Justice Commitee Meeting

  • expatfrance1
  • 15/10/08 31/05/09
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Posted: Thu, 11/12/2008 - 08:08

The following link is to a video of the Justice Committee meeting on 10th December.

http://www.twofourdigital.net/UKParliament/Archive/0000005480.wmv.asx?cu...

The first 20-30 minutes shows Lord Bach looking very uncomfortable as he questioned about the situation.

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Another reply from the Justice Committee!

  • IceCrusher
  • 14/10/08 25/10/11
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  • Mon, 12/01/2009 - 17:26

As some of you know, I sent a long letter to the Ministry of Justice, copied to many others, including all members of the Justice Committee. I received the following reply the same morning that it was received! As the memorandum may not be published beforehand I shall delay posting my letter on the forum until after the JC meeting.

Dear Mr............,
>
> Following your correspondence with the Ministry of Justice in relation
> to the Crown Dependencies, I would like to invite you to submit a
> memorandum to the Justice Select Committee, should you wish to raise
> some of your concerns with us.
>
> The Committee heard oral evidence from Lord Bach on the Isle of Man and
> the economic crisis on 17th December 2008. The transcript is available
> on our website. I have copied the guidance for submitting a memorandum
> below, but should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to
> contact me.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Dr Rebecca Davies
> Second Clerk, Justice Committee
> House of Commons
>
> Tel: 020 7219 1280


Well done Ice! Is there a

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Mon, 12/01/2009 - 18:07

Well done Ice! Is there a date yet for the next JC meeting?

Not sure you mean by "the memorandum may not be published beforehand" - do you mean before the next meeting? Will it then be considered?


Hello anrigaut, Part of the

  • IceCrusher
  • 14/10/08 25/10/11
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  • Mon, 12/01/2009 - 19:22

Hello anrigaut,
Part of the instructions for presenting a memorandum to the committee is that it hasn't been published before and is all your own work as it were. My memorandum will be comprised almost entirely from the four-page letter that I sent to the Justice Ministry, so I think that it would be wise to refrain from posting it on the forum, otherwise variations are likely to crop up all over the place!
Ice


Further reply from Justice Committee

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Mon, 12/01/2009 - 13:59

Just received the following reply from Fergus Reid to my letter (below) of 20 Dec.

Dear xxx (my first name only !)

I will keep you informed on the Committee's progress in this matter. Well spotted on the footnote by the way! Witnesses to select committees are able to offer footnotes or supplementary memoranda by way of clarification - the important thing is that such texts are distinguishable from the evidence given at the time.

Fergus Reid
Clerk


-----Original Message-----

From: (anrigaut)
Sent: 20 December 2008 10:58
To: REID, Fergus
Subject: Re: Justice Committee Report on Crown Dependencies
Importance: High

Dear Mr Reid,

Thank you very much for your sympathetic letter and for the attached documents and for the speed with which you have provided these.
Your concern for our plight is much appreciated.

I have noted that the Committee was not fully satisfied by the replies to some of their questions and expect to return to the topic in the New Year. In view of the gravity and urgency of our situation, I hope that this can be programmed as early as possible in 2009. I hope that the additional information and insights you have received since the recent session will be helpful in further scrutiny of the performance of the Ministry of Justice throughout this crisis.

I was amazed to see that Lord Bach had apparently requested and obtained the addition of a footnote to clarify his reply to Q21 concerning the extent to which the interests of depositors in the IoM and Guernsey were safeguarded "from the first point of action". This particularly convoluted footnote does not of course answer the question posed by Rt hon David Heath!

I look forward to hearing from you again as this work proceeds.


Well done indeed a

  • expat
  • 10/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Mon, 12/01/2009 - 14:07

Well done indeed a personalised response, is that a first!? Lets hope that they follow through on this, a little discomfort would go am long way!! Again anrigaut well done is there anything here the rest of us might do to press this do you think?


Justice committee - repost of earlier reply

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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I've been impressed by the two letters from Fergus Reid. As the earlier one was posted on the "Replies from MPs" forum, I thought it might be helpful to re-post it here. Note particularly his last sentence "... may it work out as
well as possible for you!". My letter of 20th Dec was in reply to this.

This latest from him suggests they were not fooled either by Lord Bach's wriggling footnote.

