Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It is John Cridland who is barking mad

When the director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says it would be "barking mad" at present to implement the reforms likely to be recommended by the Independent Commission on Banking, that's impressive, isn't it? The head of British manufacturing making common cause with the bankers.

Except it is nothing of the sort. As Evan Davis emphasised when interviewing him on Today this morning, John Cridland is employed to speak on behalf of the banks, because the major banks are all members of the CBI.

And well done to Davis: I cannot remember the last time I heard something this instructive on Today.

In fact the membership of the CBI is composed of some very unlikely groups, as a briefing from Friends of the Earth makes clear:
The CBI membership also includes a range of professional associations, universities and other public bodies – not obvious candidates to be embraced by the organisation’s boast of being “The Voice of British Business”. These include several tourist boards, the British Racing Drivers Club, the Professional Cricketers Association, the Warwickshire Cricket Club, the British Library and the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
To return to the banks, Cridland was making the error that led to the credit crunch and the subsequent economic collapse: the idea that regulation of banks is undesirable and that such regulations as exist are to be got around if at all possible.

John Lanchester's Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay is worth reading on this point - and many others.


Neville Farmer said...

Hear Hear! Did it never occurr to Cridland that he was defending the socialist idea that the nation's taxpayers should be prepared to bail out unviable businesses (i.e. banks).

Dan Falchikov said...

Agreed - my thoughts were similar too:

Dark Heart of Toryland said...

I actually knew John Cridland when he was a teenager at Boston Grammar School. He seemed perfectly rational and reasonable then; wonder what went wrong?

Anonymous said...

You have no f**king idea what you are talking about. Calder, you are a t**t!

Jonathan Calder said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I often think that getting well-argued comments is the best part of blogging.