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A financial elite in disarray

Following Newsnight's exclusive interview last night, with HBOS whistleblower Paul Moore, the deputy chairman of the Financial Services Authority has resigned. Sir James Crosby was the man who built HBOS, from the merger of Halifax and the Bank of Scotland, leaving it to the stewardship of Andy Hornby in 2006. In 2008 it collapsed and had to be part-nationalised.

I must admit to being stunned that the revelations from Mr Moore, made under parliamentary privilege, have led to this. Here is why. Last October I broadcast the substantive revelations of Paul Moore in a BBC2 Money Programme Special: HBOS - Breaking the Bank. Since then both HBOS, and the FSA have known the essential focus of the allegations:

- that Paul Moore was sacked by because he had raised problems with the bank's culture when it came to regulatory risk under Crosby
- that the decision to change his job description, and then employ somebody else to do the job was said Crosby "mine and mine alone"

What puzzles me is why the simple revelation in public of Sir James' alleged role in the sacking should prompt his resignation. It must have been on the radar of the government and FSA for months - so why does the publication make a difference?

The FSA is in the middle of a massive re-examination of its role and past performance under its new boss Adair Turner. Sir James clearly believed that staying on would damage the FSA, either reputationally or hamper it practically: that is the import of his statement. But it goes to the heart of the problem: the FSA, many in the finance industry believe, was "captured" by the banks it was supposed to regulate.

Lord Turner up to now has tried to address this issue in two ways: a strictly limited inquiry into the handling of Northern Rock, which found mistakes and a wider theoretical rethink of the role of regulators, national and global. What he has resisted - and what is repeatedy resisted by the FSA's press spokespeople - is any systematic "revisiting" of the past. This, I believe will now have to happen.

There is no suggestion of individual culpability: it is clear however that the FSA, which has the responsibility to maintain financial stability, failed. Its key executives and board members are political appointees. Gordon Brown, as chancellor, appointed Sir James - the man whose strategy of rapid growth laid the basis for the collapse of HBOS.

So this is not about Crosby. Or the four bank execs who said sorry. And the question of who is right or wrong in the claim and counterclaim between Paul Moore and HBOS is secondary to a bigger issue. There was systemic failure and the role of the regulator is now right in the spotlight. How can you have a policing body overseen by those who are to be policed? How can you have the deputy chairman of the FSA being the same person who designed the strategy that, arguably, crashed a major bank?

This is the essential conundrum of UK financial regulation. I said last night: the whole financial elite is now in disarray. However strongly you feel about their role in the crash, we need that financial elite to recover its array pretty quickly and come up with a story about how the regulation of British banking is to be put right. And a plan.

* Watch Newsnight's special tonight on the state of Britain's jobs market, 2230 GMT. We will be covering the latest in the Crosby case at the top of the programme.


  • Comment number 1.


    There are a number of wider issues here, but I'll limit myself to two, the two I think are most to blame for the failure of regulation.

    The first is one I've mentioned several times, namely the conflict of interest between the need for proper regulation, and the government's insatibale appetite for tax from financial services. The industry peaked at something like 12% of GDP, was the biggest payer of Corporation Tax (RBS being the single largest taxpayer). The people whose bonuses we're now all getting so excited about were splitting them 59/41 with the Treasury every year, and so it goes on. In short, though, the government (ie Gordon Brown as Chancellor) clearly allowed the need for tax to fund Labour's election spending commitments without adjusting income tax rates, to take precedence over regulation. Banks were commonly reporting 15-25% return on equity. That's impossible to achieve in a world of 5% (maximum) nominal GDP growth, unless banks are adopting increasing levels of gearing.

    Secondly, financial services is self-regulating. To a large extent, that's inevitable. The complexity of the business(es) means that supervision cannot be left to novices. In this respect it's no different to medicine and other disciplines. Like all such self-regulation, there is the constant risk of keeping errors "in the family": criticising one institution/person is taken as a slur on everyone, including those doing the criticising. However, the FSA and its predecessors were in an even worse position than other self-regulators, in that a very large proportion of their staff joined those bodies merely as a stepping stone to a move to one of the firms they were regulating. There has been no career upside for FSA staff to criticise a prestigious entity, when higher earnings (yes, Compliance Officers get good bonuses too in investment banks and the like: bigger than they get at FSA) are no more than two years slog away. FSA should be asked to divulge what proportion of their leavers went to work for the organisations they regulated.