In reply to expat: YES, maybe others could write to encourage the JC to keep up the pressure? Although their remit is somewhat limited, I feel they are well worth encouraging as much as possible as they do appear to have some real sympathy for our cause. As you say, a little (or more than a little ?) discomfort ....


HERE IS THE PREVIOUS LETTER FROM FERGUS REID (19th December 2008):

Dear all

Crown dependencies & the Justice Committee

Please forgive this impersonal response but the Committee's short
session with Lord Bach in December provoked quite a large number of
individual responses to which the answers are, so far, the same.

Thank you all very much for your messages to the Chairman of the
Committee on the evidence the committee sought on the Icelandic bank
crisis and the crown dependencies, including for the helpful insights,
commentary and further information offered. The Committee has the
greatest sympathy for the plight of individuals who may have lost
savings due to the recent combination of events. However, you will
understand that this Committee's only mandate in this area is its remit
to scrutinise the role, responsibilities and performance of the Ministry
of Justice in safeguarding the interests of the Crown Dependencies on
behalf of the UK Government.

Sir Alan has asked me to send you the Committee's report: Crown
Dependencies: evidence taken, together with the accompanying press
notice. He has also asked me to keep you informed of any Committee
announcement of further work in this area.

Seasons greetings and best wishes for the New Year - may it work out as
well as possible for you!

Fergus Reid

Justice Committee Clerk


Fergus Reid

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Mon, 12/01/2009 - 15:06

PS to my post above:
Just realised that my email of 20 Dec got an automated reply saying he was out of office until 12 Jan. That is TODAY!

I'm even more impressed! Please write (NICELY!) to this man.


A bit of humanity goes a long way...

  • Hoping and coping
  • 16/10/08 31/07/10
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  • Sat, 20/12/2008 - 11:34

Thank you, Anrigaut (below) for your posting on the MPs Replies page (http://chat.ksfiomdepositors.org/forum-topic/replies-mps-post-them-all-here).

It's a little disappointing to see the extent of the Justice Committee's mandate (they'd be good to have in our corner...) ("to scrutinise the role, responsibilities and performance of the Ministry of Justice in safeguarding the interests of the Crown Dependencies on behalf of the UK Government"), but nice to have someone expressing sympathy for our plight - oh, and nice to be sent some good wishes for the festive season, and, especially for the New Year (" may it work out as well as possible for you!"). A bit of humanity goes a long way...


Sent thanks to Fergus Reid (Clerk to JC)

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Sat, 20/12/2008 - 16:35

I replied by email to Fergus Reid, thanking him for his concern and for sending the documents with such speed. Got an automatic reply - "out of office" until 12 Jan - which maybe explains why he got the job done so fast.

His "may it work out as well as possible for you!" was indeed a welcome change. The apparent lack of humanity or any concern whatsoever on the part of HMG is one of the most distressing aspects of this whole thing. They don't even seem to pretend to care.


Justice Committee Report

  • Hoping and coping
  • 16/10/08 31/07/10
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  • Sat, 20/12/2008 - 11:18

I sent a letter to Sir Alan Beith regarding this meeting. Primarily, besides thanking him, David Heath and Alun Michael, I expressed utter dismay with regard to the responses given by Lord Bach to the questions posed by the Justice Committee. It seems that both the UK Treasury and the Ministry of Justice have a conflict of interests and both seem completely dismissive of us. The primary responsibility of the MOJ is clearly towards HMG. The responses given to the questions posed all seemed to suggest a distancing from any real kind of representative or supportive function, a distancing from any involvement with the IOM transfer of its assets to the UK, a retreat from any involvement with the discussions with Iceland, and in some cases served to simply deflect attention away from the questions asked.

As for Lord Bach’s response “Yes, I am” to the question as to whether “the interests…of those who deposited monies with the banks in those countries were safeguarded...in so far as any depositors' interests are safeguarded in the UK?” – I could only assume that he was referring to the level of the Compensation Scheme amounts in both the UK and the IOM, as I could not understand how else it could possibly be suggested that we are safeguarded.

I now see what he meant: “I am satisfied by the steps taken by the UK Government in the interests of the people whose deposits the UK regulatory authorities are responsible for” (Note by witness: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmjust/67/812...)

What a pity this was not clarified and Lord Bach further questioned at the time, or asked to answer the actual question posed…

It is good to see that the Justice Committee Report states that “the Committee believes that some questions over the relationship between the UK and the Crown Dependencies remain to be answered and that further clarity on the way in which the dependencies' interests are protected by the UK Government is required”, and that they “are not sure that the arrangements within the Government were adequate to deal with all aspects of the recent crisis” (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmjust/67/670...).

