English comic Marcus Brigstocke appeared on BBC’s The Now Show and he expressed atypical views about economic growth. With wage suppression and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program current issues in Canada, these amusing words from England are worth a listen:
On the same Now Show episode, British comedy writer and actor John Finnemore reshaped an ancient folktale to provide a lay person’s explanation of the Royal Mail privatization. Although government denies it sold the 500-year-old public service too cheaply, private shares traded well above the sale price from day one until now. Do you imagine that ordinary investors profited from the price rise? Well, that is not how the financial system works.
When Prime Minister Cameron’s government privatized the Royal Mail eight months ago, it allocated huge share blocks to priority investors. More than half of the global bankers, vulture capitalists and friends of government given special treatment quickly flipped shares and profited tens of millions of pounds.
The British public learned this story slowly because transparency is never high on the agenda when dirty dealers do dirty deals. According to an April 29 article by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism,
“Until now, the identity of the priority investors was one of the City’s most closely guarded secrets. The government, in fact, blocked freedom of interest requests on the grounds that disclosing who they are would breach commercial confidentiality even though it is clear the majority of these firms have profited handsomely from a public asset.”
The need to protect commercial confidentiality is a statement much repeated but it is often only covering reluctance to be honest about transactions hidden from public view. Finnemore provides a concise account of deceit that cost British taxpayers more than a billion dollars.
Do not think for a moment that we have no frogs and scorpions in British Columbia. We do.