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Sunday, 16 July 2017


French Finance Minister, Le Maire and his boy(left) want to
destroy the City Of London....couple of real spivs!
Dear Dame

I know you like to keep focused upon RBK&C issues but this is of great relevance to our Royal Borough where so many French and international bankers live and make an amazing contribution to life here.

President Macron is hell bent upon attempting damage the City and London by luring, not just French citizens, but other financial institutions to France.

Any RB based resident thinking of relocating to Paris should consider the following facts....

·      Why up sticks and locate to a country, which may only be stable in the short term? The French unions have made very clear that they will fight tooth and nail to protect excessively generous worker rights.  Macron may be a flash in the pan.  Once booted out by the hard left those relocated financial institutions will be left in limbo facing the tender mercies of a government which hates capitalism. The promises made by Macron and Le Maire will count for nothing!

·      Despite periods of various extreme socialist UK governments the City has grown and prospered. Socialist politicians, including Corbyn and crew, are not stupid. They know that damaging the City will cut off a massive tax stream with nothing to replace it.
·      The world’s best financial brains come to London for the obvious reason that life is congenial and the social life dynamically international.... oh, and they all have English as a common language.
·      By comparison, social life in Paris is intensely insular: a bit like living in Lisbon.
    Parisians hardly like each other so are most unlikely to welcome outsiders
·      Relocating families and companies to Paris presents massive issues in terms of education and culturally shock. 
    Children will have to find friends in schools catering purely for French children; unlike the internationally mixed London schools. The bullying and social exclusion will be horrific

·      The only beneficiaries of a mass move out will be British divorce lawyers servicing wives seeking divorces from husbands agreeing to the siren calls of Macron.

Thank you for indulging me, dear Dame and I do so enjoy the Hornet’s Nest.

Kind Regards

Paul Stadden



  1. Judging from the above lucid letter, which is constructive and very true about not only the French, but also the Parisiens, who are a nation unto itself.
    God forbid, having to learn basic French to buy daily bread, or pain, should I say?
    French government came and go, therefore any banker seriously considering in swallowing Mr Marcon's bait, should think again. Perhaps see a therapist to get rid of these wild thoughts. London has been, for centuries, the World's centre of finance and insurance (Lloyd's). It is nothing but a flash in the pan. Keep calm and soldier on, as one of your famous humans had said long ago,

  2. Sad Badger is so right. Macron got voted in on a meagre turnout.
    Mr Stadden refers to Macron as being a flash in the pan: just about sums up the stability of French governments.
    I lived and worked in Paris for a while a few years back. There is no social life: unlike London where nationalities from all over the world mix together and have fun.

    1. exactement...
      le Blaireau Triste (SB in French, you know.)

  3. If even a small percentage of suggestible voters had not been seduced by false promises into voting to Leave, we'd likely not be having this debate. Why wouldn't Macron attempt to lure business over the Channel? We'd do exactly that too if la botte were on l'autre pied. I frequently work in France and by and large find Parisians to be extremely welcoming if you make even a slight effort to engage them in their own tongue. My friends there are a diverse and multi-cultural bunch. For sure, French bureaucracy would test the patience of a saint and taxes are higher but Paris is more than a match for London on most every level in terms of quality of life - housing stock, infrastructure, public transport, education, quality of food, health, culture, savoir vivre etc. Its centre has not been trashed by ugly high rise safety deposit boxes for the benefit of overseas investors. Yes the unions are powerful but it's the unions here that will be the pushy backseat drivers of Corbyn's impending car crash premiership. Macron may or may not succeed (I think he'll need to compromise, as do all but dictators). At least he offers a positive vision of Europe...unlike the hollow jingoistic hubristic Mrs May and her cabinet of vainglorious incompetents whose main concern is a battle for control of the Tory party, not what's truly in the nation's interest. Brexit makes the UK a less attractive place to live. That's why many EU nationals have upped sticks and why others are not now drawn to it. How sad that massively Remain London should be undermined by insular Little England beyond.

    1. 12:46

      A desperate plea.....So Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American bankers need to learn French to be welcomed!!! Why would they want to bother to learn an archaic language used by no one in biz?
      Forget it. Re-read Stadden's letter and stop being a silly billy.
      London, after NY, is a truly global city and that's why a million French are here. Life in Paris is boringly provincial but if you are small town bore like 12: 46 it will be just up your street.

    2. Paris 'boringly provincial' - rolls eyes and despairs. 12.55 "Idiot!" (Same meaning ....English and French)

  4. LOVER OF FRANCE16 July 2017 at 12:49

    Excellent Health Warning...never trust French politicians...and such creeps.
    To see Macron fawning over Trump made me sick.
    Still, very funny to hear the idiotic Trump describe the First Lady as being in 'Good shape'

    1. .....unlike serial Trump brown-nosing Theresa?

