When speaking of his concerns for the future in 1900, William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army said, “I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be;
· Religion without the Holy Ghost,
· Christianity without Christ,
· Forgiveness without repentance,
· Salvation without regeneration,
· Politics without God,
· Heaven without hell”
I cannot comment on the whereabouts of Christ or the Holy Ghost but on all other counts it appears the bankers are set to benefit from the absence of the very same moral guidelines Booth feared would be lacking in his modern world more than a century ago.
While David Cameron prepares us for watered down banking reforms instead of the fire and brimstone promises surrounding his election, not only are the individuals responsible for wrecking our economy sitting pretty, but they are also set to continue to enjoy fruits without labour. Carefully crafted economic scaremongery has some speaking of the proposed retail bank ring fencing being deferred as late as 2019 so they will also be unlikely to be required to repent or regenerate. Because of this I can not see how they will ever be made to suffer the consequences of their greed driven actions.
I, on the other hand, am expected to pick up the pieces of my life with a hellish £217,000 shortfall hanging over me, take the consequences of HBOS’s decision to create this unrecoverable debt squarely on the chin and accept the words of Antonio Horta Osorio’s very junior lackey from Mortgage Recoveries when he says, in response to my “All I need is you” letter,
“I would like to place on record that I feel that Halifax is fully entitled to pursue you for your liability and has not done anything wrong in this matter.”
With deny, deny, deny remaining firmly on the tip of every HBOS tongue and omnipotence as its guide, I cannot imagine anyone within Lloyds or HBOS thinking twice when laying the consequences of the financial crisis firmly at the feet of the individual while expecting us and the taxpayer to suffer the fall out for their actions for years to come.
This is hardly surprising when those at the top, having appointed a scapegoat or two, have succeeded in keeping their jobs along with their enormous remuneration packages and in so doing cunningly “ring fenced” themselves and their families , together with their personal financial futures, against an economic crisis they created. Powerless in the face of their own funding shortfalls, governments and regulatory authorities alike continue to keep the feral elite sweet by paying lip service to the radical changes and reforms required to bring this omnipotent banking culture to task. Because of this, and no doubt after much posturing on all sides, I can see that, yet again, we will find ourselves advised it is safest to dance to the untouchables tune while the economy burns even if the impoverished individual has no alternative but to pay the price.
William Booth said, “To get a man soundly saved it is not enough to put on him a new pair of breeches, to give him regular work, or even give him a University education. These things are all outside a man, and if the inside remains unchanged your have wasted your labour. You must in some way or other graft upon the man’s nature, a new nature which has in it the element of the Divine.” I and my family have put on the new breeches, found regular, albeit menial, work and grafted on a new nature with which to face our changed world. It is clear the banks have no intention of doing the same.