Friday, November 16, 2012

Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed.


Whenever I get really depressed about the financial sector, like when I read that despite all the recent reports about city fraud, theft and money laundering, that there is still more coming out of the woodwork; or when I read bullshit like the recent call in a letter from Andrew Bailey, head of the Financial Services Authority’s prudential business unit, where the regulator warns British and foreign banks that it expects to see widespread bonus restraint ('cos that's really going to have an impact isn't it?), I play a track from my favourite band, '...Show of Hands...'

That song, 'Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed', always manages to reignite my sense of white-hot anger and my burning revulsion for the vast majority of the UK financial sector, and re-confirms what I have known since I was a Fraud Squad Detective at New Scotland Yard back in the 1970's and '80's, that the City of London and a very large percentage of those who work there, are nothing more than a bunch of organised criminals, who exploit the financial situation for their own dishonest enrichment, and who don't give a flying fuck for the investing public, the economy or the country.

So I put on this wonderful song, and just let the music lift my soul to new heights, until I am ready to go back into battle, against the crooks, the spineless regulators, the complacent Government Ministers, the Big 4 consultants, the law firms, the recruitment agencies, the PR men, the spin doctors and all the other hangers on, the loblolly men, lickspittles, toadies and poltroons who immerse their snouts in the trough of the City, and get fat on the proceeds of this criminal mafia and its fellow travelers.

One day, when I was feeling particularly down, I heard this song on the radio. I loved it instantly, and went out and bought the CD and played it again and again for hours. At each rendition, I saw more clearly just how the country had been served so ill by the banks and their advisers, and how their arrogance, ignorance and greed had brought our country to the brink of financial Armageddon.

I reeled from their insensitivity, their demands for bigger and bigger bonuses, even though they had been bailed out by tax-payer's money and they owed their jobs to the men and women of this country who pay taxes, unlike many of these bankers who parked their money offshore, as we have so recently discovered, in HSBC in Jersey.

I laughed out loud at the fantastic demands made by banking CEOs to be allowed to continue paying these ludicrous salaries that bore no resemblance to reality, on the grounds that they had to pay these sums to recruit and maintain the best brains in the market. They failed to see the irony in this statement and did not reflect that it was these very brains that had propelled them to the brink of disaster, from which there was no way back.

I have watched, with a growing sense of nausea while Government Ministers have indulged in a welter of so-called 'quantitative easing' designed to help provide liquidity to help the markets find growth, when in reality, the banks have quietly kept the money on their balance sheets and are even now refusing to lend it to business.

So, last night, I went to a local theatre to watch Steve Knightley, Phil Beer and Miranda Sykes sing and play. And, there, half way through the evening, the angry, chopping, opening chords of this seminal song rang out, and the three of them launched into one of the angriest renditions I have heard them sing. It was magnificent, it was very moving, and I felt the unreasoning anger stir again in my emotions, raising my ire to white-hot heat yet again. It never fails, and I hope it never will.

One of my happiest recollections is when the band played the song on the Andrew Marr show, and the leading guest was William Hague, then UK Foreign Secretary. Hague sat through this anthem to City fraud, theft and crime with a strange fixed grimace on his face. It was clear that he would have rather been anywhere, and when Steve said loudly to the band, "...It's just as well we're all in this together...' I thought Hague was going to have a fit.
After the song, the band was introduced to Hague and his entourage of civil servants and minders, and at one point, as Steve Knightley reports, he asked one of Hague's senior advisers if the band could give Hague a full set of their CD's as a memento of the event.

The adviser responded very brusquely, '...No, you can't..!'

As Steve said at one gig where I saw them play;

'...Some of these highly educated blokes have got really funny ways of pronouncing their words..."!

Anyway, whatever the man may have meant, here are the words of the song, in full. Read them, if this is the first time you have heard of this wonderful ballad, and then go and find it on You Tube, and listen to it in full. Turn up the sound, sit back and feel yourself get re-radicalised, stirring up your emotions and making you ready to get stuck back in to carry on bashing these arrogant, ignorant, greedy bastards!

All I wanted was a home
And a roof over our heads;
Somewhere we could call our own
Feel safer in our beds.

There was a storm of money raining down,
It only touched the ground
With a loan I took I can't repay
And the crock of gold you found

Chorus:

At every trough you stopped to feed 
With your Arrogance, your Ignorance and Greed.

I never was a cautious man,
I spend more than I'm paid. 
But those with something put aside 
Are the ones that you betrayed.

With your bonuses and expenses
You shoveled down your throat,
Now you bled the hand that fed you
Dear God I hope you choke!

Chorus:

At every trough you stopped to feed 
With your Arrogance, your Ignorance and Greed.

You're on your yacht, we're on our knees,
Through your Arrogance, your Ignorance and Greed.

Toxic springs you tapped and sold,
You poisoned every watering hole,
Your probity, 
you exchanged for Gold

The working man stands in line,
The market sets his price,
No feather bed, no golden egg,
No one pays him twice.

So where’s your thrift? And your caution?
Your honest sound advice?
You know you've dealt yourself a winning hand
And loaded at every dice.

Chorus:

At every trough you stopped to feed
With your Arrogance, your Ignorance and Greed.

I pray one day we'll soon be free
From your absolute indifference,
Your avarice, incompetence,
Your Arrogance, your Ignorance and your Greed.

3 comments:

LetThemfail said...

Hi Rowan

A great blog!

I saw u on the Keiser Report and I enjoyed the post on London being the financial fraud capital. It explains why despite the banks making supernormal profits on PPI (80 pence in the pound returns) why only (as of May 2012) 24 companies have been fined and no one has been arrested for this blatant fraud.

If I may offer an SEO suggestion to obtain more traffic? It might be best to avoid title tags/addresses like:
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will help generate more traffic (-: as will getting more links.

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Keep up the good work!

LetThemfail said...

Hi Rowan

A great blog!

I saw u on the Keiser Report and I enjoyed the post on London being the financial fraud capital. It explains why despite the banks making supernormal profits on PPI (80 pence in the pound returns) why only (as of May 2012) 24 companies have been fined and no one has been arrested for this blatant fraud.

If I may offer an SEO suggestion to obtain more traffic? It might be best to avoid title tags/addresses like:
why-barclays-bank-needs-to-be.html
as these k/words won't help people find the info when using search engines - using abbreviated keywords like:
barclays-regulators-break-up

will help generate more traffic (-: as will getting more links.

(this is a helpful resource and there are many others: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2154469/How-to-Write-Title-Tags-For-Search-Engine-Optimization) Wordpress and the Yoast SEO plugin works well too.

Keep up the good work!

Rowan Bosworth-Davies said...

Thank you for your good advice. Very helpful.

Rowan.