First we had the unveiling of the ‘We’re all in this together’ mantra (subsequently repeated with the same conviction as, ‘I am a tiger, I can do this, grrr’), then we had the ‘Erm, in the interests of democracy, obviously, why don’t you give us your ideas for where we’re going to find these eleventy-six bazillion pounds in cuts...’, and now, fresh from Conservative HQ, we have - *drum roll* - Big Society funded by Dormant Bank Accounts!!
Yes, our glorious leaders, our new saviours, have now decided to scrape the bottom of the barrel (and by barrel, I obviously mean personal bank account).
According to Cameron:
"The big society bank will be established using every penny of dormant bank and building society account money. These unclaimed assets, alongside the private sector investment that we will leverage, will mean that the big society bank will – over time – make available hundreds of millions of pounds of new finance to some of our most dynamic social organisations."
To be fair to Davey-Dave-Daver-Daverson, it’s not his idea per se, and the door to stealing your money was in fact prised open by his equally astute predecessor with all that brute, roguish force, apparently so terrifying to Messrs Blair and Mandelson.
According to the Guardian,
“When he was chancellor in 2005, Gordon Brown mooted the idea of using dormant accounts to fund youth and community projects but was forced to back down after critics warned there would be administrative chaos and questioned whether the government had the legal right to seize the funds.
He raised the idea again in 2007 and in 2008 the Dormant Bank and Building Society Act was passed, giving the government the right to collect and distribute unclaimed money from dormant accounts after 15 years.”
Anyways, now, given that the new coalition has seemingly taken the ‘no such thing as a bad idea during a brainstorming session’ idea, and applied it up to and including the actual policy making process, here’s where we’re left:
- The Banks fuck-up the economy.
- Government gives them shit loads of our money, to prevent liquidity and lending crises.
- The Banks don’t actually bother with any of that jazz, deciding to just, you know, keep the money, stop all lending, and focus instead on ‘redistributing’ the funds amongst themselves in the form of, and you really couldn’t make this bit up, Performance Related Bonuses.
- In the meantime, we do one of those 'pretending we actually live in a democracy' whatsits, which results in two of the three parties cobbling together a new coalition using, to all intents and purposes, a combination of will power, borrowed time, and sticky back plastic.
- This ‘new way of doing politics’ (or Dave and Nick to their friends), quickly decide that, despite the above behaviour by the banks, we must all make sacrifices to ‘turn this once great nation around’!
- This means, in reality, that sweeping public sector cuts, a draconian decimation of all forms of benefit, allowance or assistance, the gradual privatisation of the NHS by the back-door, and the erosion of essential public services, will hit largely the most vulnerable in society. And hard. (Those who caused this crisis – not so much! Those who have vast amounts of wealth stashed away offshore – fugeddaboutit!!)
- And now, to add insult to injury, Cameron introduces the ‘Big Society’, whereby charities, benevolent individuals and ‘dynamic social groups’ sweep in, plugging the gaps he created, and do so, funded by private, ‘Dormant’ accounts, that are held in the Banks that fucked us all over in the first place!!
Issues of fairness, justice, and good-practice aside, you have to admit, it’s got a rather nice circularity to it!!