Tomorrow we go to the polls. Don’t make a huge mistake – Op Ed

Tomorrow is probably the most important day for our industry in recent history. Please do not get it wrong. Here is my full account of why it is so vital.

Tomorrow, December 12, is a vital day for the world’s financial markets.

Tomorrow is the day when Britain’s electorate goes to the polls to vote for the next government.

When a General Election takes place in the United Kingdom these days, it is not simply a matter of who supports the trade unions and who supports the small businessman.

It is quite a substantially different environment to that of 25 years ago, when Britain was a middle-income economy, arising from the socialist period which extended from the aftermath of the second world war until James Callaghan’s horrendous winter of discontent in 1979 where piles of garbage lined the streets and no employer could afford to pay a workforce for more than three days per week, if at all.

Following the most important General Election in post-war Britain, fortune had it that the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher was elected, and the nation’s fortunes were turned around.

Ten years on , London’s yuppie culture was coming to an end, the filofax, pinstripe suit and shoulder pads were giving way to ergonomically designed recyclable plastic consumables, the sharp-edged performance cars with pop-up headlamps gave way to SUVs.

The nation’s successful middle class had not only grown, but it had grown up.

Thirty years have passed, and Britain’s capital has become the world’s capital. London is the epicenter of the world’s financial services, high technology, international leadership across all sectors, culture, society and cuisine.

The seeds sown by Baroness Thatcher have not only grown, but have been nurtured by a highly sophisticated population of hard-working, pragmatic and sensible people with free choices around them that people in most of the world could only dream of.

Londoners literally are at the cutting edge of everything that happens worldwide, and many either come from every corner of the globe, or have studied, worked, lived and led business in every corner of the globe.

It is a powerhouse of talent, ability, ultra-modernity and fiscal strength. The world comes here. If you live elsewhere you have to travel. If you live in London, the world comes to you.

Let’s keep it that way. We all rely on it. Today it is not a case of social welfare vs private enterprise. It is a case of prosperity vs absolute destruction.

Never since the dark days of the late 1970s has there been such a polarization between potential candidates, Boris Johnson’s evident overtones of chaotic, gung-ho wartime leader Winston Churchill a far cry from opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn’s old-fashioned extreme left aspirations.

It is entirely possible to listen to a speech by Mr Corbyn, or read his party manifesto, whilst reminiscing over the several meter high piles of refuse adorning the streets of every town and city, the three day working week and the nationwide industrial disobedience that brought Britain’s proud industrial empire to its knees forty years ago.

Of course, Mr Corbyn’s party, rather like every socialist party worldwide, is very clever with its issuing of propaganda. They have infiltrated the schools in provincial towns and second-tier universities to sell a dream to those who didn’t try hard at school, have no religion or cultural awarenes or those looking for an identity.

They sell this dream to those far too young to remember the last time socialism got its claws into the UK. Although, it would be far worse if that happened this time given the magnitude and importance of London on the world stage.

For this reason, there are far more considerations this time than socio-economic preferences, as today’s world is an electronic one, and London’s financial markets economy, which leads the world and is responsible for £176 billion in revenues and is so efficient that it employs only 0.0009% of the European Union’s workforce yet produces 16% of all tax receipts for the entire 28 member states and has a £76 billion trade surplus.

London generates 328% of the productivity of the entire European Union, which itself is a socialist continent with very low productivity, no modernity, an adversarial mentality and piles of never ending debt.

It is patently evident that London’s financial sector – especially the non-bank electronic trading sector with its prime of prime brokerages, connectivity and integration suppliers, and their relationship with the eFX divisions of Canary Wharf’s Tier 1 banks – is a pinnacle of commercial excellence and leads the world.

Not very much scratching beneath the surface of Jeremy Corbyn’s hammer-and-sickle toting shadow cabinet is required to note something quite sinister, that being the socialist Labor Party’s disdain for Britain’s largest and most revenue driving business, London’s financial markets industry.

Just five years ago, there was a substantial amount of discourse mounting in London with regard to the European Union’s predilection for the intrinsically socialist Tobin Tax on transactions that are placed in trading financial instruments.

That has now gone completely quiet, as Britain opposed it on principle and has managed to fend it off, however in 2013, eleven European Union member states, all of which were led by left-wing governments, announced their wish to move ahead with introducing a financial transactions tax.

