I was 7 when Thatcher got in. My teenage years saw the real burgeoning of the cult.
The laws of the market were treated as kind of sacred (it’s got worse as the centre and soft left caved in).
It was all about grabbing what you can and stuff. “Greed is Good” – intended as cautionary – became a catchphrase for the new morality.
I had an elder brother who was a bit of a yuppie so that took away some of the mystique for me.
Then in Economics A Level I saw people scratch their heads at stuff that seemed pretty obvious to me. Our teacher was good and balanced, but many seemed to swallow the capitalist model without much question. Some of the brighter students really drooled over it.
Then the USSR collapsed and that was that, even though Gorbachev was a committed socialist.
Large scale state controlled authoritarian socialism was a bad bad fuck up.
Therefore capitalism was good. No question.
That was the level of logic applied across the board: It was the “end of history”
Since then privatisation, “globalisation” deregulation, PFI…you name it…
The UK highlighted the finance sector as our main thing, at the expense of many others. Labour got in on the back of a “Prawn Cocktail Offensive” assuring the City they would be nice as pie to them.
A generation committed to an ideology, morally and practically. Back in 1992, after The Blue Arrow Scandal, word came down there would be no more major prosecutions for that kind of fraud.
Labour later told the FSA to go easy on any discipline in case companies left the UK.
The FSA made sure many things wouldn’t be crimes at all, including what became the LIBOR rigging.
The build up to the 2008 catastrophe was long, and plenty saw it coming. “Leaders”,”experts” and hacks who say otherwise are either not up to the job or liars.
The derivatives blackhole was estimated by Bloomberg in late 2008 at a quadrillion pounds. It aint never going to be filled, no matter how many scores of billions in bailouts and QE.
This is the largest global financial disaster and rip-off in history. Bar none. They expect us to pay for generations. A new form of indentured servitude.
It has a long way to go yet.
Wow! Now it turns out that they’re all a bunch of crooks. Who would have thought a model of huge potential gains from crime against near zero risk of comeback would produce that? It’s more than you’ve been told of course.
Oh. Private contractors are often really really shit. Nearly £300m to supply just over 10,000 low paid workers for less than a month, but G4S still ballsed it up – largest private security op in the world, now bidding to run police services.
Hundreds of pounds to change a lightbulb in a PFI hospital – still a higher legal priority than paying a nurse.
Next to no accountability. Want to know how your tax money is spent? Sorry, “commercial confidentiality”
The market knows best. Invisible hand. I fucking ask you. Even Adam Smith knew how it could all go wrong, perhaps especially him.
Oh. The banks have been laundering money for terrorists and gangsters (just like Max Keiser and others had been saying for years too)
Anyhows…we’ve seen the cheerleaders strut and patronise for decades, lecture and sneer.
They were very wrong. Aside from hectoring across the airwaves and cyberspace, many of you, like me, will have had the face to face lectures as if we were a bit simple or stuck in the past.
Have any of these cultists now got the awareness and decency to admit they got carried away and perhaps a teensy bit arrogant?
Perhaps there should be an amnesty.
Leftists have had to do decades of soul searching and qualifying analysis.
Are rightist ideologues going to do the same?
3 1/2 Years after the crisis blew wide open I don’t really see it.