In a stereotypically feeble move recently, Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to “get tough” on banking regulations. He’s proposed a law which supposedly forces banks to stop what he calls “casino” banking, in response to the shocking LIBOR fixing scandal proliferated by RBS and other major banking institutions recently. Osborne hopes this will prevent any more instances where the public are forced to bail out failing banks.
The right wing is all too keen to espouse the virtues of democracy in conjunction with free market capitalism, and simultaneously condemn any and all forms of collectivism or positive social revolution. Yet ironically, as a direct result of neo-con economic policies (proliferated by both conservatives and Labour alike), socialism has been enacted against the people. We are the ones who suffer the hardships caused by unrestrained greed and selfishness. Sure, a few top executives like Bob Diamond get a slap on the wrist; sure, the banks have to pay fines, but who foots the bill for those fines? Is it the executives who receive millions in bonuses each year? Again, it is the public who are punished. Interest rates on loans are pushed up, the average deposit for a house in the UK is £15,000, and more and more young people are alienated from the housing markets as prices soar exponentially. Student fees are diabolically high; inequity and loss of social mobility become ever more prominent as the reckless actions of the banks continue to serve the interests of a handful of oligarchs.
The corrupt shadow banking system is beyond the control of national legislation; Osborn is simply trying to be seen to be doing something about the problem, but this is a cowardly response towards the four banking giants who have systematically robbed the British public of their hard-earned money for over a decade now. In reality he is in the pockets of the individuals whose selfish interests got us into this mess in the first place. Osborne (an Anglo-Irish aristocrat) is the heir apparent to the Osborne baronetcy (of Ballentaylor, in County Tipperary, and Ballylemon, in County Waterford). He is the epitome of old money and privilege—awarded a demyship into Oxford University; he was also a member of the elite Bullingdon Club, a society whose members include the current PM and Boris Johnson.
Osborne, famous for his neo-conservative economic policies amidst massive pressure to break up these banking institutions, has opted to hedge his bets by saving his oligarchic friends from the baying public. His legislation has promised to “ring-fence” the market to protect high street banks from having to gamble with depositors’ funds, and instead return to Glass-Steagall-style rule, forcing investment banks to survive on their own by using shareholder deposits. Speaking in the JP Morgan’s international processing centre in Bournemouth yesterday, he pleaded a shift to “change the whole culture and ethics of the business”—rich, coming from a nepotist par excellence. How stupid does he think the British public are? We’re supposed to sit here and be assured that pathological financial criminals will overnight grow a soul because some privileged toff (from the old aristocratic order of cronies) passes a feeble law which in reality exists to prevent a public backlash and maintain power in the private sector? This ring-fencing will prove itself a noose for Osborne’s business culture and “ethics”.
Osborne’s impudence is laughable. His whole political career has revolved round being ideologically committed to cutting the state (as clearly espoused in his manifesto), thus giving free reign to the banking leviathans and their self-serving agenda. What assurances do we have that this legislation will make any difference to society whatsoever? The answer is none, except the bland rhetoric of an ardent neo-con. For justice to be served we must look beyond the politicians’ lies and empty promises. We the public are responsible for the future we leave to the next generation. This government cares only for the primacy of the market and the invested power structure. We the public are the only means through which real change and promise can occur. The old British aristocratic elite doesn’t care a whit about the welfare of our nation; they care only for their holy shrine of “Mecca” (the City of London). The banks, politicians and bureaucrats should be there to serve the public interests for the greater good of the general will; instead, they serve only themselves, whilst we the public get hung out to dry.
Isn’t it about time we the public revalue the principles on which this corrupt system is based? Isn’t it time we demand an end to extreme privilege? Don’t we deserve justice for the diabolical actions proliferated by the very institutions we’re supposed to trust? Isn’t it time we gained a little self respect instead of relying on the utterances of biased liars? Meritocratic Democracy will once and for all put an end to the old world aristocrats and the extreme selfishness of the London city state oligopoly. In a Meritocratic Democracy the People will be put in charge of the government, and all entities external to the political process that have power over it will be brought under direct government control. All individuals in positions of power must be elected into those positions by those serving the interests of the people; this includes the private banking sector and the entire City of London financial district. No more will we be subject to the will of aristocratic robber barons, and no more must we be denied the opportunities we deserve. It’s time for a revolution of values, and a promise of a secure future for our children. It’s time for a new world order of equal opportunity for every child!
“There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favour; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had the actual experience of it.”—Machiavelli