  5. On a risk/reward basis Paris is a non starter.

  6. Vous l'avez dit tout

    long live the pint, as you say.

  7. Financial services is our largest export industry - and the overwhelming part of that export is to the EU.

    Much of London's finance industry may have no option but to move to the other side of the Channel (or Ireland) if we get a hard Brexit, as a hard Brexit means no passporting rights.

    Passporting is the process whereby any British-based financial institution, be it banks, insurance providers, or asset management firms, can sell their products and services into the rest of the EU without the need to obtain a license, get regulatory approval, or set up local subsidiaries to do so.

    Our passporting rights has been a major reason why a large number of US, Japanese, Chinese and Korean financial institutions have set up headquarters in London. A recent report estimated that nearly 5,500 firms in the UK rely on passporting to conduct business with the rest of the EU.

    The only way for Britain to continue benefiting from passporting is if we go for a “Norway deal” with the EU, i.e. membership of the European Economic Area and adherence to all its associated rules.

    If the owners of those 5,500 firms decide to move in order to survive, their well-paid London staff will have to choose between coming along or try to find another job in a quickly shrinking financial job market in London.

    It's a pity that most Brits and Americans haven't bothered to learn any other languages. Those Japanese, Chinese and Korean bankers, which Anonymous at 12:55 talk about, have already learned English, so for them it's a piece of cake to learn French, as English and French are so closely related (from their perspective).

    Also, Paul Stadden - who has obviously never lived in France - present some rather contradictory arguments. If it's a fact that "despite periods of various extreme socialist UK governments the City has grown and prospered. Socialist politicians, including Corbyn and crew, are not stupid. They know that damaging the City will cut off a massive tax stream with nothing to replace it", then why should "[once Macron has been booted out by the hard left], those relocated financial institutions will be left in limbo facing the tender mercies of a [French] government which hates capitalism." Are French socialist politicians somehow less smart than their British comrades?

  8. Tom Stensson: Well said. But you forgot one important point. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING is open to negotiation. It only needs a will to do so, as there is NO precedent to fall back on should either side start to argue their point.
    Admittedly, times have changed, by London has done rather nicely before the EU was even a dream. Would all those 5,500 companies move to Paris and can that city support this influx.

  9. oh, does all this above mean that Mr Farage, himself an ex-money man, failed to consider the demise of the London financial and insurance markers? As for Lloyds that becomes a diferent subject altogether.

  10. I AGREE WITH STADDEN16 July 2017 at 17:27

    Tom, you really do sound like an irritating 'know all'!
    We are all sophisticated enough to understand 'passporting rights'.
    If we leave the single market then undoubtedly firms will have to set up satellite operations in the important FS markets of France, Germany and the Netherlands.
    As things stand UK institutions comply or exceed with EU regulatory demands.
    In any case, if you really think that the major institutions are going to choose Paris over Frankfurt you are quite deluded! Why would you not base yourself in EU financial engine room which is Frankfurt?
    You talk absolute rubbish in suggesting that international firms chose London simply because of passporting rights: they chose the City because it's stellar reputation for sophisticated financial and legal practice as well its geographic and time zone postion. It's a highly advanced and fully integrated financial centre.
    Globally, companies write their contracts under English law because they know and trust it.
    As for your contention that Asiatics would suit learn French....are you bonkers?
    I work with relatively sophisticated Japanese and Chinese and they struggle with English let alone an infinitely more complex language like French.
    You say the two languages are closely connected so learning French will be a "piece of cake" for them. I think you are talking pie in the sky!
    Rolet, the eminent French CEO of the LSE said, "The City is the money pump of Europe: damage it and you damage Europe". But, of course Mr Stensonn knows more than Rolet! At the end of the day a deal will be done. But to revert to Stadden's letter.... No major institution is going to move lock, stock and barrel to a country like France. If you knew anything about French socialism you would know it is uncompromising and see financial services as pariah's.
    Socialists like Corbyn and McDonnell know that they can replicate the huge tax revenues generated by the City and for that very reason will pragmatically leave a cash cow alone.
    Most people I know in City banking find France a risky place to be based and if they are going anywhere would choose Frankfurt. That is accounting for the surge in demand for small flats and studios for staff who will commute weekly to Frankfurt to satisfy passporting requirements.

    1. I AGREE WITH STADDEN16 July 2017 at 17:29

      'cannot replicate'!!

    2. genau, mein Herr.

