However you look at this financial crisis you can only ever reach one ineluctable conclusion; the poorest will carry the heaviest burden.
All those with the greatest responsibility for the meltdown are still exceedingly wealthy. They may claim to have lost a fortune in share options and the like but I don’t see any of them signing on yet or riding around on the bus. They gambled with other peoples money – and lost. Their money was probably sensibly invested in off shore accounts.
So now the government steps in to rescue the bankers. The money the government pledges is not theirs, it is our money entrusted to them to provide all the social services we expect in return for all the taxes we pay. Bailing out the bankers is not going to improve welfare services or environmental improvements. It is going to impoverish us, especially the most vulnerable in society. The government is selling its poorest people into bonded labour and the chief executive gang masters continue with their reckless profligacy.
And we put up with this.
I say again, it doesn’t matter how you do the calculations, the current tax regime puts the greatest burden on the least well off. And so, how do the perpetrators respond? Well, just recently, we had four of the major culprits appear before a Select Committee here in the UK and perform their practised apologies with all the sincerity of spoilt brats caught stealing from the sweet shop.
And we put up with this.
At the start of the crash some wag put up a sign on wall street which exhorted the traders there to “Jump you fuckers”. I am putting up a sign here on Joe Public Place. Mine says, “Fight you fuckers”.
We don’t have to put up with this. We don’t want insulting apologies, we want retribution. It’s all very well exhorting the bankers to jump, but they won’t jump. They will gladly take their golden severance packages and pull the same trick somewhere else some other time when they are again unbelievably, appointed CEO of some ‘me too’ outfit. These people need to be pushed. And they can be pushed. Switzerland has already clawed back some of the bonuses paid to errant bankers there though public pressure. Government officials who are all matey with these people aren’t going to jeopardise their own positions unless someone bigger tells them to do so. That someone bigger is us.
The dispossessed need to act, to demand reform, to use the power that they are unaware of to get some of their money back. At the very least, vote. If you are not registered, do so and make your voice count. Vote for the candidate that makes sense, not for the one that makes the most false promises. Vince Cable, for example, makes sense.
Write. If everyone who felt outrage at the naked greed of the system wrote just one letter to their MP the MP’s would very quickly realise the strength of feeling and do something about it.
Form a co-operative. Work for favours or contra deals. Cut out the puppet masters.
Here is a link to some intellectual heavyweights fighting our corner and here is a template letter for you to fill in and send to your representative as required;
As a law abiding citizen of the land who only asks for fairness and justice, I am writing to you as my representative in government to right the wrongs of the bankers who have made this world poorer. You asked me for my support in your ambition to make a difference in this world and I gave it. I am asking you now to justify my faith in you by bringing to account the people who have nearly wrecked the banking system. I particularly ask you to lobby for punitive legislation which would recoup some of the money paid out to these people in bonuses – bonuses acquired through misrepresentation.
We have all been taught a lesson during this economic depression but how much have we learned? What legislation is being considered to prevent this from happening again?
All I want is a better world. That means a fairer world with responsibility, accountability, sustainability, moral prosperity and meaningful work.
I ask you now, as my public servant, to serve the people who have been wronged, all of them. The rich and powerful must be seen to be within the law of the land. If common criminals stole money from a bank it would only be right and proper that they be punished and that the money be recovered. These bankers have effectively stolen money from the banks, the government and from me… what is your response?
I look forward to your reply.