Wednesday, 21 June 2006

All the way to the top

In the 18 February 2011 edition of The Daily Telegraph, Jenny McCartney suggests that 'Welfare reform should tackle the cheats at the top as well as the bottom'.

Which I would, most certainly, agree with.

"Greedy MPs and rapacious bankers are just as dishonest as welfare fraudsters and freeloaders," added Jenny.
Which I wouldn't agree with quite as much. You see, 'greedy MPs and rapacious bankers,' in terms of the effect their greed and rapacity has on the rest of us, are much, much more dishonest. That's not to excuse benefit cheats, particularly those who come from abroad, but their behaviours are criminal not criminal and traitorous. Jenny continues:

"David Cameron, at the launch of the Welfare Reform Bill last week, made a rousing plea for the restoration of our ethics. In his speech, he bemoaned the end of ‘a collective culture of responsibility,' of an age when people’s self-image was measured by ‘whether they did the decent thing’. In such an era, he said, ‘fiddling the system would have brought not just public outcry but private shame’…

Why do the fraudsters and the freeloaders not feel Mr Cameron’s suggested shame at their actions, which reduce the pool of money available to those who are desperately in need? It is largely because, among their friends and family, such behaviour meets with acceptance rather than censure. In their eyes, money flows from some capacious cash-pot labelled ‘the state’ rather than the hard-pressed pockets of individual taxpayers…

These are also the exact conditions that prevailed in the House of Commons prior to the expenses scandal, so comprehensively exposed by the Telegraph. A handful of MPs were found to be making strikingly fraudulent claims, but a far greater number turned out to be similarly opportunistic freeloaders, trading on a worryingly cosy relationship with the Fees Office to take liberties with their allowances and expenses.

GEORGE OSBORNE, NOW THE CHANCELLOR, FLIPPED HIS SECOND HOME DESIGNATION BETWEEN HIS LONDON RESIDENCE AND A CHESHIRE FARMHOUSE IN ORDER TO CLAIM THE MAXIMUM RENUMERATION. But he consistently informed the Inland Revenue that his London residence was his primary dwelling, which excused him from capital gains tax when he sold it in 2006. By 2009, the Lib Dems were clamouring for him to pay back capital gains of nearly £55,000, on the basis that for two of the eight years Mr Osborne lived in his London home, it was described to the Commons authorities as his secondary dwelling…

When an obliging system rubs up against a morally indulgent culture, the genie of greed is liberated, and only those with a very strong personal code can resist. The MPs didn’t even have the excuse that they had become mired in a benefits trap: THEY JUST WANTED TO GRAB EVEN MORE… The same was true of the ludicrously rich bankers whose reckless activities contributed to the global crash. A new documentary, Inside Job, exposes the shocking extent of professional duplicity among those at the top of investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, none of whom have faced criminal prosecution.

‘Greed is good,’ said Gordon Gekko in 1987, and the wider culture has amplified that maxim ever since. Mr Cameron, among others, is arguing that this generation needs a new creed. But if we really want a return to honest values, WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THEY GO ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP."
But it never will 'go all the way to the top,' will it, Jenny? Because Dave, Tony, Gordon and co. are never going to make the bankers pay when they screw up. Seeing as it’s the international financier type who bankrolls their rise to the top of the greasy pole in the first place.

Hey, Dave! You want our country back the way it was? You want us to behave honourably, morally, with a social conscience? Are you sure? Then internationalise the wealth of the bankers! De-millionaire the millionaires in the Blair/Brown and Cameron Cabinets. Stop pouring billions (£12bn) into the international aid budget, leave Afghanistan and the EU and send the foreign 'fraudsters and freeloaders' back (after draining their bank accounts).

Whilst your at it, have the ill-gotten gains off the immigrant criminals and send them home too. They and the alien 'fraudsters and freeloaders' are, after all, the footsoldiers of the 'greedy MPs and rapacious bankers'.

Do all of that, Dave, and we might believe you’re genuine and we might also believe that your high-minded call for 'a collective culture of responsibility' goes 'all the way to the top'.

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