Not ten days ago the BBC, so called bastions of the free press gleefully reported that Nigel Farage had his Coutts bank account closed due to falling below the “wealth limit”. The only problem was only half of this was true.
Yes Farage had had his bank accounts closed, but far from falling below the “wealth limit” it had been for political reasons alone. With Farasge being such a polarizing figure this largely split the nation into those who hate him and defacto support it, those who love him, so therefore oppose it and then those of us who see the bigger picture.
Banks closing bank accounts over political views, particularly as we head further into a digitalized cashless world should scare the living shit out of you.
Who are Nigel Farage and Coutts
Nigel Farage is famously the former leader of both the United Kingdom Independence Party and the Brexit Party. He was also a member of the European Parliament as well as a hugely key figure in how Vote Leave won the referendum.
To clear things up before I am called a Brexiteer, or worse, I am no fan of Farage, I think he is quite simply an idiot, nor did I vote to leave the EU. I am also aghast at how he has now said “Brexit has made us worse off”, but this is about much more than that.
Coutts Bank was founded in 1692 and is the 8th oldest bank in the world. It is also one of those kind of companies or institutions that represents everything that is bad about England. It exists for the super wealthy alone, even being the bank of choice for the Royal Family. A bank account with Coutts is about status and little else.
Ironically it is now owned by Nattiest Group, one of the many banks bailed out and for a brief period at least gully state owned. Scarily the government still have 39% of the institution – a further point that makes this whole debacle even more worrisome.
You might not like Farage, but it might be you they target next
Of course we now know Farage was not denied an account due to lack of funds, but for much more nefarious reasons. In fact the BBC had to swallow its own sick with the following apology;
“ Update 21st July 2023: We acknowledge that the information we reported – that Coutts’ decision on Nigel Farage’s account did not involve considerations about his political views – turned out not to be accurate. Since this article was originally published on the 4th July, Mr Farage submitted a subject access request to Coutts bank and obtained a report from the bank’s reputational risk committee. While it mentioned commercial considerations, the document also said the committee did not think continuing to have Mr Farage as a client was “compatible with Coutts given his publicly-stated views that were at odds with our position as an inclusive organisation”. We have amended this article’s headline and copy to make clear that the details about the closure of Nigel Farage’s bank account came from a source”
Now as I have stated before I do not agree with, or support Farage politically. Yet much like I despise holocaust deniers such as David Irving, I feel that not only should freedom of speech be absolute, but that its slow erosion should be feared and fought by the real left.
To read why Wokeism and leftism are not the same click here.
Sadly most on the left initially at least greeted the news with glee. I spoke to family members about the subject who argued “Coutts is already an exclusive organization, so what does it matter”? As well as implying that as a “private enterprise” they could do what they wanted.
The first point I will give at least a little credence, but the second is frankly shocking. As a leftist I would personally rather have our main banks in public hands, but even as private entities they are not just businesses, but public providers of a basic human right. And not just a right, but frankly a necessity. The governments of the world are increasingly making us cashless, which means we are more and more reliant on them not to just do business, but survive.
So, far from taking glee in his plight, let’s deal with the elephant in the room, who next? And I say this as someone who without reason had my credit cards, personal and business accounts closed by Lyoyds. I of course have my suspicions of why it happened, but at the time it ripped my world apart.
It might be the bogeyman “right-wing” getting targeted now, but the “red scare” was not all that long ago either. Imagine the uproar if Jeremy Cornyn had had his Natwest account closed for the false allegations of his anti-semitism, or equally ridiculous “support for terrorism”.
Yes there were resignations, but was this a victory?
As things unraveled not only did the BBC get forced into its apology, but the furore was to such a degree that the boss of Coutts Peter Flavel’s was forced to resign. It was stated that his resignation had been agreed mutually and that the handling of Mr Farage’s account had “fallen below its high standards of personal service”.
His resignation followed that of Natwest boss Dame Alison Rose’s over the affair, essentially for breaking client confidentiality rules by speaking to the BBC. Alison will no doubt be though be ok, having earned over $7 million last year, via Natwest. Hell she might even make the House of Lords.
The left need to stop trying to de-platform and exile individuals like Farage, Katie Hopkins, or Piers Morgan, but instead focus on actually fighting the whole rotten corrupt system.
Because, if you think a banking institution that was bailed out by the taxpayer and whose CEO was being paid over $7 million a year are the good guys, then you will find yourself on the wrong side of history.