I also note that the Justice Committee is concerned with the interests of “UK-based depositors in Icelandic banks in the Crown Dependencies”. This is very good for the UK-based depositors. Hopefully, though, the Committee will extend its concern to all depositors.


Justice Committee - press notice

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Sat, 20/12/2008 - 14:16

Yes indeed Hoping and coping!

Also worthy of note is the conclusion of the Press Notice issued by the Justice Committee: "We are likely to return to this topic in 2009 as clarity over the issues we raised has not been forthcoming."

I have replied to Fergus Reid (Clerk) thanking him for their concern over our plight and asking that their return to the topic be programmed asap in 2009 (not surprisingly they are out of office until 12th January).

Concerning Lord Bach's reply "Yes, I am", the convoluted footnote - which seems to "unanswer" the question posed - was of course added after the meeting (how convenient!), so could not be the subject of further questioning. At the time, he did -in his way (!) - answer the question, but I agree it is a pity he was not asked to clarify this further; he might have got into some nice deep water.


Justice Committee meeting Report - now out!

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Fri, 19/12/2008 - 17:27

The report of the Justice Committee meeting is out today. They were clearly not satisfied - which can't be bad for us.

For more details, see my post under "Replies from MPs" (wasn't sure where to put it!).


FYI the Official Transcript now available

  • Nixi
  • 20/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Wed, 17/12/2008 - 10:05

The official version is now up at the JC web pages here http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmjust/uc67-i...


So are we safeguarded (just like any UK depositor) ???

  • Dave1
  • 10/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Fri, 19/12/2008 - 18:26

Refer to Lord Bach's answer to Q21 at JC meeting:

Q21 Mr Heath: May I come back to the core issue of the current situation? Lord Bach, you are then entirely satisfied that the interests, of not only the banking sector in both the Isle of Man and in Guernsey but also of those who deposited monies with the banks in those countries, were safeguarded from the first point of action of the Treasury in freezing the assets of the Icelandic banks and since, and that those depositors' interests are now safeguarded, in so far as any depositors' interests are safeguarded in the UK?

Lord Bach: Yes, I am.

So - since no one banking in a UK onshore bank has lost any money, what does this mean? I could speculate 2 ways:

Interpretation 1: Lord Bach knows that KSFIoM depositors are 100% safeguarded - but just could not say that at the JC meeting
Interpretation 2: Lord Bach was ignorant of the real situation facing depositors of KSFIoM and Landbanski Guernsey - and his comment was simply wrong (or worse, he just didn't care for anyone offshore).
If the first - GREAT!
If the 2nd (much more likely in my view), then what do people think? Can we use this comment to our advantage along the lines of "Lord Bach says we are OK. So UK & IOM Governments; get on and sort it out.....etc"


Dave1 - you may have missed

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Fri, 19/12/2008 - 18:50

Dave1 - you may have missed it, but the DAG did put out an excellent press release about this (see the public site).

But see also my post above. In the official Report of the Justice Committee meeting published today, a footnote has been added to Lord Bach's reply (this was NOT of course in the first uncorrected transcript). He is now copping out of what he said (and is not in fact answering the question)!


Anrigaut - thanks

  • Dave1
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  • Sat, 20/12/2008 - 09:37

Anrigaut, thanks. Yes - I had missed the 'footnote'. I must say I find the addition of that footnote astonishing! I think it is absolute proof that Lord Bach and his department have not the slightest inclination for understanding our plight or recognising their responsibilities towards us. It's appalling!


Is IOM happy to be represented by UK Treasury in Iceland talks?

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Mon, 15/12/2008 - 18:46

In the Justice Committee meeting, David Heath MP suggested that in delegating it's representation of IoM in discussions with Iceland to the UK Treasury the MoJ had abdicated its reponsibiblity towards IoM.

In reply, Mr Bourke (on the left of Lord Bach) said:
"I'm quite sure that if you were to ask the IoM if they felt the same .... I think they would disagree very strongly".

I wonder if this can be true? What do our IoM-based members think? If this is not true, could anyone from the IoM authorities be persuaded to say so publicly?