  11. Is Mr Farage going to be responsible for the biggest financial farrago in London's history?

  12. I'm an American-born banker and have lived in Kensington since 2004. Sadly I think Brexit, if it goes ahead, will be the ruin of the UK. I know that RBKC didn't want Brexit but unfortunately it and other Remain parts of the UK were narrowly outvoted by Leave voters outside most of the major cities, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I gaze across the Atlantic and see awful President Trump and I don't see many internationally-minded people headed to the USA at the moment. This is such a missed opportunity for London--if Brexit weren't happening then this would be the city where everyone would want to be. Instead, the UK is an international laughing stock where the political agenda is at the moment dominated by xenophobia and stupidity. Brexit is inward looking, backward looking, stupid and destructive. Lady Borwick deserved to lose her seat at the general election given her enthusiastic support of Brexit (despite Kensington being home to many EU citizens and many residents working in the City). At the hustings in Notting Hill she was truly pathetic--when asked about Brexit she gave a total non-answer that amounted to contempt for her constituents and democratic accountability.

    City employers are busily making plans to move many key workers to other locations in the EU. Make no mistake, London will remain a major centre of international finance, but it will be greatly diminished. Opportunities here will be much less than they would have been if Brexit weren't happening.

    As for staying in London, I would abandon it in a heartbeat for Paris if I landed the right job there (the fact that I speak fluent French helps). Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and Berlin at laughing at London--Brexit stupidity is their gain.

  13. It's clear you don't like London so bugger off to Paris. We have no need of unhappy Yanks here.
    I expect you speak several languages: rare for an American as they rarely travel well.

    1. You talk about democratic accountability 20:05....does that mean you would have ignored the referendum result?

    2. I suspect 20.05 likes London well enough but deplores the damage that will diminish its greatness. A folly visited on it by foaming-at-the-mouth Faragistas, fiscal illiterates, gullible fools and parochial bigots festering in large numbers twixt the M25 and the border at Berwick.

    3. 14.09, hello, 20.05 here. You are exactly right. I still like London, especially West London, it is just utterly depressing to be in a country that I feel no longer reflects my values and that is doing enormous damage to itself on many levels.

  14. 20:05
    I am not anti American per se, but there is a certain type who think, like the Brits, decades ago, that they have some sort of greater insight into how everybody else should run their lives. Americans never learn that poking their noses into the affairs of other countries is generally very unwelcome.
    And to be frank the American banker, as a species, is pretty well abhorred wherever he goes...
    Brexit might not suit your personal desires but we have chosen, rightly or wrongly, that we do not wish to be part of an increasingly federalised EU.
    You might wish to read up on what your banking colleague at Merrill Lynch has to say about the future of the EU: not terribly positive!
    And your remark that you would go to Paris in a heartbeat rather shows that London is not your preferred city. If I were you I would get in touch with a headhunter and see if they can help you out!

    1. 20.05 again. I said I was Amerian born, perhaps I should have added that I am naturalised British so I have as much right to an opinion on Brexit as anyone else (and I never miss a vote). To those who say "well just leave then if you don't like it", if Brexit goes ahead then indeed I will leave. Brexiteers might not like me personally (and frankly I don't know many that I care for, I try to steer clear of people who are gullible or xenophobic) but I pay a lot of tax and I also have served on various non-profit boards of governors. I would prefer to take my taxes, investments, business skills and voluntary contributions to a country where stupidity and xenophobia aren't driving the political agenda. Lots of talented people feel the same way, Brexit is all about loss, no gains for anyone.

  15. So, Lord Bamford and Sir James Dyson are 'gullible and xenophobic'?
    You sound really up yourself and your naturalisation has done nothing to rid you of your arrogance.

    1. Impossible to have voted for Brexit without having been xenophobic (or worse) or alternately gullible (or worse). How gullible did one have to be to believe the lie on the side of the Leave bus about there being an extra £350m for the NHS? Remain ran a poor campaign but the warnings were there, the Leave campaign dismissed them as "Project Fear". Of course this is now becoming Project Fact as inflation rises due to the weak pound and investment levels fall. Britain is a global joke now. Much worse is to come as the reality of Britain's options (all of them bad) become more apparent as negotiations with the EU continue. Well done Brexiteers for screwing us all over. If you don't like my telling you the truth then that's just tough, I guess the truth hurts.

    2. Your idea of the truth is so remote from reality it's palpably risible.
      You are sulking because you went to the trouble of giving up your US citizenship(why?) and took on UK citizenship so you could wonder unhindered around the EU...bad luck!
      So, our little American banker thinks Bamford of JCB and Dyson of Dyson are xenophobic and gullible? I rest my case m'lud.

  16. I didn't give up my US citizenship (never said that I did, contrary to popular belief the US allows dual citizenship in some cases). And my spouse has an Irish passport so I'm not without options.