    We won't have proper regulation until we face up to conflicts such as these, and decide how to mitigate them. The supreme irony of this is that regualted firms themselves have to have "conflicts policies", identifying their internal conflicts of interest and how they're controlled. It's a pity FSA didn't follow its own rules really.

  • Comment number 2.

    I hope this is a start, and a clearout of the dross gains momentum.

    I just wish the rest of the BBC news division would get the message and start reporting blunt truth and pointing fingers / asking questions more forcefully.

    This disaster will not get sorted if the media doesn't start to push the pendulum; the rest of us dont have the muscle, we only have the mob as a weapon, and it is very unwieldy.


  • Comment number 3.

    Surely what lies at the heart of this problem is that the only people who are sufficiently knowledgeable and experienced to regulate any profession will have to come from that profession which really only leaves two choices. Either the banks self-regulate or the regulators are recruited from within their ranks. Which begs the questions of how the regulators can ever really be independent and what hope is there that they can regulate businesses which they plainly could not run.

  • Comment number 4.

    Paul Mason wrote:

    >"stunned that the revelations from Mr Moore, made under
    >parliamentary privilege, have led to this. Here is why. Last
    >October I broadcast the substantive revelations of Paul Moore
    >in a BBC2 Money Programme Special"

    TV is transient, and the content is not found with a Google
    search. Those with an interest in finding out what is going on
    may not ever see or hear what you put out on TV unless you put
    it out there in text form.

    >"Lord Turner .... What he has resisted - and what is repeatedly
    >resisted by the FSA's press spokespeople - is any systematic
    >'revisiting' of the past. This, I believe will now have to

    Good. I hope you are right. Perhaps then we can have:-

    Sir Howard Davies explain why it was that his own "heightened
    interest" in toxic CDOs of February, 2002 reported at:-

    led to nothing more than Sir Howard Davies moving out of the FSA
    a year later as I mentioned here:-

    Perhaps we can also have Sir Callum McCarthy explain what is
    being suppressed in the document you discuss in "An Orwellian
    episode". where you wrote:-

    >"We don't know how the spat ended because Tony Blair's reply
    >to this letter has been suppressed under the Freedom of
    >Information laws. What we do know is that the FSA was under
    >political pressure from the Labour government to be even more
    >hands-off than it already was."

    I'm much more interested in those above items, because Gordon
    Brown is unlikely to explain why Sir James Crosby was allowed to
    wear a director at the FSA regulator hat at the same time as the
    FSA were supposed to be investigating his interaction with Paul
    Moore in a body under FSA regulation. This is a bit more than "A
    Question of Hats" and we can judge that to be so obviously wrong
    that it should never have happened and warrants more than just
    one resignation.

  • Comment number 5.

    Another 'Scumbag Millionaire' banker resigns. Another pathetic attemp to deflect a litigation proceeding.

    When this all does hopefully end up in court we all know where the trail ends....

    Bankers -> FSA -> BoE -> Treasury -> GB

    .....but we all also know that there will just be another whitewash enquiry set up whose final outcome will exonerate all of the shysters involved.

  • Comment number 6.


    Tell us more about Glen 'Medeiros' Moreno.
    Will he be the next one thrown to the wolves?

    Also, don't you think that someone who has been a 'dirty player' on the rugby field may be a better referee as they may know the tricks of the trade...

    Just like Gordon Brown having gotten us into this mess, is clearly best placed to know what went wrong and therefore how to get us out of the mess...

  • Comment number 7.


    I suggest that it might be a defining indicator of wisdom, that the possessor can detect charlatans and impropriety across a wide spectrum of activities, without expertise other than that gained in a competent life lived.

    Unfortunately, virtually all of us now die as juveniles (some admittedly clever juveniles) having been schooled to incompetence. And the inability to make anything other than a mess, of every facet of our activities on this planet, bears witness.

    For governance, surveillance and general competence, only wisdom will do.


  • Comment number 8.

    >No banking qualifications
    >Admissions they didn't understand the products.
    >Dismissal of the risk director after he warned of risk.

    And then we learn the one who ignored the warnings is now at the FSA

    You couldn't make it up!

    If the banks are still defending the principle of high bonuses, they simply haven't learned the lesson.

  • Comment number 9.

    clearly there is a 'magic circle'.

    under natural law they should be facing criminal trial but it seems under labour its not illegal to trash the economy for a generation.