Mr Bourke later said that such matters (as those discussed with Iceland) were quite beyond his ability. Maybe so - but does the MoJ have no-one with competence in financial affairs?


IOM Happy with UK Representation?

  • Codpeace
  • 23/10/08 30/11/12
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  • Mon, 15/12/2008 - 19:51

Very good point. Both Lord Bach and Mr Bourke were of the opinion that relationships with IOM were extremely good - I find that hard to believe given the Darling comment about the 'tax haven in the irish sea'.
Even without the technical expertise within MOJ surely it is their responsibilty to ensure that action is being taken and they should be awareof the action even if they don't understand it. However, I am sure that, in the interests of diplomacy, the IOM would not publicly say anything that may jeopardise the situation but I would hope that they are unhappy with MOJ and are pressing them harder than ever. I doubt if anyone will publicly speak about a rift but it would be good to find a leak.....


New Press Release

  • Nixi
  • 20/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Sun, 14/12/2008 - 23:32

DAG have issued a new Press Release (Thanks to Teapot and Sleeplessnight)
Get ready to write another batch of emails and letters! There will be a new sample letter up sometime tomorrow..
http://www.ksfiomdepositors.org/press-release/how-can-uk-ministry-justic...


Press Release: Lord Bach's reply to David Heath

  • IceCrusher
  • 14/10/08 25/10/11
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  • Sat, 20/12/2008 - 17:19

The critical statement made by Lord Bach was issued in a later DAG press release, see below:

http://www.ksfiomdepositors.org/press-release/breaking-news-are-we-take-...


Great Press Release!!!

  • Emabroad
  • 10/10/08 30/08/09
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  • Sat, 20/12/2008 - 17:00

Well done Teapot & Sleeplessnight. Great job. You may be interested in this bit of research I came across, which raises the bar a bit:

As we know, according to the Department of Constitutional Affairs, ‘The United Kingdom is responsible for the Islands' international relations and for their defence’,

but, more interestingly:

‘The Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey make annual contributions towards the cost of common services such as defence and overseas representation.’

[Source: A Guide to Government Business involving the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, August 2002. Constitutional Affairs: Sections: 15 Relationship with the United Kingdom and 23 Economic Matters. Department of Constitutional Affairs website - http://www.dca.gov.uk/constitution/crown/govguide.htm#part2.]


Sample letter

  • IceCrusher
  • 14/10/08 25/10/11
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  • Wed, 17/12/2008 - 09:06

Please advise on sample letter.


Parliamentary Ombudsman

  • dclf1947
  • 10/10/08 31/08/09
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  • Mon, 15/12/2008 - 01:28

I still think we should put in a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman regarding our position with the MJ, Treasury and FSCS (vote rigging).


Ombudsman recommends Equitable copensation.

  • dclf1947
  • 10/10/08 31/08/09
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This is from the BBC News online. Ok it took a long time but the Parliamentrry Ombudsman has achieved something.

Equitable compensation is urged

MPs have told the government to pay compensation to those who lost money when insurance company Equitable Life almost collapsed.

The Public Administration Select Committee says victims are due up to £4bn to make up for maladministration by regulators and Whitehall officials.

More than a million customers were left with reduced retirement savings after a key ruling in 2000.

A previous report by the Ombudsman said ministers should pay up and apologise.

MP's backed the report, by Ombudsman Anne Abraham, and recommended her recommendations be implemented at a possible cost of £4bn.

They said the former Department of Trade and Industry and City regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA), had "failed over a prolonged period and at a fundamental level".

'Decade of uncertainty'

The government is due to announce its response to Ms Abraham's report in mid-January.

Policyholders hope it will bring a conclusion to almost a decade of uncertainty and anxiety since Equitable Life closed its doors to new business in 2000.

The committee said the government should apologise both for their failures of regulation and for its failure to conduct a comprehensive investigation promptly after Equitable Life's difficulties became apparent.

They said it should set up an "independent, transparent and simple" compensation scheme, administered by a tribunal, which can provide swift redress to those who lost out.

Many policyholders have died while they waited for compensation, while others are advancing in years.

The report warned: "Justice further delayed will mean justice denied to even more people."

The committee's chairman Tony Wright MP said justice in the case had been delayed for far too long.

"The Ombudsman has shown in exhaustive detail how the regulators failed over a prolonged period and at a fundamental level. Under the circumstances, compensation should be a duty, not a matter of choice," he said.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable said the report was "a damning indictment of regulatory failure".

