US president, Ronald Reagan once said, “Governments view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. And if it stops moving subsidise it” however if this is indeed the economic philosophy of the UK government too there is clearly a great deal of latitude in its interpretation as, to date, “if it keeps moving regulate it” has yet to register on the banking reform To Do list while “if it stops moving subsidise it” has only been applicable if it further strengthens the position (and the power) of the banksters.For the vast majority of us, economic crisis has meant a 3% decline in wages (in real terms) but, despite being the villains in the mix, the banking elite have enjoyed a very different outcome. Instead of wage cuts and austerity measures they have enjoyed both tax breaks and subsidies along with a very respectable 37% increase in their remuneration packages while “ New Few” have basked in an even more astounding 49% increase on 2010 earnings amounting to more than 900 times that of an average wage packet.
David Cameron may wish us to believe we are all “in this together” but good sense dictates we are most definitely not and where Obama’s “settlement” to rescue homeowners with underwater mortgages has admittedly fallen foul of state governors discretionary powers to use these funds to prop up their deficits, our UK government has paid lip service to justice for the victims of banking fraud and instead sold on shortfall debt arising from RBS repossessions to replenish the coffers depleted by bank bailouts while repeatedly turning a blind eye to the crimes of the banking elite.
As the gap widens between the rich and the poor and irresponsible banking continues to go both unpunished and unregulated, it is only the Icelandic government who appear to have addressed the distress of the individual. Debt forgiveness of residential mortgages over 110% of their 2008 valuations has not only played a huge part in rescuing their economy but it has saved a large proportion of their householders too. However, in the UK oligarchs continue to rule our politicians, reports of banking fraud continue to fall on deaf ears and as a result those of us with Bank of Scotland created mortgage shortfalls can only look forward to endless years of persecution born out of widespread regulatory lethargy and banking avarice.
British writer, novelist, columnist, Conservative Party politician and 3rd Baronet, Sir William Robert Ferdinand Mount says, “Britain will begin to heal its divisions only when oligarchs and their opposite, the poor, are reconnected to the rest of the society, so that the first are no longer seen as uncontrollable and the second as irredeemable”. Unfortunately, for the less than affluent individual this is unlikely to become a government directive because, if my own HBOS experience is anything to go by, the government along with our errant bankers have one fundamental viewpoint in common.
They believe, because they are all in it together, the individuals who makes up the 99% simply do not count.