All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ - Edmund Burke

February 5, 2009

S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 7 No 2

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN GRILLED BY PARLIAMENTPM Gordon Brown caught on the BBC web during the session

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown faced the Liaison Committee in Parliament today Thursday February 12 to give his side on a number of issues affecting public policy in the country. The 2-hour question and answer session was broadcast live on key TV channels as well as on the internet by a number of UK-based news outlets.

The website of the Prime Minister who had served as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) before taking on the mantle of the Premiership stated that the session with the Parliamentary Committee delved into the economy, banking regulation and the Government's measures to deal with the current recession.

Other topics that came in for scrutiny ranged from the appointment of Sir James Crosby Deputy Chairman of the top regulatory body, the Financial Services Authority who resigned yesterday after it emerged that he is alleged to have personally fired a whistle blower who believed that the bank in which Sir Crosby was Chief Executive was not playing safe banking rules at HBOS. He was appointed to that post under the watch of Gordon Brown as Chancellor.

Today Gordon Brown told the Committee that Sir Crosby was appointed by a Committee and that he was not hand-picked to serve in that role as some have been quick to believe. Other topics covered during this 2-hour grilling ranged from immigration and knife crime through apprenticeships and British workers.

The US Forbes magazine has this excerpt

Looking nervous, and in one instance forgetting the question that had been asked, Brown, who had been chancellor of the Exchequer, said as minister in charge at the time he took responsibility for the appointment of Crosby. Crosby stepped down as deputy chairman of the Financial Services Authority on Wednesday after he was accused of stifling warnings about HBOS's risky expansion strategy, while he was head of that bank. The bank was saved from extinction through a takeover by Lloyds TSB last year after the warnings about its dependence on wholesale funding proved correct (See "Brown's Banking Ally Quits.")

Brown said that regulatory changes to the way banks are supervised would be made and the Financial Services Authority would be given the power to penalize banks that based their bonuses on short-term performance.

He added that the push to get banks to lend money to stimulate the economy would continue, rejecting accusations from several members of Parliament that the banks were sitting on their cash. "We are doing the right thing: we are right to recapitalize banks, right to give a fiscal stimulus to the economy and right to deal with the problem of lending, and get credit moving," said a somber Brown.

The BBC noted

Mr Brown told MPs he appointed Sir James on an independent panel's recommendation and had not known at the time the FSA had concerns about HBOS. But the Tories said that, as chancellor, he should have known what was going on at the bank. A spokesman said: "Gordon Brown set up this system [the FSA] but appears completely ignorant of its warnings. "If he knew what was going on why didn't he act? If he didn't, who on earth was running the economy while he was chancellor?"

The Liaison Committee is appointed to consider general matters relating to the work of select committees; to advise the House of Commons Commission on select committees; to choose select committee reports for debate in the House and to hear evidence from the Prime Minister on matters of public policy.

The Liaison Committee has heard evidence from the Prime Minister on matters of public policy since 2002. This is the second evidence session with Mr Brown as Prime Minister since he took office in June 2007.

The panel’s members are the Chairs of 30 Parliamentary Select Committees, each dealing with a different area or issue.

The Sierra Herald would again remind the authorities in Sierra Leone that this is what democracy is all about with accountability forming the foundation.

And once again we would urge donors not to continue pouring in aid that is not accounted for to the people for whom it is meant.

If Sierra Leone's main donor country the United Kingdom could have a procedure in place that takes the Prime Minister to task on issues affecting the people of the UK, we ask that such aid be tied to accounting to the people of Sierra Leone and not for the purpose of filling out DfID (UK Department for International Development) templates.

Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002