the m john harrison blog

mieville, thorpe, womack

Barbaric Document has China M, determinedly not spoiling The City & The City for anyone. Read that book whatever else you do. I’m reviewing Hodd, by Adam Thorpe. Listening to: every accoustic guitar track I’ve got, through my shiny new Fat Man valve amp, very boomy. Re-reading: Womack, Let’s Put the Future Behind Us. Doing my ironing for: three days walking on the South Downs. Back on Wednesday, shan’t blog again ’til then.

elegant politics

The law will hang the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But lets the greater thief go loose
Who steals the common from the goose

–Anon, via Chris Wood

The bankers took everyone for incomprehensibly vast sums of money. They ruined everything from the economy to the lives of individual pensioners. They got away scot free, & they got away with the bonuses. They aren’t paying anything back.

The MPs’ expenses row has taken attention away from this. It has refocussed attention exactly where the Tories would like it to be: on public spending. The bankers stole our money: but the MPs have stolen “the taxpayers’ money”. Instant uproar.

The bankers stole more. They didn’t fiddle a meagre £10,000 here & there. They got away, personally, with fortunes. They didn’t fiddle a mortgage; they fiddled millions of mortgages & then collected £7 or £8 million in “pensions” as their price for leaving the institutions they had wrecked.

They got the taxpayer to pay them to go. How is that not “stealing the taxpayers’ money” ?

Paying MPs is a form of public spending. When we are stupid enough to vote the Tories back in, our rage against MPs will be redirected by them on to every other form of public spending. The bankers will get away with it. The blow that should have fallen on them will be received instead by a handful of hapless prats who got their fingers in the petty cash. Result.

Our frustration with the bankers, our rage against the recession they caused, will be refocussed on that arch enemy of Toryism, public spending. Because MPs have been shown to be corrupt, all public services will be blackened by association, then cut: it will seem perfectly logical. The disadvantaged, their ranks swelled by hundreds of thousands of victims of the bankers, will be punished for the sins of the advantaged. As usual, ordinary people will be deftly turned into their own enemies. Fantastically elegant politics.