    There is no need to use the old magic circle. Can old dogs learn new tricks?

    During wars there is no problem sacking the Generals regarded as the old hands locked into a failed mindset {remember Singapore}. Otherwise there would have been no Monty. Indeed given the culture of failure within Gordon's circle maybe people from banks that did behave should be flagged up and promoted?

    basically we have to wait it out till the loans/debts 'mature' which for some loans might take 25 years.

    the way out is not more of the same or some belief in 'returning' to where we were. The way out is to look for those areas of the economy with growth potential [like a feed in tariff]. Accept the losses in those that don't.

    it might mean a generation on the dole again. Perhaps rationing of some things like services to those who really need it. That can't be helped now.

    Once it sinks in who is responsible [no apologies yet] it would be naive to expect the Political Party that has overseen the greatest financial disaster in British history to survive an election.

  • Comment number 10.

    Why the sudden resignation now ..... 'puzzling' is a polite way of putting it.

    I think you've put your finger on it when you say that all of these people at the head of regulatory agencies are political appointees. The politicians who made the appointments are beginning to lose their nerve as public anger grows.

    The simplistic gov't strategy of trying to scapegoat a few bankers has failed as we've noticed the systemic problems and the interconnectedness of the self-regulating banking industry, the 'light touch' regulators and the gov't.

    Demands are growing for root and branch reform of the whole rotten system. They can sacrifice a few bankers and even a few individual regulators but we want to see the gov't itself own up for its failure to properly assess risk.

    As Paxman just said 'is this final proof of the utter uselessness of the FSA and other agencies put in place by gov't'

    Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 11.

    Paul wrote:

    "we need that financial elite to recover its array pretty quickly and come up with a story about how the regulation of British banking is to be put right. And a plan."

    I'll agree with you about a plan - I've been banging on about that for weeks.

    I have an objective and that simply stated is "Sound Money" - that is savers and investors receive a reasonable return and borrowers expect to pay a reasonable cost - noting else will and indeed can constitute a recovery. This is why interest rates must go up - and go up in a controlled manner - my biggest fear is that there will be a huge and uncontrollable increase in interest rates due to demand for money far exceeding supply (yes really!)

    Getting from where we are today to there will cause a deal of pain, but without a target you cannot hope to work towards anything.

    Getting back to the view that the 'masters of the universe' are the only possible people to run things - this is simply not true -they would like you to think this - but hey did you not notice that they are mostly rank amateurs - there must be 10,000 people in the UK who could do the jobs as well if not better than these chumps - and 1000 who could do it much better.

    Split the banks up into the Mainwaring Banks and the buccaneers. They require different skills to manage each type. Let the East End 'barrow boys' run the buccaneers and sensible banking technicians run the high street banks - and above all fix the Auditing environment so that there is genuine independence and total separation of auditing from accounting and computer services and consultancy. Fully implement the reforms envisaged by the late Derek Higgs report of 2003.

    Nobody has yet mentioned the impact of the concentration of Accountancy and Auditing for the lack of proper controls with these Banks - I think we should be told why! (It was after all a major contributor to Enron. Also Note Madoff's one man band auditor.)

  • Comment number 12.

    this is not a comment about the FSA or a man getting sacked.. Rather it is about this stupid and upsetting statistics being quoted by crazy politicians and employment agencies in these programmes... On question time last week idiotic Geoff hoon quoted that there are 500000 unfilled vacancies in England , again someone from Serco on the newsnight quoted similar figures.. are these people out of touch with reality because they have a job or are they just plain insensitive.. take for instance out of those 500000 so called jobs, how many are in London? besides that by the time you streamline them down you would notice that the vacancies are not even in your sectors. For instance, to apply for certain finance jobs you have to have experience in certain programmes or have some cemap or aat qualifications, how is a graduate who has only studied supposed to gain this qualifications while at university? so for the sake of my sanity and other unemployed people around Politicians should SHUT UP about all this statistics, more than 2/3 of them just get the stats without investigating how it is complied.
    I think Tony Mc Nault or whatever he calls himself (minister for employment) should get the sack for not having a safety net or back up plan for this unemployment debacle.

  • Comment number 13.

    On this evenings programme McNulty said to one member of the audience, who claimed she had no support from Jobcentre plus: "If that is the case speak tell me after the show and I will make sure that they are doing what they should, that's what I have said to others who have said that to me".

    It seems as though he hears this message a lot!

