Angela Knight, the bankers' chief mouthpiece, was on the radio on Saturday morning trying to defend her underlings. I don't know if you've heard this woman talk but she sounds eerily like Maggie Thatcher. The voice is a rather haughty drone, obviously educated and articulate, but it was only deploying waffle as it sought to defend the indefensible. The stalwart Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee was up against her. Though she often had to force her way in over Knight's assertive monologues, Toynbee assured her that it was the bankers who were mainly responsible for our economic predicament. Apparently the Institute for Fiscal Studies has clarified that 'only a small fraction of the debt problem was caused by Labour overspending'. The rest was due to the financial crash caused by bankers' recklessness and greed.
In her weekly column, Toynbee has written that so far 'only 6% of public service cuts have taken place'. Unbelievably, 'another 94% are still to come...(And) in benefits 88% of cuts are still to come'. As things stand, the Cameron government, greatly assisted by the rightwing media, has so far managed to manipulate public perception to its advantage. Though Department for Work and Pensions figures recently showed that fraudulent disability claims make up just 0.5% of the total benefits bill, many people still believe the wildly prejudiced statistics pumped out by tabloid rags. If you go about town on crutches or drive a car with a 'disabled' sticker then you're probably a cheat, that's the basic tabloid message. And now this is translating into heightened aggression towards the disabled (see the Guardian frontpage today). Though Angela Knight's banker boys are receiving a certain amount of tabloid flak for their behaviour, at least in their case it's well-deserved.†