"The government should apologise for the years of delay, anxiety and unanswered questions suffered by policyholders.

"Ministers have not only completely failed to regulate properly, but have proven themselves utterly incapable of establishing a proper investigation into this affair."

A Treasury spokesman said the government had taken the issue of compensation policyholders "very seriously."

"The government believes that the substantial report produced by the Parliamentary Ombudsman on this issue in the summer should also be fully considered before the Government responds."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/7782960.stm

Published: 2008/12/15 05:37:52 GMT

© BBC MMVIII


we are busy night owls!

  • Lucky Jim
  • 13/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Mon, 15/12/2008 - 00:31

I have posted the text of the Press Release in this Forum under Media


Justice Depatment

  • Codpeace
  • 23/10/08 30/11/12
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  • Sun, 14/12/2008 - 15:35

The abysmal performance by the Justice department which clearly showed that they had no idea what has been happening has now become clear - They must have been so busy shosing new office furniture that they no time to worry about such trivia!! See the article in the Telegraph that they just spent 130 million on refurbishments. This government never ceases to amaze.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/3741400/...


This is great stuff - let the

  • IceCrusher
  • 14/10/08 25/10/11
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  • Sun, 14/12/2008 - 15:54

This is great stuff - let the press continue to heap discredit upon them by the dungload!
Ice


JC Meeting

  • mikepapa
  • 10/10/08 n/a (free)
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  • Sat, 13/12/2008 - 15:10

I have just managed to watch the JC Meeting video - hot stuff indeed.

Many thanks to Icecrusher and Anrigaut for your excellent letters which I will plagiarise and forward!

May I echo Luck Jim's comment below that we urgently need an official DAG Press release on the subject posted on the site, to include in e-mails for all.

So far we have had:

1] Adjournment Debate in the House
2] Questions at the Treasury Select Committee
3] Questions at the Justice Commette Meeting

Its a long hard slog but we are certainly not being ignored - keep up the pressure everybody!

Cheers


Justice Committee participants

  • Nixi
  • 20/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Sat, 13/12/2008 - 13:30

Can anyone identify the fourth committee member who asks questions?
I have Sir Alan Beith, David Heath and Sian James.. but there is another.. I think it's Alun Michael.. can anyone confirm?
Thanks!


Body language

  • oap
  • 08/11/08 31/08/09
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  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 12:32

Did anyone else think that the body language of the man on Lord Bach's left (Patrick someone-or-other, to whom he often referred questions) was even more telling? He had his hand frequently in front of his mouth, which I understand suggests that he was, at the very least, having to hold back what he would have liked to have said) and he looked to me very uncomfortable indeed. I would guess he is a very honest man who was extremely embarrassed by the situation.


MOJ Meeting

  • mikepapa
  • 10/10/08 n/a (free)
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  • Sat, 13/12/2008 - 14:26

Just checked:-

The gentleman to the left of Lord Bach was Mr Patrick Bourke.


Name of Lord Bach's assistant

  • grandmaparis
  • 13/10/08 30/09/09
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  • Sat, 13/12/2008 - 13:37

I think his name is Patrick Bourke. He looked very uncomfortable indeed, as though he had things to say but couldn't.


Name of Lord Bach's assistant

  • grandmaparis
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  • Sat, 13/12/2008 - 13:37

I think his name is Patrick Bourke. He looked very uncomfortable indeed, as though he had things to say but couldn't.


Lord bachs assistants

  • bellyup
  • 10/10/08 09/01/10
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Patrick Bourke, Head of European and International Division, and Mark Taylor, Head of Legal Analysis, Finance and Performance Division, Ministry of Justice.


Body Language of Lord Bach

  • bellyup
  • 10/10/08 09/01/10
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  • Sat, 13/12/2008 - 13:25

I agree oap re body language.
And Lord Bach himself was clearly very uncomfortable.
His defensive crossing of hands across his body, he leant back in his chair clearly wanting to be anywhere but there - in fact any minute I expected him to make a bolt for the door.

Hie last pathetic response to the question 'had IOM depositors been treated as fairly as any only others- well he had to say yes - but such a glaring and obvious untruth!


Secrecy

  • oap
  • 08/11/08 31/08/09
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  • Sun, 14/12/2008 - 08:57

You will have heard, at the very beginning of the video - before the recording of the committee meeting proper started - jocular remarks along the lines of "is the meeting to be held in Welsh, then?" and secrecy. The problem of secrecy surrounding the matter will have made it very difficult for honest answers to be made to every question.