  • Comment number 14.

    A strange feature of now is the sense that the world's falling to bits and taxpayers complain of being severely squeezed and jobs melt away. In a nearby universe there is no shortage of money for football or some other sports.
    Stanley Matthews would have become even more shocked than he was years ago by current excesses of income and transfer fees. A mirror maze would be easier to comprehend but then we might look at ourselves.

  • Comment number 15.

    Agree totally with the points made in the first post by JayPee, all of which resonate with conversations I've had with friends working at the FSA. I think there's a lot of frustration within the rank and file at the FSA, and I wouldn't be surprised if one or another breaks ranks in the near future to steal some of Paul Moore's limelight.

    However, after just watching the live News Night I think any systematic revisiting of the FSA's past will end up being of historical relevance only. Judging by the speed with which anger and resentment is building up around the country there'll be no politicians left to appoint a successor to Crosby.

    The politicians looked so out of touch and petty tonight it was frightening. The bickering of McNulty and May was a pretty unedifying spectacle, and the hostility of the live audience towards both of them was palpable.

    As Paul and many posters have noted recently discontent is growing day by day and it is starting to really find a focus now after various sideshows like short selling and the LOR dispute. With bankers starting to extricate themselves from the mess the politicians will be the last ones standing in the firing line, but they don't seem to be getting the message.

    We have seen the financial crisis leading to economic crisis playing out over the past 12 months. Bankers carrying boxes out of offices and apologising infront of select committees. Pictures of idle production lines and unsold cars.

    Now we are starting to see the social crisis playing out. Pictures of job centre lines, interviews with those who have had their lives shattered.

    This is the tipping point. In the absence of any coherent strategy to deal with the economic and social catastrophe, we are about to see unfolding the biggest political crisis since the war.

    #6, Interesting point, Moreno's appointment was the subject of a question in PMQs today. All Brown would say is that he is 'acting chief', suggesting his days are numbered.

  • Comment number 16.

    Did anybody else see the fear in the politicians eyes when confronted by a room full of real people in an industrial building on newsnight tonight?

    It is their fear I am most afraid of.


  • Comment number 17.

    Spare a thought...
    I don't expect much sympathy from the public and I doubt I'd get much from investigative reporters either. However, when people read in the media about 'banks' and 'big bonuses' being paid, they see all people in the banking industry (especially Investment Banking) as being huge pay and bonus earners and greedy opportunists. This is often not exactly fair...

    Traders and execs in the industry, contractors and consultants - they make the big money and deserve the headlines, but like most industries the general workforce in the background are often getting short changed. I've worked in the Services section for ABN AMRO and now RBS for over 11 years. In 5 of those years I've had a zero pay increase. In another 4, I've had a less than cost of living increase all despite excellent performance appraisals. This was supposedly due to cost savings the bank needed to make and poor performance of our sector (laughable considering the huge profits reported every year, and the true economic slump they now face due to past short term greed). So year on year I've effectively had my pay cut time and again while traders rake in guaranteed bonuses. Now, during this latest situation, I've had to take on the roles and work of 3 of my co-workers who were all made redundant last year. I have far too much work for any one person and yet have no prospect of being recognised for the additional effort I have been made to put in. No, no pay increase and no bonus.

    So - surely I should be thankful I still have a job? Indeed, I am that.

    But imagine how it feels to work for a company who have helped lead us into this situation by unacceptably inept management. See those managers take their pay, and bonuses, and payoffs, and head out in their expensive cars to one of their luxurious homes with no more than pride dented. Meanwhile, traders who were allowed to run riot over risks take their guaranteed bonuses and still want to keep their jobs AND demand enormous salaries despite the huge losses they created previously.

    If I’d worked in a manufacturing industry like automotives, I'd be a shop floor worker. If the managers at my car company made enormous errors of judgment on how many cars we needed to make, stood by while the designers ran wild creating outrageous models that never sold purely for kudos and awards, and yet I was simply told "make the cars, keep them coming". Would I not be seen as a victim when the company folded? Would I not feel (rightly) angry that the decision makers in my company had created the situation and thus should be the ones to suffer? Yet they walk off 'Scott free', and those left to continue the donkey work and clean up are expected to do so while feeling under appreciated and publicly embarrassed. It's no fun working in an industry and institution seen as the latest axle of evil, even when you know the large majority of your colleagues are all honest hard working people made to feel responsible for the actions of a farcically rewarded few...

