Readers may find it useful to adapt or amend this text for motions on the banking scandal in their union branches, etc.
This branch notes
1.That following the scandal in which Barclays was fined £290 million for dishonestly manipulating interest rates on short-term bank-to-bank loans, conservative Financial Times journalist Martin Wolf has commented that "banks, as presently constituted and managed, cannot be trusted to perform any publicly important function".
2. That Barclay's former CEO Bob Diamond, who resigned as a result of the scandal, has taken £120 million from the bank since 2007, may still receive £18-20 million more and in any case owns £22 million worth of Barclays shares.
3. That although about 20 other banks are being investigated, it is unlikely there will be any real accountability. The Barclays fine is a pay-off to avoid further investigation. No individual has been jailed or even brought to court.
4. That the government's 2008-9 bank "nationalisations" amounted to public bail outs of private banks, which have been allowed to continue functioning as before.
5. That Greece's left-wing Syriza party, now the most popular force in the Greek working class, has made "nationalisation of the banks under workers' and social control" one of the central planks of its election campaigns.
This branch believes
1. That the labour movement should campaign for expropriation of the banks and high finance, to create a single, public bank run under workers' and democratic control. The banks' huge wealth could then be used to stop the cuts, fund jobs and public services and create a public pensions, mortgage, insurance and banking service.
2. That this can be part of a broader campaign to reorganise and reinvigorate our movement so it can create a workers' government - a government which serves our interests as the Coalition serves those of the rich. Minimally the unions should fight to exert pressure in/on the Labour Party and on the next Labour government for policies like taking over the banks, reversing cuts, repealing the anti-union laws etc.
This branch resolves
1. To campaign for the expropriation of the banks as set out above.
2. To circulate this motion to other branches and promote it through the structures of the union.
3. To produce a leaflet arguing for these policies for circulation among our members.