All posts tagged 'Murdoch'

We get the soaking while the rich and famous stay dry

by The Codgers' Club Saturday, July 14 2012

by Peter Cook

It's as if our sodden summer is a judgement, caused by the Gods weeping over the appalling way in which we are being stitched up, ripped off, swindled and robbed, by the monsters who are supposed to be leading us.

They turned on the waterworks again last Sunday as Andy Murray crashed out of Wimbledon, and of course, being a tennis god, he reciprocated in kind.

The British people have always been lions led by donkeys, and never was this more true than today.

Did you witness the disgraceful spat between Wee Georgie Osborne and Lumbering Ed Balls in the Commons, which was repeated for our edification over and again on the TV news?

One commentator likened it to the “Thriller in Manila”. I thought it was more like two terriers snarling and snapping over a disputed bone. There is far more dignity in boxing than in politics.

It was all over the Libor rate, something – let’s face it – most of us didn’t even know existed till now. So four years after the banks let us in for the biggest financial crisis this country has ever known, they are still lying to us – big time.

If Wee Georgie Osborne could tax the porkie pies told by bankers, in the same way that he does pasties, we might get out of this mess.

As it is, according to a report I read, we have each of us – you, me, the person next door – contributed £20,000 to the banks, to keep them in business. Yet they refuse to invest in other people’s businesses.

Of course we need a proper, judge-led, judicial enquiry into their wickedness. MPs will not do because they are “all in it together” to coin a phrase.

Where do senior politicians go when they’ve finished messing up the country? On to the boards of banks – that’s where.

From whom does the Tory Party get half its funds? From the big City financiers – that’s who.

Labour’s no better. They colluded with big money to generate PFI deals that will cost future generations eye-watering amounts in interest repayments.

The people – we – deserve a proper, forensic, judge-led enquiry into the whole financial system. Nobody trusts politicians.

It’s not just about who lied about the Libor rate, it’s about the whole soggy mess. We need a review that will not just look at what we know already, but that will lift stones and expose the murky goings on beneath to the light of public opinion.

When you look at the institutions that run this country it’s really hard to find anything that does not make your skin crawl.

Day-by-day the Leveson inquiry reveals the dirty doings of the national press that could even stoop so low as to hack into the phone account of a teenage murder victim.

I have never bought anything from Murdoch’s evil empire and never will. The News of the World was always a dirty sleazebag rag and despite the stomach-turning sentimentality at its demise, I for one am glad it’s gone. But it was never alone in the gutter.

Now we have the prospect of the Old Bill being held to account for taking back-handers from so-called reporters.

Bent coppers are nothing new, but corruption in the Force seems to have gone further and higher than we thought.

What about tax avoidance? That was never really talked about much until UK Uncut started to reveal the scale of what is going on.

It was thought of merely as good accounting practice. It still is, among those rich enough to benefit from it.

They can argue all they like about it being the fault of poor legislation. But if taxes are levied they are meant to be paid. Not got around by means of complex loan-back arrangements from offshore accounts.

I don’t hold with people who cheat on benefits, but the cost of that – despite the self righteous and venomous protestations of the Daily Mail – is as nothing compared with tax avoiders. And that’s before we even start on evaders.

Fair play to Jimmy Carr. At least he coughed up, confessed, put on a hair shirt and offered no slimy excuses, as a politician would have done.

And so we have the National Health Service being systematically sold off to big business – the profitable bits anyway.

We have people being told they have to work until they’re 70, while at the same time their pensions are being plundered.

We have social care in which infirm pensioners can expect only 20 minutes of attention a day from underpaid workers employed by profit-motivated, privatised companies. It goes on and on.

So what can we do about it?

Well, we can do something about it if we really care. Mrs C and I have already removed our millions from the commercial bank in which they were deposited, to a mutually-owned building society. It’s dead easy.

We need to go further. We need to pester our MPs and councillors all the time about the iniquities that are happening under their watch. I know stamps are expensive these days but it’s a price worth paying.

We need to join and support organisations that do protest. A trade union perhaps, or a pensioners’ forum.

And maybe we need to take more direct action. Get out there with our banners. Not during the Olympics – you’ll get shot – but afterwards maybe.

We have to let them know that not only do we not like what they’re doing to this country – we’re not going to put up with it either.

As our American cousins would say: “Let’s kick ass.” And I’m not being rude. As I said before, we are lions led by donkeys.

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Categories: Moans and groans | Politics

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