The Guardian reports that George Osborne and the Treasury are discussing abolishing the FSA entirely. If this is true, it would be another agreement (classed as a LibDem ‘gain’) that has quickly been broken. The same thing is happening with proposals such as capital gains tax – again, another LibDem ‘gain’ being watered down because of the Tory right wingers standing up for what they believe in. The right wingers are for once actually admirable, it is inspiring to see people stand up for what they believe in – even though policy wise, I am the polar opposite to what they stand for. There is no real equivalent within the LibDems – they all, except Charles Kennedy, seem to be accepting the regressive watering down of policies they said they ‘gained’ and of which they claimed represented a ‘progressive’ movement.
It looks as though Cable wont have his demands met, as Cable has been quoted as saying:
“The essential point is that the FSA remains intact but the governor of the Bank of England has unambiguous overall responsibility.”
Remember the days where Cable was branding the Tories’ plans on the changes that are ongoing within the banking regulation, as no more than “moving around bureaucratic furniture”. This is much like the way in which Cable has reverted his opinion on cuts, once claiming that they would result in a double dip recession to now providing full support:
“The emphasis for fiscal consolidation must fall on controlling public spending, not higher taxes… The process will be painful and difficult… There should be no ‘ring-fenced’ areas”
Basically, this equates to wide range painful slashing to public spending, and no raises in taxes on the richest to provide for a fairer more redistributive taxation system (something the LibDems went in the election arguing they stood for). Furthermore, no ‘ring fencing’ defaults Cameron’s argument that the NHS will be, and it again signals the clear intent to cut the state and public sectors to a damaging level – there is no wonder that the LibDems have now embraced the ‘Big Society’ with such vigour. The ideological distinctness of the LibDems is evaporating in front of our eyes – something many polls appear to be supporting.
It appears as though this is very much a Tory government, and that so far, the LibDems don’t mind it at all.