Sunday 16 October 2011

A more robust, and a more enlightened, age?

From page 212 of Simon Jenkins's "Short History of England":

"The so-called south Sea Bubble burst in September that year (1720) and stunned the nation . Thousands, mostly in London, were ruined and the Riot Act had to be read in the lobby of parliament. Stanhope ("first" minister) had a stroke in the House of Lords. The postmaster general took poison and the chancellor of the exchequer...was thrown into prison. It was proposed that bankers who had loaned against the (South Sea Company) shares be 'tied up in sacks filed with snakes and tipped into the murky Thames.'"

And also perhaps more enlightened. From page 216, quoting the younger Pitt:

" (is) dangerous to our liberties and destructive to our trade to encourage great numbers of our people to depend for their livelihood upon the profession of arms."

Messers Fox and Werritty please note.


  1. In my less enlightened moments, I see nothing wrong in decorating the lampposts in the streets of the City with the swinging bodies of bankers. Barclays first since from long experience they are usually behind all the 'reforms' which work to the detriment of the public who use their services and their corporate greed has been noteworthy although it seems to be RBS and Lloyds who are leading the move to charge the poor if they dare to use another bank's ATMs. Perhaps they could avoid so-doing by cutting back on bonuses?

    On a serious note, there has been no reckoning as yet with the banks and the bankers and until this happpens we will not see a balanced economy.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Richard T. I couldn't agree more. Within the past half hour I've had a phone call from Lloyds TSB saying that it is not financially viable to check on the genuineness of card transactions by a phone call from a person rather than an automated one, as at present. This despite the fact that the automated call asks personal questions that we're advised not to answer. Clearly they put profit before the welfare and peace of mind of their customers