  • Comment number 18.

    Keep up the good work, Paul.

    Very much appreciate the detached analysis and the outsider's view of what clearly is a cosy insider's club (vis bankers and banking regulators).

    We need to blow this whole thing up and start again, if anyone is going to be able to trust the system again.

    We need a brand new FSA, but at the same time we need to go an enormous amount further in one particular direction - transparency - i.e. forcing all financial services companies to adopt much greater levels of disclosure.

    A great advance in the development of the open efficient western style economy was the law of limited liability introduced in the 1850/60's. The bargain in essence struck between businesses and the public through this law was 'we will allow you to limit your liability with this company as long as you disclose into the public domain information about it - assets/liabilities, profit & loss, owners details, etc etc'

    I think we now need nothing less than a move of similar stature to control the financial services industry.

    We need to force absolutely any and every 'financial services' company to open their books completely to public scrutiny (although we don't need to know the actual names of depositors, borrowers, employees etc), but I do really definitely mean open their books.

    What harm can this do? (aside from make it a bit more difficult for bankers to earn fortunes...)

    Such a radical move can only promote ultra efficient allocation of capital/resources and minimise transaction costs etc, which will be to the huge benefit of almost everyone in society.

  • Comment number 19.


    The banks have been exposed and the FSA complicity questioned. However sitting quietly in the background is the ticking timebomb of endowment misselling. The impact of this to people over the coming decade is going to put the current financial problems into the shade.

    Insurers have done the same as the banks and hijacked the FSA. A thorogh independnt investigation is needed.

  • Comment number 20.


    I am glad to see your blog on this issue as it has concerned for some time that the regulators and politians are too close to the city and as a result less objective when making decisions.

    I work in financial services and have noticed over the last 10 years that the banks seem to enjoy a far less level of regulation than the likes of smaller advisory firms. The rules may be the same but they are implemented differently. The reason I was told is that the banks are less risky.

    The one good thing I hope comes out of this is the need for a more balanced objective regulation. You only have to look at the upheld complaints register of the FS ombudsman to realise where the problems are...

    To the FSA credit I have seen a more light touch approach to those that are doing the job correctly over the last 2 years. They have also balanced up the consultation process with new initatives. Lets hope the changes I have seen continue and FSA get a real grip of the banks once and for all for all our sakes.

  • Comment number 21.


    A number of the posts above are seeking a whole new deal for ordinary people.
    But our culture has 'taken to the gutter'; where it is fed a range of nastiness by deep injection into the heart of every home (TV and internet). We not only 'live within the lie' we are actually 'sleeping through the lie' and unlikely to wake until there is a metaphorical loud bang. Then it is going to 'hurt in the morning' - or is that 'the dawning'?

    In mythology, at this point, an oddly dressed stranger appears from nowhere and by some magical 'force' gets the attention of the ordinary folk in the marketplace, leading them to throw off their yoke. The trouble is, we have been educated away from the power of myth . . .

    On last night's Newsnight, Oliver James' furious outburst was a glimpse of what is lost to our humanity. Come to think of it: he was 'strangely dressed'! Perhaps there is hope yet.

  • Comment number 22.


    "..the KPMG report also indicated that there was no evidence in the report that Mr Moore was dismissed due to being excessively robust in the discharge of his functions."

    TimesOnline 12th feb 2009

    Ask how one would ever prove that someone was removed from post "due to being excessively robust in the discharge of his functions" as it amounts to doing one's job when one is being opposed by others who should not be doing so but who have the power to stop one. It's been done before, and this goes way back, even before New Labour came into office.

    This, I suggest, has been de rigueur across government for more than a decade. It's how de-regulation and erosion of the state in favour of the Private and Third Sectors has been implemented by stealth. For other examples, look into the battle fought against the amalgamation of the five Criminal Justice Inspectorates (the Government backed down in October 2006 and what happened to Probation via the Offender Management Act 2007), or current concerns about the independence of the National Statistician

    When some people make a noise one should appreciate that it's still a very muted one...

  • Comment number 23.

    Paul wrote: However strongly you feel about their role in the crash, we need that financial elite to recover its array pretty quickly and come up with a story about how the regulation of British banking is to be put right. And a plan.

    The present turn of events focuses the question whether this "financial elite" are competent and whether their "plan" is driven by a different agenda to the one that leads to recovery for this country and for the good of its populace.

