Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Politics of Jealousy

I have always thought that jealousy is without doubt the most unattractive of all human emotions. It is totally negative. It has no redeeming features. And, ultimately, it is utterly pointless. Has jealous behaviour ever stopped a partner or friend from misbehaving? No.

But for the last few months we have been engaged nationally in a monumental act of petty, pointless, vindictive and hypocritical political jealousy on a massive, industrial scale. Politicians and the media have been queuing up to bash bankers. The international political class at various summits have been queuing up to do it too. The French, socialist to their finger tips, have been in the vanguard of pushing for EU action to punish bankers and take away their bonuses.

Tomorrow, Mr Eyebrows will publish his Pre-Budget Report and, we are led to believe by the usual heavy trailing in the media that politicians now go in for, he will enshrine this jealousy into policy and no doubt promise legislation to enshrine it into law as well.

This is all just absolutely ass numbing madness. Let me explain...

1. Political dishonesty - We are in the midst of an enormous 'blame shift' operation being carried out by the political class, led by Gordy's Government. Once again for the Lefties, the stupid and those that have forgotten, the banking crisis was caused by regulation that was too lax. Who regulates? Government. Did the banks adhere to the regulation? Yes, to the letter. Thus who is to blame? Duh!

Let me explain this another way. Suppose you belong to an organisation which has some rules. You keep to those rules to the letter. Then the organisation implodes. Is it the fault of those that ran the organisation and its rules or those that worked within it and kept to the rules?

Now do I think the banks should have spotted that regulation was too lax? Yes, of course. We all should. Some did. Not enough, sadly. But the overwhelming major culpability rests with Government. But they don't want to be blamed, so by tapping into our jealousy of those more rich and successful than us, they have shifted the blame to the banks. As ever, once the media agenda was set, the banks have just had to soak it up. (This behaviour is similar to how the police behaved after the that moronic McPherson Inquiry conclusion that the Met was institutionally racist. Once the media agenda was set, everyone queued up to self-flagellate themselves that they were institutionally racist because (a) this tapped into our first world, post colonialism guilt and (b) it was good for your career prospects because that was the prevailing orthodoxy).

2. Economics for dummies - Supply and demand, children, supply and demand - aka the market rate. If you tax entrepreneurial rich people more than they think is fair, they fuck off. They are already doing it: companies moving to other countries (viz Shire Pharmaceuticals, UBM, WPP, Yahoo), hedge funds moving to lower tax states (viz Amplitude Capital, Odey Asset Management, Guy Hands) etc.

If you tax UK bankers more than their foreign counterparts or bankers from certain selected UK banks (that happen to be part owned by the Government) more than their competitors, then they will fuck off to other banks, other financial institutions, other countries. In fact, they already are. 1000 RBS staff have already jumped ship. QED.

And the loser? The freaking taxpayer you numpties! You muppets tried this in the 1970s, remember? Didn't work then, won't work now.

3. Pissing away our unique international positioning - Banking is an absolutely critical part of the UK economy. It attracts massive inward investment. It is one of our key selling points internationally. Dick around with that at your peril.

What message are Gordy and Eyebrows giving internationally? That we are targeting bankers comparatively more aggressively. That we are going to tax the rich harder than other countries. Hmmm. Good for inward investment, d'ya think?

4. Cutting off your nose - Large salaries and bonuses are taxed, shortly at 50% (but that's another story). If you don't pay them, then the Chancellor's tax coffers further diminish just when he needs more cash. Duh! (Where's both my feet. Ready. Aim. Fire.)

All this nonsense is just the politics of jealousy. It is always popular with us Proles to tax the rich more. We're just jealous of their success and their money. It is for politicians to rise above this base stupidity, see the bigger picture, take their own fair share of the blame, and not pander to us dumb Proles.

But then again, I may as well just piss into the wind.

(And for the record, before some Lefty tosser emails me, I am not a banker).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe Red Ed needs to read it.