Philosopher, lawyer and political theorist Marcus Tullius Cicero once said, “When government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent, it is a userer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honourable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself” and using austerity measures to redress the fraudulence of the banks and the greed of the corporate elite does precisely the same.
Those who would have us believe “we are all in this together” insisted,
- Bank bailouts would protect shareholders, help home owners and preserve jobs
- Bankers would use tax payers support to bolster the economy
- Official enquiries would hold those responsible to account
- Government guidelines and financial regulation would protect the vulnerable
However, during almost five years of economic crisis,
- Bailouts continue to save the bankers and not their customers or the economy
- Taxpayer investment provided funds for mis-selling reinbursement and rewards for failure
- FSA investigations held no-one to account bar a few insignificant fines
- Job losses and austerity measures reduced the incomes of the vulnerable and left them stripped of their homes
Before the crisis of 2008 those daring to suggest deregulated, reckless lending would come home to roost were labelled incompetents and lunatics. Four years later, as a direct result of bailout related austerity measures, cut backs dictate my eighty six year old mother cannot receive an attendance allowance unless she has been unable to manage her personal care for more than six months and her GP tells me he is unable to admit her to hospital unless he can secure funding for her treatment with ultra sound evidence for which the waiting list is six to eight weeks. Struggling to address her medical emergency along with her future care while unsuccessfully pressing HBOS to investigate my long overdue complaint, it beggars belief to find our banksters, who to date have remained largely unchallenged, are once again deliberating over how best to pocket obscene rewards for their gargantuan failures while the vulnerable and the innocent pay the price for years to come.
For the vast majority David Cameron’s “aspiration nation” is far from a shiny new goal for our economic future but instead a harsh and painful consequence of our bankers wicked past. After decades of unregulated pillaging, banks have bequeathed us a legacy of cut backs and cover ups and because of this, a few much loved but often fanciful aspirations are all a great many of us now have left. Marcus Tullius Cicero also said, “If the truth were self evident, eloquence would be unnecessary” and despite what some would have us believe, the playing field in this financial crisis is definitely not level however eloquently it is portrayed.