Seeing the current media predeliction for banker bashing, heartily endorsed by a substantial proportion of the British public, I cannot but be reminded of Madame Defarge, knitting at the foot of the guillotine.
Bankers are by no means lily white but they are in danger of suffering the fate of the french aristocrats in the late eighteenth century in carrying the sins of many institutional failures. Here are some home truths:
- The financial crisis in the US started with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after President Clinton ordered them to give mortgages to poor people who had no chance or repaying them.
- In the UK, Brown and Balls instituted a new regulatory regime that failed the UK.
- Brown and Balls promoted an economic boom that was bound to lead to bust.
- The British public has been encouraged to distrust the private sector, the profit motive and high earners, mainly by left-wing politicians and commentators.
- However, 80% of the National Health Service is delivered through primary care and this is run by GPs who are independent businessmen and women working for profit.
- The Hinchingbrooke Hospital Trust has been turned around in short order by Circle Health Care, a private sector business.
- The British public bemoan the high salaries and bonuses paid to bankers but does not raise an eyebrow at the absurd sums paid to footballers, BBC presenters, pop idols and many film stars.
- Similarly, the British public seems unconcerned at the antics and consequential high earnings of ambulance-chasing lawyers promoting the blame culture of personal injury claims.
It is a perverse and topsy-turvy world and one in which left-wing politicians are rubbing their hands with glee as they wriggle out of any blame for the ecconomic shambles in which they left this country in 2010. Can you think of a Labour government that has not left office with the country’s economy teetering on the edge of collapse?