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March 20, 2009



I see only too clearly what you mean, Andy! Just wish the rest of the population could see the same. Once you start investigating the backgrounds of some of these highfalutin investment bankers, you find that the vast majority of them were educated at 'top' public schools... which tells you quite a lot about the values and (lack of) ethics espoused by these institutions. But who cares enough to do anything about it? As soon as you try to motivate people to take action on these issues, you soon find that you come up against an insurmountable wall of resistance. This hard-line conservatism (fear of change, profound reactionaryism or whatever you want to call it) is so deeply embedded in the political fabric of this nation, that it is almost unimaginable that it could ever be uprooted or revamped. And what does that mean? That we're stuck with the same failing boom-bust capitalist system of government (more or less) for the foreseeable future. Oh joy.


Here seems as good a place as any to raise awareness of the fast track recruitment programme into investment banking that is (or at least used to be) implemented at private schools. I'm not aware of any reports about this in the press - which is why I felt I had to "come out" about this.

I was educated at a private school during the eighties. At my school, there were a significant number of academic under-achievers - I would say, 50-60% would be predicted each year to fail or scrape through 'A' levels (never a problem for the moneyed elite, however, as they are always able to pay their way into further education without any problem - it wouldn't surprise me if certain universities/colleges are corrupt enough even to award top class degrees to those of a certain social status/family pedigree); but - to return to the point - these 50-60%, anticipated for academic failure, would be encouraged to pursue careers in finance. I'm not big on finance myself, so I'm not au fait with the jargon, but, each year, City financiers, still in their twenties, would return to the school to recruit these under-achievers on a fast track entry programme into stockbroking and banking and investment management. The pitch from the financiers was shamelessly immoral - the basic proposition being that anyone with enough drive and motivation could amass a fortune - enough to retire on - in the matter of a few years.

I would say that, on average, at least 20% of these under-achievers would enrol on this programme. If you imagine that this recruitment drive occurred at every single private school in the country - that is a substantial amount of under-qualified public school boys taking up responsible (not to mention extremely lucrative) positions in investment banking each and every year.

In other words - and, again, I can't believe this hasn't been researched and exploited to a greater degree by the press - but a huge percentage of investment bankers - the very people who triggered the current recession - hail from hugely privileged and immensely wealthy backgrounds that make up the core of Tory support. Arguably, it is no exaggeration to say that the current recession has its roots in the excessive greed and selfishness of the Tory-minded über-capitalist.

So, we are currently being submitted to the ultimate irony. George Osborne appears on our TVs, declares that we're all idiots for borrowing too much (when it was his cronies who pushed us into debt and gambled us into recession) claims that the economic crisis is entirely the fault of the Labour government and insists that the Conservative party is the only party who can put wrong to right. And here's the crunch - the part that makes me feel sick in the pit of my stomach: millions of voters now believe this snivelling disingenuous dissembler and it looks almost inevitable that the Conservatives under Cameron and Osborne will form the next government - the very people who, with their creed of champagne guzzling and jet-set lifestyle for an elite few, have brought so much misery, despair and genuine suffering to the world.

When that fateful day comes when the public school elite waltz into Downing Street, with smiles beaming from every smug orifice, it will be a very bitter pill to swallow. A very bitter pill indeed.

Andrew Wilson

The justification for the free-for-all and billions of pounds of bonus payments was that they were necessary to "retain talent". What the f**k does "talent" mean in this context - not brains by the sound of it. Being shameless enough to make as much money for yourself as possible without giving a toss about the consequences and without creating any real value? That is a "talent" that England specialised in.

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