I’m not a great fan of the BBC these days, but that’s neither here nor there. Whoever programmed The Bank That Almost Broke Britain to show on BBC2 on the evening after Boris Johnson did his cynical parody of the Tory patriot at their conference must surely have second sight?
If there’s a single programme that explains the enthusiasm of those Tories hungry for Brexit (and, indeed, of the whole hideous Brexit mess), it was this one. If you join the dots, it becomes crystal clear why the EU, with its concern with regulation, had to be made the whipping boy for all Britain’s woes. (Which is not, of course, to imply that it is not itself a problematic institution that needs major reform). Given the social impact of ‘austerity’, it was vital that those who benefitted most from the fact that, as the programme put it: “the gain was privatised, the pain nationalised to the country”, found a way to distract the citizens of Britain from the grim truth that has followed from the banking crisis.
Put bluntly, the solution to the banking crisis and the programme of austerity that followed it shows that we are now a democracy in name only. In reality, democratic institutions have simply become the veil behind which a tiny elite manipulates politics to serve its own ends. That elite is personified by the Oxbridge Old Etonians Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg (co-founder of a hedge fund management business, Somerset Capital Management LLP). By people like Jonathan Harold Esmond Vere Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere, chairman of DMG Media (formerly Associated Newspapers), a media conglomerate that includes the Daily Mail, and the former CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Fred Goodwin. But perhaps most pertinently evoked by Rhodri Colwyn Philipps, 4th Viscount St Davids, three times a declared bankrupt. A man with criminal convictions for financial mismanagement and menacing communications who offered £5,000 to have Mrs Gina Miller killed for having the audacity to take the Government to court over its undemocratic attempt to implement Brexit without Parliamentary approval. (The same woman, of course, who founded the True and Fair Campaign in 2012, which calls for an end to financial misconduct in the investment and pension industries).
This is an elite saturated in its own sense of self-entitlement, one that is hell-bent on ensuring that the country is run for its benefit, regardless of the cost to the vast majority of its citizens. An elite that needs Brexit to ensure that British citizens are distracted from what’s really happening in Britain and so don’t get in its way. It has shown itself willing to lie, cheat, threaten, and hoodwink, and it will continue to do so.
So, respect to the BBC for offering us a stark reminder of what is really going down in Britain today.