Our straight talking Lancashire lass takes a sideways look at the daily news.
Men of privilege and power, taking the proverbials
This week we witnessed Fred the Shred, the former leader of the Royal Bank of Scotland stripped of his knighthood. Like Mr Banks, Mary Poppins style.
But as much as I enjoyed watching Fred Goodwin being brought down a peg or two, I still thought ‘Meh. What’s the point?’
Punishing just one person in this satisfying yet petty way doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t correct the system or help curb the excesses of the bonus culture. It doesn’t stop the top tiers of UK wealthy storing their vast savings in off-shore tax havens. It won’t prevent the catastrophic cuts that are tearing our country apart. Fred Goodwin was a pillock of the first order, but he was scapegoated.
His banking chums and politician pals will carry on as normal. Feathering their nests and jumping on the gravy train whilst everyone else suffers.
And today, I read about another man of power and privilege, who got greedy, took too much and is now paying for it with his job and reputation.
Energy Secretary Chris Hulme has stepped down from his position in the Cabinet in disgrace after being charged with perverting the course of justice.
In 2003 he was caught speeding, but rather than taking it on the chin he persuaded his (now ex) wife to take his penalty points onto her license instead. This is a criminal offence, and they will both be expected to appear in court.
So he lies about his license and commits a criminal offence and expects to get away with it, yet last year we saw people jailed for stealing water during the riots. Fred Goodwin causes one of the biggest bank crashes in recent history and loses an obsolete title. But we see vulnerable people in society losing their benefits in the name of saving money.
What is it with these people? Why do men (and women) in power always seem to want just that little bit more? Why do they think it’s okay to dictate to us how to live, how to behave and how to spend our money – when it’s obvious that it’s one rule for them and another for us.
I’m glad that both these men have been taken to account over their actions – but I hope they won’t be token punishments. Meh.