At that time, the nations – which include France and Germany – intended to use the tax to help raise funds to tackle the debt crisis, and the tax had the backing of the European Commission which was reinforced after the 2014 election the highly unpopular Jean-Claude Juncker as President.

The other countries that wished to introduce it were Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Estonia, all nations with absolutely no place in the world’s highly advanced financial markets economy. Greece’s government accountants, when not asleep for half of the day, cannot tell the top from the bottom of their balance sheets, Italy is rife with corruption, Portugal is agrarian, Belgium has invoked outright bans of retail electronic trading instruments and Slovakia, Slovenia and Estonia have absolutely no Tier 1 bank presence.

Jeremy Corbyn’s policies echo this line of thinking.

The Tobin tax was originally proposed to target the FX market when it was orchestrated by James Tobin in the 1970s, and whilst Britain has managed to remain free from it’s burden until now, Jeremy Corbyn is a staunch advocate of implementing it.

In September 2015, Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor and equally leftist John McDonnell made a schedule to meet four times per year with a seven-strong group comprising of economic academics (rather than business leaders) one of which was Anastasia Nesvetailova, a self-designated ‘expert’ on the international financial sector and its role in the global financial crisis of 2007-09. Ms. Nesvietailova, is an academic who spends her day in the classroom rather than the boardroom, thus is a theorist and has no practical experience. Just the type of policy advisors favored by the left.

During one particular conversation, the Labor Party’s support for the implementation of the Tobin Tax on all trading transactions was raised, as was, rather alarmingly, the potential of a Britain free of dominance of the financial sector.

Bearing this in mind, it is worth looking at John McDonnell’s credentials and viewpoint.

Mr. McDonnell is a former trade unionist who backs renationalizing banks and imposing wealth taxes. He actually lists “generally fomenting the overthrow of capitalism” as one of his interests in the Who’s Who directory of influential people. He also advocates the complete public ownership of all banks.

Mr McDonnell has served as Chair of the Socialist Campaign Group in Parliament and the Labour Representation Committee, and was the chair of the Public Services Not Private Profit Group. He is also Parliamentary Convenor of the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group of eight left-wing trade unions representing over half a million workers

I have said this before and will say it again, only this time it is even more important.

Jeremy Corbyn not only wants to nationalize the banks, but now wants to nationalize the internet providers and most other large companies.

The thought of Tier 1 FX desks being run by teams of ‘entitled’, unaccountable gray cardigan-wearing Caravan Club members with civil service pension plans would be enough to have every ‘equal’ citizen choking on their equally distributed bowls of cold gruel for which they had to save 5 tokens per week, but would destroy the entire world’s financial markets.

I began my career in this industry in 1991 at BT (now BT Radianz), the division of the company that operates financial markets infrastructure for executing venues and banks. The largest company in that sector today is Equinix, whose most important global center is LD4 in Slough.

This is a connectivity epicenter for the entire global financial industry. Imagine if that was operated by slothful “I know my rights” trade unionist relics with left wing, anti-capitalist views and a permanent glaze over their eyes as they drag themselves to ‘work’ in their beige Austin Montego every day, clock in at 9,00am, clock out at 4.30pm with an exact one hour break in the middle of doing nothing all day to eat a semi-stale triangular sandwich out of a plastic box, until they naff off to Eastbourne to sit on a deck chair on a permanent basis at age 50.

There would simply be no infrastructure left. No internet, no connectivity.

Mr Corbyn’s socialist extremism is so extensive that he would expect companies like Virgin to turn their ISP over to the government.

In would come defunct infrastructure, inept management, debt, system failure and censorship.

A nationalized infrastructure would make the UK completely unworkable for any financial company, and financial companies run the UK economy (along with supermarkets) so can you imagine the destitution and the knock on effect to the rest of the world?

Next time you go to rural Somerset, think of the ground you stand on. It has over 8000 miles of dedicated fiber optic cables which go under the sea and into the UK at Highbridge, carrying the world’s financial executions to every corner of the globe. No other nation has anywhere like the financial traffic that the UK does, the country is built for it.

Corbyn would take that over, censor it, stop business and wreck its hosts.

Mr McDonnell has also said publicly that if he was able to, he would have assassinated Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, a comment that when challenged, he retracted and said it was “a joke”.

Well, Mr McDonnell, that kind of extreme anti-business mentality combined with a will to bring the entire financial markets sector to its knees in the rebellious quest for overthrowing capitalism is not welcome.

