So the silly season seems to have crept up on us and all of a sudden another year has almost flown by. It’s been a funny old year really, tough for most, with a lot of anger and frustration directed at our “leaders”. The Iraq War enquiry is in full swing, strike news abounds, war has been declared on everyone from MP’s and bankers to company directors, (see BA and Consignia for further details), and especially dear old Simon Cowell.
After two long hard years of credit crunch and recession, with another tough year approaching, who is to say that it is not a good thing for the public to let off some steam and vent their anger, whether misdirected or not, at “the machine”, or the systems that tell us what we should be doing and thinking?
Many of us may be feeling bitter about being let down by people blinded by power, money and glory who refused to accept the realities of how things were changing. The financial crisis has affected every walk of life, many losing jobs and only low interest rates keeping them in their homes. Whilst banks start to make profits again, it feels like a kick in the teeth as the everyday borrower and business still finds it hard and costly to borrow.
Before you think this is an anarchic, communist rant my comrades, it isn’t. In fact, just lashing out at bankers for example, without any thought of the effects is not the answer. Are the everyday bankers who work long hours under enormous stress and treated in a way that the average worker would not tolerate really the ones to punish? After all, MP’s literally took money out of our pockets with ridiculous expenses, whilst Governments globally and regulators failed to spot the risks.
Taxing the banker’s bonuses now will not have the desired effect. It may mean that they set up shop elsewhere, as in this technological age borders mean nothing, which could have a devastating effect on the wider economy. Businesses of all types rely on the banks making money to lend out, on those with high disposable incomes to buy their goods and services, and social services depend on the tax revenues earned out of these people. Every business in the land is in some way affected if our financial sector is not performing.
The London housing market will also be effected which will trickle through to many other areas if demand starts to wane.
I am sure there are other possibilities, rather than just simply taking an “after the horse has bolted”, vote grabbing approach. Will a simple tax stop banks taking unnecessary risk? Or will it just stop it in this country, which given globalisation means we will be affected again anyway?
It needs a sensible approach, based on communication, regulation and common ground. Make the UK the best, safest place for banks to operate in and work to benefit all of us.
Far better to take out rage at the ballot boxes, getting rid of cheating MP’s and buying a simple song that expresses our feelings this Christmas, “Killing In The Name Of” by Rage Against The Machine, the official anti X-factor song.
It is nothing against the marvellously talented Joe, but seriously, give the guy some decent music to express his talents and give us something a little different this Christmas. Something that appeals to the rebel in all of us and sends a message.