations showing?
    Politics being about who can more successfully impose their will, I guess things only go from bad to worse at which time, in desperation, a compromise between truth and that which is acceptable to the compromised comes to influence (not exactly power). Such as was Margaret Thatcher.
    But until then it will be more or less downhill with some plateaux of angst (such as was Ted Heath).
    But- an aside: I sometimes wonder if the libertarian is not in the riskiest position as regards the truth. How does one have a political grouping intended to disperse control?

    The banking crisis? – Just business as usual in the consolidation of power?
    Not too much has changed since Garet Garrett’s 1938 essay: The Revolution Was.

  • Of course they’re corporatists. They’re conservatives.

  • Paul Marks

    One simply way of dealing with Tim Congdon if he starts to play the “I am a deregulating free market person” game.

    Point out that when banks get into trouble a certain person starts to scream for the government to support them (for example with sweetheart low interest loans from the Central Bank) – and that person is…………

    Tim Congdon.

    Also what the **** is “lighter” regulation?

    Either one has a fraud based system (with no government support for banking or allied trades).

    Or one has government support (“in a crises”) and the government lays down rules and regulations telling the banks who they can lend money to, and how much, and at what interest rate (etc, etc).

    There is no “middle way” not in the long term – as regulations tend to increase, and so they should if government is backing the banks (after all the “lender of last resort” is the real owner).

    Government backed banks (even if the support is private – behind closed doors, as Tim Congdon likes) are really government owned banks, whoever the official owners are supposed to be.

    This was shown when Mr Brown (then Prime Minister of Britain) asked the head of Lloyds Bank to buy (bankrupt) Halifax-Bank of Scotland.

    Bland of Lloyds did so – even though by doing this he was clearing out his shareholds (basically robbing everyone who owned Lloyds stock).

    Why did he do this?

    Because the real owner of Lloyds is the enity that backs them – the British government (via the Bank of England) and that was true long before the British government officially owned any stock at all.

    No “regulations” are going to save people from this – as the relationship is corrupt by definition.

  • Paul Marks

    Ian – most conservatives in the United States do NOT support corporate welfare.

    Britian is a different case (to some extent) because there is no tradition of questioning such things – at least not since the 19th centuty.

    For example, in Britain the debate was “should the Bank of England be government owned – or privately owned?”

    Not “should the Bank of England (with all its government granted powers) exist?”.

    A system based on Common Law opposition to fraud (with no sweetheart loans for banks and so on) has not even been considered in Britain in recent times.

    Although in the 19th century even a Governor of the Bank of England was against it – remember it was the then Governor of the Bank of England who was the ENEMY of the vile Walter Bagehot.

    And even Bagehot was a moderate compared to the utter scumbags who dominate things like the “Economist” magazine these days.

  • John B

    Corporatist and conservative are not the same thing and not necessarily even similar.

  • Hugo

    David Campbell Bannerman has an unfortunate tendency to keep mentioning global warming in public.

    Tim Congdon would be a disaster in the long term. “If I am elected leader, UKIP will have the best economist in British politics.” He is also of the Lord Pearson model — not a great image.

    Winston McKenzie is black so might help to change the false image of UKIP as white racists.

    Nigel Farage is a great guy.

    Such a shame Marta Andreasen is not standing. As a woman she would also help change the image of the party, and more importantly she would have great moral authority as former auditor of the EU.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Ralph Musgrave: the “frauds” and “criminals” on Wall Street or wherever are those who have relied, time and again, on the taxpayer to save them from the consequences of their folly (ie. they have relied on the proceeds of state theft). Also, those who use political connections to protect their business, and those who have aided and abetted the mad cult of the all-knowing central bank also deserve censure.

    Those points, however, do not justify a more generalised attack on the banking and trading of Wall Street or indeed any other major financial centre. There are a lot of bad apples; there are also a lot of very smart, capable and good people in those industries. When people bash banking, what the hell do they think we can do instead? Revert to barter?

    One of the main functions of such financial centres has been, and remains, the efficient channelling of savings to (hopefully) profitable investment, as well as providing large, liquid markets enabling different economic actors to hedge market risks. Without the evil speculators that get so much stick, very little of this sort of activity could occur efficiently. Take the attacks on hedge fund short-sellers, for instance. Without such folk, the pool of counterparties in a market declines, markets become less liquid, etc.

  • Paul, I didn’t say anything about the United States. Different country, different culture, different politics. Compare “liberal” for instance.

    British Conservatives are not libertarian and never have been. They have never believed in true free markets. They have never fought for or delivered smaller government and they most significantly have never complained about corporatism. The Conservative model for business is a clique of “Captains Of Industry” who take tea with ministers. Always has been, always will be.

  • Mind you, just to clarify, there’s not much libertarian about American conservatives either. They only remember the Constitution when there’s a nig-nog in the Whitehouse, after all.

  • The Ming ban was not on all overseas trade, but on trade with Japan in response to Japanese piracy. To my knowledge the Ming did not ban imports of European (i.e. Japanese or American in origin) silver, nor did they impose a blanket ban on all foreign trade.

    In fact, in the latter half of the 16th century the Ming allowed the Portuguese to use Macau as a trading base – with one of their chief trading goods being silver, along with sweet potatoes and the like. In the early 17th century, the VOC triangulated large volumes of trade between China and Japan via Formosa (Taiwan). The Dutch would buy up Chinese silks and trade them for Japanese silver, which would in turn fund further purchases of Chinese silks, with the VOC turning a good profit. I actually live pretty close to the site of the old VOC trading base.

