Letter: ‘Man in street’ is more prudent with money than governments

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EDITOR – Many voters, both in Gainsborough and elsewhere, have been outraged that their tax money, which has gone to bail out banks and financial institutions, is now being paid out in large bonus packages to executives.

The correct response to failed enterprise is neither to reward through bail-outs nor to punish through intrusive legislation that will strike at the innocent as well as the guilty.

The man on the street is wiser with his pound than the Government minister or the civil servant, and history has shown the folly of putting the state behind the driver’s wheel of an economy.

Still, the very reason Parliament exists is to ensure peace, order, and good government through democratic accountability.

While banks perform an essential role in greasing the wheels of society, they are still outranked in importance by the working families and individuals whose earnings are deposited in Britain’s banks.

When this subject came up in the House recently, I asked the Chancellor: “Is not the problem with the leading bankers that they are often arsonists and firemen rolled into one? The trouble with the previous Government is that they left the arsonists in charge of the haystack. They bailed them out, but they did not protect the depositors adequately, and now they want to shoot the firemen.”

Through the years, people from Gainsborough have served with pride in each of the armed forces: on land, at sea, and in the air.

In the constituency, RAF Scampton, first built as a landing field during the First World War, has hosted units of the Royal Air Force since 1936, including the Dambusters during the Second World War and more recently the Red Arrows flight display team.

We must never fail to appreciate the long tradition of service all the armed forces provide.

In the Commons, I recently brought up with the Prime Minister the necessity of maintaining the Fleet Air Arm, now celebrating its 100th year, to ensure the first century of British naval aviation won’t be its last.

Further afield, recent events in Europe have proved the wisdom of our policy of maintaining sterling instead of joining the European monetary union.

Ireland, whose economy is so intricately linked with our own, now finds its adoption of the single currency has only compounded its current woes.

This crisis is the result of the attempt to harness the European economy to fit the plans of grandiose politicians, rather than simply following the more common-sense demands of the man on the street.

EDWARD LEIGH

MP for Gainsborough