Why we shouldn't remutualise Northern Rock


It doesn't take them all that long you know. Once elected they soon work out how to take our money and spend it upon what they desire:

Chuka Umunna, a Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee, is heading the campaign with the support of MPs including Sir Menzies Campbell, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats; former Conservative ministers Sir Peter Bottomley and Jonathan Evans; as well as Caroline Lucas, the leader of the Green Party.

"I think it would be a massive missed opportunity if the Government did not look at remutualisation."

Chuka has been an MP for less than a year so far but already he's willing to spend our money on his desires.

Now don't get me wrong here: mutuals are just delightful, Not only are they Burke's little platoons in action, they are also the product of the great flowering of the English working classes. The providents (and Providents), the building societies, the mutuals like the CoOp, the unemployment, sickness, pensions and even burial insurances, these were and are evidence of the ability of the people to self-organise.

But what Mr. Umunna is suggesting is something very different indeed. We, us taxpayers, have spent quite some considerable amount of cash to keep Northern Rock from collapsing entirely. We'd rather like that back if we can please. But what our newly minted MP is suggesting is that our cash, our capital, should simply be given to those who happen to have a deposit account at Northern Rock..

For that is what "mutualisation" means: that the depositors own the institution. "They" get "our" money.

No, if you wish there to be more mutual organisations in UK society (and I'm with you on this idea!) then off you go and set them up. Put your time and effort and capital into such. But no, you don't get to take our time, effort, capital, taxes, to do so.

We own Northern Rock at the moment and no, we're not OK with you suggesting it be given away to your favoured constituency.