We’re all doomed! (In comedy Scottish accent) I’m talking of course of the ongoing and ever more Soap Opera like events surrounding the Banking sector. The Soap Opera goes a little like this, with Barclays taking the lead as the all powerful family, Bob Diamond cast as chief villain. Today’s episode featuring Bob answering the questions of the Treasury Select Committee is a ratings buster, is this the end of Bob or will he stage another Houdini like escape, as one of those irascible characters who, no matter what, seem to come up smelling of roses a la JR Ewing? Cut to post hearing pictures of a toothy grinning Bob outside Parliament, having made the old duffers and their fawning civil servants and advisors look like the losers that those clever Bankers know that they are! Bob and the gang live to fight another day, another several billion pounds richer… all is well at the (oil) ranch.
I’m being sarcastic of course; this is just one version of the meaning of events that is playing out in the media. I have been thinking about another possible interpretation of the “we’re all doomed” scenario. What if Mr Diamond’s appearance at the Committee hearing today is the trigger on the start gun to the wholesale unravelling of the “Establishment” as we know it?
There has been a nasty whiff of intrigue surrounding politicians, banking, police, and media for several years now (all those enquiries!) Those peeks afforded us into the inner workings could be nothing, in one witness statement Mr Diamond could show that they really are all in it together. Think how poetic that would be, as these were almost the exact words that were revealed as used Rebekah Brooks stated to David Cameron over the nature of their working relationship at the Leveson enquiry recently.
Could this be the unravelling of a façade that has undoubtedly over the past twenty five years delivered a new middle class, given people who might never have anticipated experiencing the kind of wealth that only people in “top jobs” experienced. Smart cars, home ownership, shopping as a leisure activity, a woman’s right to shoes, weekend city breaks … I could go on, it all sounds very grown up, and in recent years something many of us wanted a piece of.
Is this what they are all in on together? And with the collapse of the “establishment” as we know it, the truth of the structure of the debt revealed, the wealth was never real, the debt is of biblical proportions, we all have to move to a mind set that the last twenty five years didn’t happen. I’m remembering a childhood of hard work, of a father striving, scrimping and saving to pay off the mortgage, of living a truly frugal existence. Is this the truth of what our economy is meant to be?