There may be a browser reason for this. The problem is, it’s becoming the automatic thought of every one of us when something is changed by a commercial entity: what scam are they trying to pull here?
When Boris Johnson says we must stop bashing banks, he never counters it with “so long as they agree to stop behaving like gangsters”. When David Cameron says we must stop seeing profit as a dirty word, he never qualifies it with “but profiteering and cheating will remain criminal offences, and be punished”. When Michael Fallon says we must stop making it seem that Britain isn’t open for business he never adds, “although of course Britain will never be open for funny-business”. Call me picky about this, but the stopping does seem a little one-sided here.
The total disregard for any real sense of fairness in the social contract between capital and consumer is the biggest single way in which the privileged and connected in the West are dangerously out of touch with reality. Their opening assumption (that we’re all terminally dense) informs almost all the defences they make of appalling behaviour, but they have no choice other than to continue doing this for one simple reason: without the people under criticism, the life they enjoy would be gone. Because those same people donate huge sums to political Parties, and either legally or illegally in many cases bankroll individual MPs. They also illegally pay MPs to lobby on their behalf. And last but not least, if they are media barons, they can make or break the electoral ambitions of any Party.
That’s why today, Rupert Murdoch, Bob Diamond, Baron Green, Piers Morgan, JHJ Lewis, Unite, the Co-Op Bank directors and thousands of others enjoy the freedom they have today.
The situation will continue until political Parties are taxpayer funded, all private donations are made illegal, all lobbying is severely restricted, and mandatory jail sentences are dished out to any legislator found guilty of accepting private monies or benefits of any kind beyond salary and expenses.
This and always has been a no-brainer. Freed from monied influence, legislators will soon start to rein in the cheats and liars.
The usual threaders will now appear to say what a dangerous idea this is and how could I possibly have the effrontery to suggest it. To which my response is, “To make omelettes, we must break eggs”.