Monday, 10 October 2011

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"

Some of you may recall the 1976 Oscar winning film "Network"? 

Actor Peter Finch won the best actor award for his part hosting a program called The Howard Beale Show, top-billed as "the mad prophet of the airwaves". Ultimately, the show becomes the most highly rated program on television, and Beale finds new celebrity preaching his angry message in front of a live studio audience that, on cue, chants Beale's signature catchphrase en masse: "We're as mad as hell, and we're not going to take this anymore."

The film is 35 years old, but his message seems as relevant now as it was then.  I suspect it would do no good whatsoever, but it would make me feel much less frustrated to open the window and yell at the world.  Why on earth are the ordinary hard working people of this country paying such a heavy price for the follies of the banking system? 

  1. We've seen our savings devalued by low interest rates and high inflation. 
  2. Winter fuel allowances reduced.
  3. Fuel prices seem to rise exponentially 
  4. Our pensions reduced by the lower yields from stock markets.
  5. Pensionable age increased.
  6. Social services reduced.
I would suggest spending your days in the nice warm library, or take advantage of your bus pass and get out more. Unfortunately, both of these options are likely to be lost in the near future as the government seeks to reduce the deficit caused by the banking crisis.This is likely to be the worst financial crash since the 1930's which some commentators say was only ended by the start of WW2. Hopefully, our leaders will find a less drastic method to solve our problems this time , but don't count on it....

It seems common sense that banks should not be allowed to carry on their current practice of having a High Street presence dealing with personal and business accounts, whilst having a separate (and this is important) financially linked arm which deals in highly speculative "casino" investment banking. Sir John Vickers has presented a damming report on current practices to the government calling for significant reforms to current banking practice. However, George Osborne has given Britain's biggest banks until 2019 – longer than had been expected – to implement radical reform of their operations to prevent another taxpayer bailout of the system. Some might take the cynical view that the Tory cabinet is looking after its own? 

In the novel "House of Cards". Francis Urquhart used the phrase: "You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment." 

What do you think?


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