I can't help feeling that there is a big story behind this secrecy. There are no doubt many possibilities but should fraud be involved at some level I believe we have a guarantee of 90% of our savings returned, (though I don't know who gave that guarantee, which may be as useful in the circumstances as the 100% parent guarantee from Kaupthing!)


secrecy

  • Anonymous
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  • Sun, 14/12/2008 - 09:21

Yes, I heard that, oap. I thought it must be left over from a previous recording. How strange. But who said it?

As everybody has noted, Lord Bach looked uncomfortable during the questions concerning KSFIOM. Look at him when he is questioned on other matters: forward in this chair, a louder voice - even manages a giggle.


secrecy - in Welsh?

  • anrigaut
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  • Sun, 14/12/2008 - 10:45

I heard it too. Haven't re-listened, but I did notice that the female committee member who spoke (in favour of reform of tax havens!) had a definite Welsh accent ...


Welsh MP

  • Nixi
  • 20/10/08 31/05/09
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  • Sun, 14/12/2008 - 23:29

Sian James.. Labour!


Response from Alan Beith's office

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 09:50

Just received this acknowledgement of my email sent yesterday to Alan Beith (posted below).
Sounds hopeful that at least it will reach him. Suggest more of us write.

Dear xxx,

Thank you for your e-mail which I will draw to Sir Alan’s attention.

Yours sincerely,

Gill Cheeseman,
Head of Office
Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Beith, M.P.


weighty post

  • Anonymous
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  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 10:48

May I suggest to everybody that you send mail in an envelope in the post. This old-fashioned method carries more weight.


Letter to Justice Committee Meeting

  • IceCrusher
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  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 09:46

I intend to send the following letter to The Chair of the Justice Committee. Before doing so I invite comments/amendments that might be made. When/if OK, I am happy that others use it as a template for their own letter.

Dear Sir Alan Beith,

May I extend my sincere thanks to the Justice Committee convened on the 10th December 2008, and most especially to you and Mr David Heath for the incisive questioning of Lord Bach with concern to the activities of the Justice Ministry and the Treasury in their dealings with the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Having viewed a videotape of the proceedings, I doubt that Lord Bach persuaded any committee member of his honesty, truth, and transparency in matters relating to the interests of UK depositors banking in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. If body language provides observable evidence of a person’s discomfiture, then in the case of Lord Bach it was highly discernible.

Your questions to Lord Bach were clear, weighted, and astute, and I have no doubt that you easily perceived the elliptical responses of the Justice Minister. Even given my faith in your interpretations, I must pass comment on Lord Bach’s final assurance to a question posed by Mr Heath that the interests of depositors in the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands were looked after as well as any other UK depositor. This is manifestly untrue; the offshore depositors were not protected from the first actions of the Treasury as follows:

•Peace of mind was given to all UK depositors within hours by assurances given by HMG that no British depositor would lose their money.
•All UK savers deposits were declared safe and underwritten by the Treasury using billions of taxpayer’s money.
•All IceSave accounts were frozen and vouched for by the Treasury.
•All UK Kaupthing Edge Deposits were moved seamlessly to ING with barely any inconvenience to depositors.

By comparison, offshore depositors received no assurance from any source as to the safety of their life-savings. Access to their accounts was suddenly denied them and even two months later there are still depositors’ who have just discovered that their bank has collapsed; there will be others yet to discover this awful truth.

No entity bailed-out the offshore depositors, and we have been left in morbid anxiety as to the return of our savings and who will represent us in holding to account those who have acted most despicably towards an unrepresented group of British subjects.

Not only are we subject to a ‘blame the victim’ mentality prevalent in UK society, but have also been subjected to misleading and defamatory comments by Senior Ministers including the Chancellor, using cheap and uninformed shots at the Isle of Man being a tax haven, and by inference all depositors are tax evaders.