  17. We are delighted you have why chose a UK passport....most mysterious.

    1. I took out British citizenship many years ago, long before Brexit was on the horizon. I feel robbed and disgusted by Brexit, looking forward to spending my remaining years elsewhere, this country is going to the dogs and life is too short to put up with crap like this. As an immigrant I no longer feel welcome here, the anti-American sentiment that my post elicited proves my point. The thing you should realise is that I am far from alone in feeling this way--many talented people in many fields are looking at leaving the UK and many more won't come. Not sure what you are claiming that I have said is false. Was it the part about the UK being an international laughing stock? The part about inflation and the pound crashing? Diminished investment? The part about City employers moving jobs out? Or was it the part about Britain getting a crap deal from the EU (that is becoming more and more apparent as the days go by). Everything I said is true.

  18. 12:07 stop getting hysterical. Go to France if you really want to see a country going to the dogs. Marseille is a war zone; the banlieu around Paris lawless and I am nervous when I walk around Toulouse late at night.
    Maybe you feel unwelcome because you are a pompous arsehole? Anti-American sentiment is everywhere and always has been. Americans are just not terribly popular and that goes not just for this country but partout.
    As for £ crashing a few years back it was close to parity with the €.
    Before you start predicting crap deals let's see what happens at the end of the day. The great puzzle is why you stayed so long in a country you don't really like.

  19. 12.29

    Aren't you a charmer! Will have to add you to my dinner party set. Lots of anti-American sentiment still flowing from you, along with some anti-French. You haven't addressed my points other than a claim to "wait and see". The UK is not going to get a good deal because having our cake and eating it too was never going to be an option. The options are to pay for the Norway option and abide by all the rules without any say in making them, or to leave with no meaningful market access or crash out without a deal, or to revoke Article 50 notification. Those are the choices the UK will have. As for being pompous, well, I guess you don't like hearing home truths. I used to like the UK a great deal but Brexit is turning me quickly...

    1. A Brit, I used to like the UK a great deal too ...until barmy Brexiteers, spouting rabid rot, crawled out of the woodwork.

    2. I am afraid the idea of a dinner party 'chez vous' doesn't sound frightfully appetising but delighted to hear, like Sad Badger, that you have a set or sette of dinner party friends. Dinner parties can be so irksome when one is forced to spend 2/3 being talked at.
      Until the Germans step in no one can be sure of the outcome so as I said, wait and see.
      No, France and its people I love: just their corrupt leaders I find irksome.
      It's just Americans I find a bit crass. A nation that can elect a looney like Trump rather underscores that point.

    3. 15.06, so you keep saying you don't like Americans, which sort of proves my point about feeling unwelcome as an immigrant. (And obviously I didn't vote for Donald Trump, I voted for Mrs Clinton and gave money to her campaign.) And you wonder why Brexiteers are accused of being xenophobic (or even racist)? I could turn your point round on you: why would you want to live in a place like RBKC with so many immigrants (including a substantial American-born community) if you don't like them so much? Why don't you just "bugger off" (as 20.46 so delightfully put it) to some crappy part of Little England where they don't have so many immigrants?

    4. So you voted and gave money for and to a crook?
      Fortunately, I don't collide into too many Americans in RBKC so happy to stay put just as my family has for decades.
      I don't mind immigrants who are happy to accept a democratic vote: it's the one's that don't who I find tedious.

    5. And one final point there are tens of thousands of intelligent, fair minded and decent Britons who voted for Brexit because they objected to the ultimate EU ambition of an over arching federalist super state.
      Such a thing might find favour with a federalist American but nt with many Brits. Stop sticking your nose into our affairs.

    6. They're my affairs too, I'm a naturalised British citizen. There you go again with your anti-immigrant, anti-American sentiment. Some decent people voted for Brexit but they were gullible. Some intelligent ones voted for it too but they were xenophobic (or worse). And as for calling Hillary Clinton a "crook", it seems like you're taking your talking points from Donald Trump. You have some real nice political role models there, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump.

  20. Anti-immigrant....not at all....married to one.. anti-loudmouthed Americans? Yes, a bit.
    So everybody who voted for Brexit is either gullible; xenophobic or both? I think you are bonkers and Hillary a crook and married to another. But, let's keep what happens in Arkansas stay in Arkansas.

  21. Was going to stop commenting but saw this article re how we mustn't let pro-Brexit forces whitewash the Brexit vote. At its heart, Brexit was fuelled by racism and xenophobia. I stand by my view that to vote for Brexit one either had to be xenophobic (or worse) and/or gullible (or worse). The extremely high costs of Brexit are becoming clearer by the day, it is a monumental act of self-destructive stupidity. Anti-Brexit forces need to keep speaking this truth as we demand a second referendum once the terms of the deal are known.

  22. Time for you both to stop going on....most boring.

  23. Dame, if you're going to be rude to people who comment on your site then I'm going to stop reading. You posted the letter telling people not to go to Paris in the first place.

  24. Sometimes the Dame has to call a halt: we have all had enough. And, how dare you threaten the Dame with refusing to read her jottings.


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