Monday, October 13, 2008

Brown's Bulimic Bail-Out Makes You Sick

Another day, another eye-watering bank bail-out. This has little to do with helping people and everything to do with saving the City and Brown's skin. Not a penny is being used where it really matters. Another bulimic bank bail-out and it's enough to make you sick. 

Today we were forced to sit through the same obscene spectacle, with another taxpayers bail-out which crept up throughout yesterday from around £12 billion ending today at around £37 billion

This is no Northern Rock nationalisation. This is pseudo-nationalisation. There's little accountability. City shareholders not parliament still call the shots.

Schools, hospitals, old people's homes, small businesses, obscene gas price rises, capped and meagre wages are left to rot.

The government thinks it's riding high on the crest of a wave with the unsinkable Gordon Brown. But look through the looking glass and you see a very different picture. 

Announcements are being timed for political advantage and to wrong-foot the opposition. Spin doctors and plumbers are working overtime to paint the boss in a good light. 

Billions of pounds is being begged and borrowed and thrown around like confetti. Meanwhile people are worried about jobs, gas and food bills continue to rise, no one gives a bugger about UK manufacturing and people are being forced to live on a pittance and struggle with debt on a meagre income. 

Attention has switched slightly to what's laughingly called the "real" economy. Jobs, prices, small businesses, pay deals and the like. If that's 'real' then what is going on at the moment is unreal. But it's more than that, it's surreal. 

Some things just won't work because they can't. Try striking a match on a bar of soap. The amounts of cash being thrown at the banks is so staggering it beggars belief. 

Some have warned this is the end of capitalism and globalisation. It is the opposite. What we are witnessing is the triumph of the banks and the City, not their downfall. 

October 13, 2008 will go down in history. The time when the money men finally took over politics and parliament now plays second fiddle to the City.

You cannot change the bad habits of a decade overnight. The illusion of wealth is a delusion too entrenched in our psyche. The decade of debt now part of the disillusioned aspiring lifestyle. 

Anything other than bowing to the pressures of the banks and handing them our cash means Brown would have to admit his handling of the economy has been flawed and incompetent from the start. 

Taxpayers cash is being used to prop up the banking system to get them all off the hook. Secret bank and government meetings exposed Brown and Darling as either weak and being used as the democratic front men to get their hands on the cash or they were willing partners. Probably a bit of both.

Brown's much vaunted 'rescue plan', now touted around Europe as a cure all for all economic ills, is laughable not laudable. Use taxpayers cash or get the country deeper in debt with more borrowing. That's not a plan that's a recipe for disaster. 

Bank nationalisation is being spun as some kind of monster lurking around the corner. The rantings of sad old socialists. But is it really that worse than freely handing over wads of cash with few strings attached? 

If politicians can't hack it or screw up they are booted out by voters, instead of being rewarded for incompetence with fat bonuses and payoffs. 

Full public ownership brings accountability back to parliament. It imposes checks and safeguards. It brings a clear chain of command back to people. But even that just scratches the surface. 

All people want to know is that their savings are safe and no bastard is going to come round and repossess their home. Both measures could have been achieved by a government which puts people first and without all this fuss. 

For the moment, most politicians seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet but some searching questions are starting to be asked by Conservatives, LibDems and true Labour. And there are growing calls for Brown to be called to account for his actions.

For Brown and his ministers, it's the same old song. The words have been written by bankers and orchestrated by the City. Any pretence of putting people first has become a sick joke. 

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