Subsequent to the first actions above, the interests of offshore depositors have clearly been neglected by those charged with the Constitutional obligation to represent the Isle of Man in International affairs:

•A UK delegation had already visited Iceland and begun talks there before the UK even agreed to represent the Isle of Man. A week had passed before formal acknowledgement of this critical requirement was announced. A week too late.
•Hundreds of depositors in the Isle of Man deluged the IMF with emails asking that consideration be given to satisfy the requirements of the parental guarantee for savers in Kaupthing IoM before an IMF loan was granted. How many UK depositors felt the need to do something similar?
•What reward came to the IoM depositors for these efforts? The UK Government ignored their needs in discussions with the Icelandic authorities, HMG sought only to secure the monies it had expended in underwriting nearly 300,000 IceSave accounts and supporting the move of 170,000 accounts to ING. The Justice Committee correctly noted the conflict of interests in this regard. The IMF loan was granted to Iceland with all due consideration of other depositor’s guarantees bar those of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands – lamentably left out of the bargaining process by a UK Government concerned only with its own self-interests.
•Lord Bach asserted that the Ministry looked after the Isle of Man’s interests ‘where appropriate’. Does he suppose that such a pathetic catch-all phrase excuses his department from providing international assistance to the Isle of Man’s Government at a time of great need? How much more ‘appropriate’ could that need have been? If the UK delegation to Iceland were confident enough to secure the interests of a country of 60 million citizens, how much of a challenge was it to do likewise for an Island of a mere 80 thousand?
•The colleague of Lord Bach (the one to his left and most frequently looked to for support) stated that it was only right for adjoining regulatory jurisdictions to discuss their mutual interests. OF course, fellow British regulators would be expected to discuss matters of common interest between them at the highest level. How could it be then, that HMG enacted a power within the Anti Terrorism Crime and Security Act bringing an immediate and far-reaching financial calamity upon depositors with offshore institutions without so much as a word passing between the respective regulators?
•Lord Bach used almost the same terminology as Lord Turner did during the TSC meeting to assert that the FSA neither advised nor required KSFIoM to move its deposits to the Kaupthing UK branch. What then was the point of these discussions? Were they chatting about the weather? If the FSA felt obliged to discuss such a serious matter as the possible collapse of the Icelandic banking system, it would surely have been open to the probable consequences and prospects of such an outcome? Kaupthing IoM would hardly deposit its monies in a non-affiliated bank without questions emanating from the parent bank in iceland. The FSC and directors of KSFIoM did what was likely expected of them and used their sister bank in the UK. HMG/HMT/FSA failed in their Constitutional duty to advise the Isle of Man of their impending action and allowed the Administration of the UK branch to go ahead appropriating almost £600M of IoM depositor’s monies in the process. Lord Bach is at liberty to assert what he will but it is clear that ‘By their fruits ye shall know them’.

The Justice Ministry is taking a self-righteous and supercilious attitude towards the asset belonging to the depositors of the IoM Kaupthing bank. Thousands of life-time savers are denied access to their monies; many of these folk are retired and completely dependent upon this income. No one has yet asked why the Justice Ministry and the Treasury are so rigorously arguing for the IoM’s asset to be kept in the UK bank – who will be the benefactor of this hard stance, where does the money-trail lead? The whole point of Government action in this affair was stated to protect depositors and the UK economy – why then is HMG determined to deny retail depositors their asset and lay stress upon legal details when thousands of real people are sorely and seriously affected by the action taken by this Government in the first instance, and by its inflexible pompous attitude since.

‘We have been set adrift in mid Atlantic and denied safe passage because the captain failed to load the fuel bought and paid for by the passengers. Everyone involved denies responsibility, but the fuel is still in the depot and the passengers are marooned on the high seas without power and in imminent danger of capsizing whilst others deliberate as to whether the ‘fuel’ by which they could be saved should be delivered to them.’

This shameful state of affairs is beyond the understanding of mortal compassion; it is high-minded legality gone awry – and is evident to all who look upon it.

Sir Alan, please help bring a resolution to this crisis and ensure that some 8,000 depositors, mainly British citizens, are not unjustly penalised in such a cavalier manner when an obvious, sensible, and civilized solution requiring no public money is available.

Yours sincerely,


Brilliant

  • bellyup
  • 10/10/08 09/01/10
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Sat, 13/12/2008 - 14:12

Brilliant Ice, thank you.
I have sent a slightly modified copy out with a cc to my MP.


Your letter Ice

  • cottesmore
  • 21/10/08 16/07/12
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 18:13

Sheer brilliance ice,well done.
I am going to take a copy with me tomorrow when i see my MP.
Regards,
Mark


Just send it!