    I believe that there is already sufficient information in the public domain to answer the question. But what if that answer leads us to contemplate a more frightening reality than the one served up yesterday by Mervyn King?

  • Comment number 24.


    I was watching them closely, Jericoa (as is my wont).

    I felt the red shoes spoke volumes; I wondered what they might have cost, too.
    'Let them eat cake' or, perhaps, "I'm having cake, what are they having?" seemed to fit the moment.

    Theresa May spoke for the political class, without even opening her mouth.

  • Comment number 25.

    A question raised/asked in Stephaie Flanders' blog (and here in the past). Does anyone have a rational explanation for a return to the status quo apart from none of the three parties knowing any palatable to their Liberal-Democracic anarchism, alternative to this flawed model?

    Yes current trends/rewinds look bleak and many innocents are going to be hit by the consequences of this 'shark-model' of economic growth, but what's the alternative?

    We need to objectively re-evaluate decades of historical anti-statist propaganda.

  • Comment number 26.

    Mcnulty called it a depression - well we already know thats the future forcast for the British economy...his firewall settings have clearly been tinkered with...."Gordon , can i let slip the 'D' word?...."
    Newsnight getting out of its comfort zone or doing the odd special can be a bit of a concern but the Birmingham slot was a goodun. Very good discussions all round with a broad sweep at the economic downturn and all its consequences. One particular chap gave the viewer and the govt (camera zoom on Mcnulty) the human cost of the busted economy with his 37 years served at MG Rover and he and his family struggling in finding anywork ...i think that was a TV moment.

  • Comment number 27.

    A very good blog, Paul.

    I can only add that I saw Newsnight last night and it was one hell of a good programme.

    Right down in the grit of real life!

  • Comment number 28.

    As a bright new human passes through the sausage machine of schooling, they learn, progressively, more and more WHAT to think and less and less HOW to think.

    A very good living can be made by the graduate who adheres to and, at most, re-works or extends the permitted paradigms.
    Or am I writing of party politics?

    It has to be so. Can you imagine a whole class of kids thinking for themselves and challenging suppositions put before them?

    But where lies the fault? In expanded minds that know how to address the new and unknown, from first principles, or a school that cannot contain such minds, so must shut them down early in THE PROCESS to becoming a standard sausage?

  • Comment number 29.

    We can go round and round and round here. Regulation, FSA, SEC etc. etc. So what? Will putting Crosby in the stocks make people feel better? Then do it.

    The only thing that I sincerely hope for is true monetary reform. That is a abandonment of a failed debt-based monetary system and the control of credit by the current system. A true national banking system (albeit with private banks alongside who must have 100% reserves). It is absurd that "we" the people cannot, through government, be in control of money and credit. Abolish the BOE immediately. Before anyone screams "but you can't trust government" then the current crisis explains why money creation cannot remain in private hands.

  • Comment number 30.

    Barrie #7 and #28

    To borrow from Montaigne:

    Beware of education that merely requires students to spew out standard answers.
    To regurgitate something is a clear symptom of a failure to digest.

    Regrettably, modern science and a relentless faith in mathematics has killed off our ancestors' far better instinct for scepticism, inquiry and philosophy.

  • Comment number 31.

    Paul I coud not agree more. It's the You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. So why not let Paul Moore air his views before the Treasury Select Committee. Let the public make up its own mind on where the truth Lay.

  • Comment number 32.

    One of the best posts I have seen for some time. The waste is almost unbearable to comprehend.


    I think people would be less scared if they understood that we now have the technology and knowledge to provide enough energy for all, enough food for all, enough shelter for all and basic healthcare for all (providing population is controlled) and in a sutainable way.

    These things are well within our grasp now.

    Stage 1 is to build that system. There should be no fear of that if it is explained properly. The fear should lie in NOT building that system.

    That is a simple message actually once the illusion of the current system is dissolved and people are allowed to consider that the fear is the fear of change.

    Explain to them what that change is and the fear will disapear, but the incumbent political class that contols politics, the media, the law and the current flawed economic model are digging in. You could see the fear in the incumbant political classes eyes in the newsnight forum.

    They are really struggling to hold onto the intellectual arguments in the face of huge systemic failure. That makes them fearful.


  • Comment number 33.


    I think he also said: "10 - 4 good buddy." (:o)

  • Comment number 34.

    #17 Good post, you definitely have my sympathy. I hope things change for the better, but justice looks thin on the ground at the moment until the system changes state.


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