British politics is in one hell of a hole because of stupid abuse of a stupid set-up for covering the living expenses of Members of Parliament. The system was meant to augment MPs’ income because successive governments since the 1980s have been too gutless to agree to raise MPs’ pay in line with, for example, doctors. So the arrangement was always a piece of classic British hypocrisy and now it’s backfired into the fan. As the scandal and ridicule unfolds, though not all MPs are embroiled in it, the body as a whole is naturally obsessed by it and their real business suffers. Here are ten key problems Parliament should be talking about instead of staring up itself.
It looks like there will be some serious demonstrations to welcome the G-20 summiteers to London on 2 April. Protests will reflect anger at the human costs of the recession and a conviction (or hope) that the system has not only failed many ordinary people but is failing full stop. And there will be a lot of sympathy for the protests because it is hard to see the G-20 straightforwardly addressing the big problems. There are four in particular that could do with high-level attention. Continue reading
Imagine how the world would look if banking were seen as a service, out of which profit can reasonably be made, as I suggested in my last post, instead of being seen almost exclusively as a profit-making business. Instead of thinking about the impact of two more grisly days for trading in bank shares on both sides of the Atlantic, let’s spend some time on how things might be different. Continue reading
Some people believe that a drowning man comes up three times for air before finally succumbing. Put another way – he goes down three times before he stays there. Is that’s what happening with the banks? Continue reading