The Lord Mayor of the City of London is visiting New Zealand. Its not Sadiq Khan; Charles Bowman is a PwC partner leading London’s financial centre lobby. He’s here to talk to business and regulators. He’ll no doubt be talking up more deregulation.
“Trust Us’, he said in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, as his delegation is also visiting Australia. In it he outlines how the title goes back to the grant from King John at Runnymede as part of the Magna Carta. The City of London now is the heart of London’s deregulated financial centre and the hub of offshore tax havens.
I just happen to be reading Nicolas Shaxson’s excellent book ‘Treasure Islands” about the role tax havens have played in creating the massive rise in inequality in the last fifty years. The City of London has been at the centre of this change with its anything goes approach to regulation.
This visit follows close on the heels of that of Liam Fox, the UK’s Minister for Trade. Fox outlined how New Zealand, Australia and the US were on the Conservative government’s priority list for trade agreements post Brexit. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Tory right’s vision post Brexit is for a completely deregulated Britain – especially in finance and food. Those trade agreements will need to be closely watched.
The SMH reporter said:
I try to engage him on the issue of the Panama and Paradise papers, and London’s reputation as a place for dodgy oligarchs to stash their wealth.
Bowman says there needs to be an “agenda around trust which allows society to have greater confidence in and a better relationship with business”.
This can be done through “good leadership”, he says. But he won’t be drawn beyond that.
I doubt if the good burghers of the City of London would not have been interested in the Charter of the Forests, also granted by King John at Runnymede, and later issued separately, which gave subsistence rights to ordinary people.