  • Anonymous
  • Offline
  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 12:39

Please don't wait for comments - send your letter RIGHT NOW.


Ice - letters - Michael Fallon of the TSC

  • steveejeb
  • 10/10/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 12:13

Ice
Another great posting and letter, well done and thank you. Could I suggest that members also direct their attention and mail on this subject to the Treasury Select Committee (TSC). We understand that there is to be another meeting of the TSC (on our subject) in January. Since the Ministry Of Justice (MOJ) stated in the meeting that, "they had passed the Icelandic negotiations on our behalf onto the Treasury", it would make sense to also start to brief the TSC ahead of their meeting. Making TSC members aware of what was said by the MOJ will give them more ammunition to fire questions at the Treasury. I felt that Michael Fallon MP (Con), aimed very good questions at Alistair Darling at the last TSC meeting. If you remember he was the who one on a couple of occasions accused Darling of "washing his hands" of this situation. Michael Fallon also continues to raise oral and written questions in Parliament on our behalf see:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/search/?s=kaupthing

You can email: fallonm(?)parliament [dot] uk

You can phone: 020 7219 6482

You can fax: 020 7219 6791

You can write to: Michael Fallon MP
House of Commons
LONDON
SW1A 0AA

Secretary Mrs Helen McIvor

CONSTITUENTS' CASES
I hold regular advice surgeries for constituents at the Sevenoaks District Council offices, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks and at Swanley Library

My next surgeries are on Friday 12th December 2008, 5pm - 7pm at Sevenoaks District Council, and on Saturday 13th December 2008, 10am - 12 noon at Swanley Public Library

If you have a specific problem that you would like me to help with, or you would like an appointment for my next advice surgery, please contact my secretary, Mrs Helen McIvor, tel. 0207 219 6482 or contact me by email at fallonm(?)parliament [dot] uk

Please include your full address in all letters, faxes, emails or telephone messages

VISITING PARLIAMENT
I am always pleased to welcome constituents and local groups to Parliament. Many schools and pensioners groups make regular visits each year. To arrange a visit or an official tour of the Palace of Westminster, please contact my office - details above


Best letter yet Ice

  • shafted
  • 10/10/08 12/12/09
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 11:46

I must say i am sorry you are part of this banks problems financially ,but glad you are hear with us, formulating a fantastic letter as above, this deserves framing, and would have cost a substantial fee if compiled by the original leagal beagles, we have a great spokesman fighting our corner thankyou.


REPLY TO COMMENT

  • grapow
  • 20/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
  • Offline
  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 11:36

This is an excellent draft and the sooner this reaches the recipient the better from my point of view! If there is any heart in Westminster (and I doubt there is!) what better time in the calender for them to acknoledge and support our position!
Just one (slightly light hearted) amendment suggeest by me - are we not in danger of capsizing in the Irish sea more than the Atlantic, lol !!!
Excellent work, when is likely to be sent?

Graham


IceCrusher letter

  • Anonymous
  • Offline
  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 10:43

Thank you for drawing up this letter: it hits the right spots.
Revisions required:
In the sentence Not only are we subject to a ‘blame the victim’ mentality prevalent in UK society, but have also; change to "but we have also".
"Senior Ministers" must not be capitalised.
"asset" should be "assets".
Remove the word "pathetic": it is subjective and detracts.
Remove the chatting about the weather sentence because the answer is clearly "No". It detracts.


Weather chatting ?

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
  • a depositor
  • Offline
  • Fri, 12/12/2008 - 11:37

I must say I liked this bit - it actually made me laugh, and I think a touch of sarcastic humour (without overdoing it) doesn't come amiss as part of what is basically a very straight, serious and well thought-out letter. In this instance, it really brings home the nonsensical nature of what has been and is being said about the discussions between FSA and FSC. I would definitely leave it in.

But you'll never get everyone to agree on all the details, so I would just send it off! It is after all YOUR letter. If others want to use it they can modify it as they wish.

Can I also suggest that if others do use this letter they at least start with something of their own and then incorporate all or part of Ice's letter? If I received lots of letters all starting with the same words, I'd probably say - after the first line - "oh, I've read this before" and forget about it. OK - it may help to show there are lots of us out there in this boat at sea, but my impression is that Alan Beith knows this and is already on board (well, not exactly on board our ship in the mid-Atlantic!), so maybe it's best not to invade him with too much of the same? Just my thoughts ....