  • Have you changed your medication lately Ian? You seem very sprightly lately…

  • Paul Marks

    “medication” – as far as I know the only person round here on medication is me. No not head pills – inhalers.

    “But at least you get them free with the British NHS” – dream on.

    Ditto the “free” dental cover (if you do not pay good luck finding this “free” cover).

    Ian (Ian B.) the story of British Conservatives is much more complex than you think – read W.H. Greenleaf’s “The British Political Tradition” specifically the section titled “the libertarian strand” you will find that most of the libertarian strand (although not all) were actually conservative party people.

    This did not come as a shock to me when I read it – for local reasons.

    In the history of my hometown of Kettering (not far from you) it was the Liberals who were in favour of setting up a money wasting council, and in favour of setting up an education board (they lost the public vote on that – it was finally forced on the town in 1891) and they were the prohibitionists, and some of them were even into land nationalization.

    I remember when I first joined the Conservative Association (about 30 years ago now) I met old members who had read Eugen Bohm Bawerk (no kidding) and who even denounced government fiat money.

    The J.S. Mill line (repeated endlessly since then) that the Conservatives are the party of the stupid and ignorant just is not true.

    “But why do such people hardly ever get to leadership positions inside the Conservative party Paul?” Now that is another question.

  • Paul Marks


    So Tim Congdon was not even telling the truth in his, off topic, “reply” to me?

    As the old saying goes “I should have known”.

  • Nuke Gray

    Look, Paul, just tell us who you do like- a much shorter list, no doubt!

  • “So Tim Congdon was not even telling the truth in his, off topic, “reply” to me?”

    Assuming the remark you attribute to him is accurate, then yes – unless Jonathan Spence has got a lot of facts wrong, which I consider unlikely.

  • Paul, I know where Kettering is. I was born there. For heaven’s sake, considering the state of the local gene pool, we probably share more genes than most muslim newlyweds.

  • ian

    Paul – all three of the major parties have elements in their traditions that are anti-state. The conservatives don’t have a monopoly and never did. They all have strongly statist elements too of course and since WW2 it is by and large the statists who have won out.

    The late Colin Ward’s book Anarchy in Action (as well as much of his other writing) contains many examples.

  • Paul Marks

    Agreed Ian – after all even the Labour party has the cooperative tradition (in theory, if not in practice, anti statist), although the record of the Cooperative “movement” in the Kettering area is disgusting (they have knifed communities in the back – not to make money, sometimes just out of spite)..

    As for the present government – an increase in the minimum wage last week, plus the “Equality Act” (yes both from the last government but supported by this one). And this week a four billion Pound increase in taxes on savings (demented) plus a seven billion (plus) Pound plan to take children from the age of two and shove them in government schools.

    And, of course, we have the “Qwango” thing – abolish some things but KEEP THEIR FUNCTIONS (classic smoke and mirrors “cuts”).

    Anyone who thinks we have a pro freedom government should seek medical advise.

  • Dear Ian,

    Thank you for contacting me about the 10:10 campaign on climate change.

    The 10:10 campaign, launched in September 2009, is a movement of people, schools, businesses and other organisations working together to cut carbon by 10 per cent in a year. The scale of the task is such that we need precisely these kinds of measures if the UK is to build a truly low-carbon economy.

    The Government supports the campaign’s aim of encouraging individuals and organisations to take action to reduce carbon emissions, and welcomes the contribution 10:10 has made to communicating the climate change message.

    Within days of coming to office, the Government, taking its lead from 10:10, committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 10 per cent in 12 months. Since 1 August, 18 government headquarter buildings have been reporting real time energy consumption online, as part of the Prime Minister’s commitment in May to make this the ‘greenest government ever’.

    There has been some controversy surrounding the recent 10:10 advertising campaigning. 10:10 have acted promptly to apologise and remove the film concerned when it became clear that it had caused offence. The Government did not finance or approve the content of the film.

    Where objectives are shared, the Government will continue to work with 10:10.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Brian Binley MP
    Northampton South Constituency

    I see no potential in the Conservative Party as an instrument of libertarian reform. Not a single iota.

  • Paul Marks

    What a vile reply you got Ian.

    Even if Mr Binley did not write it himself (and he may or may not have done so) it shows terrible judgement on his part to employ someone who would write such a letter.

    “Common aims” so the “aims justify the means”?

    Cooperating with the 10/10 campaign is a wicked thing to do (in the traditional meaning of the word “wicked”) regardless of one’s opinion on the theory of man made globel warming.

    The ends do not jusify the means – the 10/10 campaign thinks they do, so one can not cooperate with them.

    Like you I would find it rather hard to vote for a person who did not understant this.

  • Gabriel

    By the by, Nigel Farage also understands precisely zip about economics and embraces all the usual monetarist gibberish. Arguably Congdon should know better, but one would think the same of Farage considering his practical experience.

    The good news is that there some reasonably prominent political figures who actually do believe in sound money and banking, and have identical views on the EU to UKIP, but for some reason insist on being ineffectual backbench MPs/MEPs for the party that has done more than any other to sell this country to foreign oligarchs than any other and is still actively doing so. Go figure.

  • By the by, Nigel Farage also understands precisely zip about economics and embraces all the usual monetarist gibberish.

    I know
    . What a pity Pearson did not last long.

  • Paul Marks

    Gabriel and Perry:

    I wish I could dispute what you say (about Nigel Farage – and about the leadershop of the Conservative party), but the facts are on your side.