Michael Martin and greedy bankers, the search for scapegoats continues

20 05 2009

Latest casualty of UK recession politics: Michael MartinApparently, the decline of our political parties is down to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin; and we already know that the recession was caused by Fred Goodwin’s exorbitant bonus payout.  Now that we have rounded up, or at least identified the culprits of the dual crises of the economy and politics we can breathe easily.  Or so the story goes…

Of course this is nonsense. Nothing has been less edifying over the past six months, during which the recession has gained momentum, than the search for scapegoats. The recession was not caused by greedy bankers, but by a fundamental imbalance in the world economy which came to a head in the financial sphere. The crisis over MPs’ expenses is a largely self-inflicted predicament; as soon as politicians laid the blame for the recession on ‘greed’ they set themselves up for a fall.

The search for scapegoats continues to be a hindrance in facing up to the real problems of the economy, and of politics. Public anger over the recession is understandable and it is true that our leaders , both in the political and the economic realms, should be called to account. However, scapegoating individuals seems to me an attempt to evade true accountability and in the process we are making little headway.