READERS’-LETTERS: Filthy-rich suited bandits are worse than London riots looters

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The half-truth, much favoured for some reason by newsrooms and politicians alike, is often far more misleading than the outright lie.

Richard Davies, conservative, recently called for “less welfare, more prisons”. He suggested this was just the remedy for jobless young people who had been robbing shops of such prized treasures as T-shirts and bottles of water. However, he failed to suggest prisons as a solution for the far more serious criminal menace and state sponger that blights our society: the filthy-rich suited bandits who every day steals hundreds of millions of pounds through the murky world of off-shore finance, and rigged government contracts.

And then last week (30.9.11) Mr Davies tells us “A free and competitive market provides the most effective safeguards against arrogance and greed that has scarred political debate over the last 18 months”. To call this claim a half-truth would be to give it far more credibility than it deserves.

For a start, arrogance and greed has not scarred political debate for just the last 18 months; it has done so for many hundreds of years. Adam Smith, widely acknowledged as the father of capitalism, probably had well-established arrogance and greed in mind 240 years ago when he wrote: “All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.” (“Wealth of Nations” p. 525). Then about 80 years ago John Maynard Keynes, possibly this country’s greatest economist, might have been thinking about arrogance and greed when he said: “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone” (“Globalisation and Poverty” by Ann Harrison p. 61). And then just last week, in a refreshingly honest interview on the BBC, Alessio Rastani, a stock market trader, was surely talking about arrogance and greed when he cheerfully admitted that he’s been dreaming of economic mayhem for the last 3 years - because mayhem produces lots and lots of money for people like Mr Rastani. ( )

In theory, the “free market” is indeed fine and dandy; but the reality is that it’s a half-truth. The so-called free market is anything but free. It’s a rigged game (and always has been), wholly controlled by the arrogant greed of fraudulent banksters, ruthless privateers, media moguls and the ignorant and/or corrupt politicians and vast ranks of government enforcers who do their bidding.

by John Andrews

Great Gonerby