The hopelessness of New Labour as a vehicle of change is underlined by their fixation with “judge-led” inquiries into anything that crops up. Remember the Hutton whitewash? Will a senior judge really recommend the fundamental reform of casino banking in the City of London and the careers of the banking squillionaires he undoubtedly knows so well at his club, lodge and golf course?
Which of these best describes most senior judges?
a) A fearless crusader for truth and social justice with unimpeachable morals and the intellectual stringency of a great philosopher
b) A very well paid establishment figure with an authoritarian streak who got his position from Jack Straw or his predecessors by very carefully in his career never stepping out of line with the very powerful.
Frankly, it makes no difference at all whether politicians or judges conduct the inquiry into banking practices. It’ll be the same old whitewash. Andrew Tyrie MP happens to be one of the very few decent people in parliament. But if he does chair the inquiry as Cameron proposes, be sure the forces of control will rapidly close over his head.
I didn’t bother to watch the Bob Diamond select committee appearance yesterday. In fact, I have come to terms with the (to me) shocking fact that I now believe our political system to be so corrupt that our horribly and increasingly unequal society will eventually, and rightly, be changed by extra-parliamentary means. Probably not in my lifetime, but one day. I never imagined I would end up believing that.
The political blogosphere will buzz today with parliamentary debate on the banks. It seems obvious to me that parliament is not going to do anything against the financial services paymasters of the politicians.
Parliament is irrelevant.