Carry On Banking

Rightly or wrongly students have taken to the streets in protest at Parliaments decision to increase tuition fees. Rage, resentment and frustration spilled onto the streets of London and other towns and cities up and down the country. Then there’s the cash owed to the taxpayer by Vodaphone. Radio broadcaster and TV presenter Gordon Astley told me recently,”If Vodaphone stumped up what they owe it would cancel out most of the benefit debt. When the weather warms up there is going to be trouble on your street this year folks!” Anger and ridicule was graphically illustrated too by the electorate at the disclosure that some members of Parliament had been submitting false, unfair, and fraudulent expense claims at a vast cost to the taxpayer. Retribution was sought and justice, though limited, was seen to be done: action was taken to prevent such a debacle ever taking place again. Given all of this one might imagine that the self same population would demand swift and legal action against anyone or organisation that had brought Britain to its knees. Well, to my knowledge, I’ve yet to see one single prosecution brought to bear on anyone within our domestic banking community. One might be forgiven for thinking that the New Year would see a dramatic change in the way our banking institutions were run, with those at the top being subjected to stricter regulation with particular regard to the sickening bonus culture. Well, it would appear that, probably, for the first time in British history, an enemy of the people and the state has not only managed to ‘get away with it’, but continues to party like there’s no tomorrow. And why shouldn’t they? Despite all the political rhetoric coming out of Whitehall designed to make us all feel better, the government has resoundly failed to prevent the payment of billions of pounds in bank bonuses at a time when the vast majority of our population is facing austerity and a financially uncertain future. Imagine, for one minute this scenario. Leave VAT at 17.5%, ensuring that the general public pay no more at the petrol pumps, and claw the billions in lost revenue back from the very people that caused the problems. Evidently this hasn’t happened and patently won’t happen. It’s as if there’s an elite club of banks and politicians wallowing in the knowledge that no matter how contemptuous they are of public suffering and desperation, continue to live with the virtual guarantee that it will ‘all blow over’. I should like to know who has given these assurances to these people that everything’s just fine. There is a natural tendency to protect London as a major player on the international financial stage, understandably, though I do recent the suspicion by politicians that the British people are just too naïve to grasp this concept. Yet I should also like to know at what point does this protection have to be removed for moral and judicial good to be seen to be done?

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