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Coalesce – How they stole all your money

October 18, 2012

Any incoming Government is going to blame the last lot for the things that are going wrong, and let’s face it the lot that assumed power in 2010 had a lot to blame the last lot for. Basically we were broke, but actually, we had a bunch of banks we’d bailed out, so that would be OK wouldn’t it?

You’d have thought that taking over the banks would have let the Government(s) the right to tell the banks to bloody well behave themselves and start acting like proper banks, lending money sensibly to good businesses so that those businesses could keep on employing people and, gawd help us, actually making things we collectively need once in a while, or lending sensibly to people who could afford to pay it back so they could maybe get a mortgage like their parents had been able to.

But this didn’t happen, and the money men and their apologists tried to make it our fault that they had pressure sold mortgages people COULDN’T afford, and then sold on this debt as if it were safe, with the collusion of the all powerful rating agencies – the same ones crippling whole countries with their pronouncements. When the music stopped and they were found without a chair they said it was us being greedy for wanting somewhere to live rather than them wanting somewhere ELSE to live.

In the midst of all this turmoil came some sensible men in ties. They had been to good schools and groomed for leadership all their lives. Surely these were the right people to take over when it was all going wrong?

But these men hadn’t ever known what it was like to work for a living, or struggled to pay for the things they need for their families and children. They didn’t mix with that sort of people until they had to persuade us to vote for them. Then they went to factories and took their jackets off as if they were just one of the lads building tractors.

Even then we were a little bit afraid. When people like them were last in charge they had been “the nasty party”. For all the going to the arctic to talk about how we shouldn’t travel so much – sorry, I mean how we should all be looking after the lovely polar bears. We simply didn’t trust them not to be horrid. And in the end, not enough of us trusted them to let them have it all their way. In the end, they had to share the top jobs with the “nice party”. Surely that was a match made in heaven. The nasty ones with the oomph to get things done with the nice ones making sure they didn’t go too far.

The trouble with that is that the nice people were too nice to stop the nasty people being nasty.

The nasty people didn’t need to go to tractor factories any more. They didn’t need to mix with the rest of us. They could go back to hob-nobbing with their friends who ran newspapers and banks, and because they were now in charge of making the rules, they could make the rules their friends wanted. So by and large they did.

And once they were in charge they pretended that the thing they wanted to do more than anything anyway, and they always had was just what we all needed to punish us for being so greedy before. So they started taking away the libraries and jobs and gave all the money they saved to the banks in case the people in charge of the banks (the ratings companies) thought for a minute that the country was doing things for its people rather than the banks and tried to make it a poor country.

These people didn’t like anything being provided for ordinary people, even though you and I paid them a lot of money to provide those things we need when things go wrong. No, they wanted us to pay even more money to insurance companies or private suppliers for the things we used to get from the money they gave them. The money we gave them was given to their friends at the bank.

All the time up went the price of electricity, food and petrol, and the rich people who owned the companies who provided the electricity food and petrol got even richer, and closed down the factories in the countries that had made them rich and opened ones in poor countries where they didn’t have to pay anyone properly, so they got richer, while we all got poorer because those who still had jobs were told to be grateful they still had jobs and not expect any more money to pay for the things that were getting more expensive.

And some of them talked about how what they were doing was for “hard working families” when the families had to work harder and longer, and about a squeezed middle, which was being squeezed until it squeaked. All the time they were all getting richer and looking forward to a time when they didn’t have to be in charge anymore and their friends from their good schools with their nice ties would give them lots of money to come and be in charge of dipping their snouts in the money trough without those terrible ordinary people being in the way.

And the tractor factory could be shut down and moved to somewhere no one could pronounce.

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