(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
There have been Inquiries on both sides of the North Atlantic. The Governor of the Bank of England, the US Treasury Secretary, the Federal Reserve, the British Bankers’ Association, the Serious Fraud Office, the Commons Treasury Select Committee, all were involved. The investigations were particularly thorough. And what they did not find was that any member of the UK Government was involved. At all.
This was not good enough for (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who from the start decreed that it was all Labour’s fault. “This is not going to wash. @EdBallsMP must come clean. To his knowledge, were there calls between Barclays and Lab govt on LIBOR? Yes or no? We do not need a lengthy Leveson for banks we need Labour to just tell the truth. Did the then govt know LIBOR was being gamed?” she demanded.
Note that Ms Mensch has already assumed wrongdoing and reached her conclusion before bothering with all that pesky evidence. And there was more: “No wonder Miliband / Balls want to kick Barclays and LIBOR into long grass of a drawn-out inquiry. Just answer question. Did Lab govt know? Did Treasury know under Labour? Did BofE know under Labour? Right now, are Balls and Miliband aware of complicity? Come clean”.
And she knew it was “Auguste” Balls to blame. “Ed Balls, if you know now that Labour govt knew about Barclays and #LIBOR scandal, admit it immediately. Don't make us wait on an inquiry … . @EdBallsMP ‘There could have been discussions between the Treasury and the Bank of England.’ There *could have*? #LIBOR #ComeCleanEd” she trilled.
It got worse: “Ed Balls and Ed Miliband must stop bleating about a conveniently long inquiry and tell the truth #LIBOR #ComeCleanEd … . @riobauer too right applies to both #ComeCleanEd #LIBOR #Barclays”. All this was as expected, but then she made a direct and seriously defamatory accusation, which has to this day not been withdrawn.
“Uh-oh... how Labour fixed LIBOR. Look at the graph. #ComeCleanEd”. Everyone and their dogs have been all over the LIBOR scandal, and nobody has made so much as a suggestion that the then Labour Government was involved, let alone doing the fixing. Ms Mensch clearly thought this was just good clean fun as she joshed “Oh, @johnprescott, you are too sweet. You've given me my own hashtag #Menschpunksongs You Say Labour, I Say LIBOR :)”. It isn’t. It’s a nasty smear, and it’s time for her to say sorry.