Mr McDonnell wrote in 2012 that a financial transaction tax would halt “the frenetic, madcap speculation in the City” and raise money for infrastructure investment.

“If the City resists then let’s make it clear that capital controls would follow,” he said in a piece for Labour Briefing, a left-wing website.

Indeed they would. I know plenty of people who are ready to divest immediately as soon as a Labour government appears.

In fact, in the UK, only 0.02% of the population pays 12% of all income tax. This is only 20,000 people who already have international accounts and empires. They would just press a button and remove their funds from the UK. Let’s ask Mr Corbyn where he is going to get all the ‘free money’ he has promised the buck-toothed provincials who aimlessly vote for him when all the wealth providers leave the country.

Three day week anyone?

He has also said he wants to take the power to set interest rates away from the Bank of England and to give it back to government. This would reverse a decision by the Blair government to let the central bank decide monetary policy.

If his choice of senior cabinet ministers is not enough to ensure that this odious relic of the dark days of socialism stays out of office, Mr. Corbyn’s affection for Venezuelan communist dictator Hugo Chavez should do the trick.

In 2013, Mr. Corbyn tweeted “Thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world” just after president Chavez passed away.

The hard-left policies of Mr Corbyn’s idol Hugo Chavez have left a once-rich nation brutalized and devastated and with 2,200% inflation, strict capital control laws and an inability to do business with any free market nations.

Venezuela shows quite clearly just how catastrophic socialism is. So you might then expect those well-meaning folk who held up Chavez as a paragon to admit their mistake. Naomi Campbell, Diane Abbott, Seumas Milne and Owen Jones in the UK; Sean Penn, Oliver Stone and Michael Moore in the US. Not a peep from any of them.

Hugo Chavez’ successor Nicolas Maduro has turned out to be a first class economic incompetent. In 2016, imports collapsed by more than 50% (largely due to socialist trade sanctions) and the economy nosedived by 19%.

The budget deficit is around 20% of GDP. The minimum wage is now the equivalent of £25 a month. Conversely, London’s financial sector employs several middle managers between the ages of 25 and 35 who easily earn between £150,000 to £200,000 per annum, rising to over £500,000 for a senior executive position, and professional mobility – the chance of switching to new firms and accelerating one’s career – is among the best in the world.

After a Central Bank estimate that suggested that the Venezuelan economy had contracted by 19% in 2015 was leaked to the press, Mr Maduro fired the bank’s president and replaced him with a Marxist loyalist demonstrating another very problematic aspect of left wing control, censorship and that anyone who speaks against the ideology, whether right or wrong, will be removed from office.

Up to £640 billion of oil money was lavished on the country’s poor during the oil boom years, creating a gargantuan dependency culture. The country quintupled its national debt and hundreds of thousands of homes (of questionable construction quality) were handed to the poor. President Chavez created a massive and unsustainable bubble which is now beginning its slow, painful collapse.

At the heart of Venezuela’s economic chaos lie market distortions. Gasoline is sold locally for less than 1 British pence per litre and it receives £12 billion of state subsidies a year. The country has a complex monetary arrangement that makes use of three different exchange rates simultaneously.

This feeds rampant corruption because those with close connections to the president can buy dollars from the state at 10 bolivars a dollar but sell them at 3,300 bolivars a dollar on the black market – a classic case of ‘do as I say, don’t do as I do.’

Price controls have made it unprofitable for small businesses to sell staple goods, leading to widespread shortages. Carjackings and kidnappings are now epidemic. Caracas’s murder rate is 80 times higher than that of London, which over the last 15 years has become very safe indeed, especially in Central London, and in particular, the Square Mile where it would be extremely rotten luck to have even so much as a wallet stolen from a pocket.

Mr Corbyn and most of his comrades revere these third world despots which have destroyed the lives of their populace.

Vote for him, and we all vote for the end of our careers and the end of any form of freedom of business, and would be voting for a lifetime of no elections, capital controls, wrought iron shackles tying us to European bureaucracy and fecklessness, and would be subjected to living in gray concrete rabbit hutches, zero social or economic mobility, a war on London’s financial center, which is insane because that is the world’s wealth producer, and a life of subservience as one group of people is pitted against another.

Indeed we thankfully live in a free, democratic country. Absolutely the best free democratic country on earth, which is the linchpin of all of our business globally.

Let’s keep it that way, and keep Citizen Smith and his hate-filled, stone-throwing, 1970s donkey jacket-clad working class rebels out of power.


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