After 10 years of steady growth and improvement in the British standard of living, under a Labour Government, the world wide banking financial crash of 2008 brought the banking chaos throughout the world. Even the pinnacle of capitalism, USA, began to crack and crumble, their house purchase/mortgage system setting off a chain reaction by offloading their debits to other international banks.
I wrote in this column at the time, a new kind of Banking was urgently needed to sort out the chaotic results of global banking. The banks were allowed to grow too big, a case of dog eats dog, dictate their own terms of business generate vast profits to pay intolerable bonuses.
In the UK this was exasperated by the extreme right wing Thatcher Government of the 1980’s by demutualising the building societies, to get the hands of her rich city friends on them to make even more money.
Before then people could get a 20/25 year mortgage according to their income, hard to pay back at first but getting easy as you progressed through your career with promotion or wage increase. Now it’s all short term mortgages so the bankers can charge even more arrangement fees each time.
Adding to the looming crises was her sell of ‘Social Housing’, council houses to you and me, and not allowing the councils to spend the revenue made on replacement housing, thus the main cause of the shortages today.
The current, Tory led, coalition (LibDemCon) government just propose tinkering around the edges of our banking system, when what is clearly needed is a radical reorganisation of banking with one of a full mixed economy. Even the bank with much public investments remaining nationalised.
The latest catch phrase used by LibDemCon ministers when they don’t know what to do or say is “We'll do whatever it takes”
In the years to come historians of the time will have a lot to say on the ‘Thatcher’ years it was she who sold off the public utilities, electricity, gas and water after the tax payer had paid for the pipe lines, electric grid and reservoirs.
It is morally wrong that a basic human need, like water supply should be sold off for profit making for share holders. It is also ridiculous that the same gas and the same electricity coming down the same pipes and cables to be sold to the consumer at different prices, to make bigger profits for share holders.
The Major government, following Thatcher, realising they would lose the next election rushed through continuation of her rail privatisation, resulting in the hotpotch of rail companies we have now. This costing as much public subsidy as British Railways did, mainly going to their share holders as profits.
Today's crises throughout the World's stock exchanges show they have become no more than the rich man’s betting shop, to gamble with the poor man’s savings and pension funds. ‘Sell’ they yell, to make a quick profit no matter the consequences to the firms, organisations and workers concerned.