Littlejohn agrees with 99%: “we’ve all been screwed by banks”

12:09 pm - October 18th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    

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This is how Richard Littlejohn at the Daily Mail starts off today:

Most of us would probably agree that the anti-capitalism demonstrators in the City of London have a point. You don’t have to be Wolfie Smith to work out we’ve all been screwed by the banks.

The astronomical cost of bailing out the financial sector has made everyone poorer and we’re not out of the woods yet.

Well, over the past few years we have bunged the banks hundreds of billions of pounds. Technically, we own them. But it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

They are still behaving as if they are our masters, not our servants. Talk to any small business owner, upon whom our economic recovery and long-term prosperity depends. All will give you a similar tale of woe.

The bankers have used taxpayers’ largesse to rebuild their own balance sheets. They’re still paying themselves fat bonuses. But most are stubbornly refusing to lend money or extend overdraft facilities.

Of course, Littlejohn then goes on to call the existing protesters ‘layabouts’ and says the real people protesting should be small business owners and middle England.

But it’s surprising to find yourself nodding away to Littlejohn, even if partially.

This chimes with the point I made earlier – anger at the banks is widespread and goes across the political spectrum. In that sense, the people who think the current system screws them over are truly the 99%.

What’s needed now is an attempt to truly broaden the appeal of occupyLSX so it does start reflecting the 99%. Only then will the top 1% really start worrying.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments

Except that it’s not the banks’ fault. It’s Governments’. The EU and all the natational Governments have bailed out and underwritten the banks. They have printed more and more money, thus devaluing our own money, and it is this that we object to.

Shame that you then launch an ad hominem against Littlejohn, and hereby the weakness of the British Left – always looking for differences, not similarities. If only you could have stopped at ‘… overdraft facilities’. IMHO, the Tea Party, the Tax Payers’ Alliance and Occupy have a lot more in common than you might think, or, at least, than you commentators might like us to think.

2. Chaise Guevara

I thought for a moment he’d actually written a half-decent article until it wandered off into things like “It’s hypocritical to drink Coke while protesting at state-sponsored bank bailouts!” and “I hate people who want the same things as me but look different!” and of course “Look, I found a Muslim one!”. But I guess even when he tries to be reasonable, he is soon enough taken over by the stupid arsehole within. Pity.

@ 2.

I agree, but the crux of your statement lies in the last word – “pity”.

You see, I think Mr Littlejohn is a bit twisted up, and, as such he deserves our pity not our contempt.

Just try for a minute to imagine the mental anguish he must have gone through in order to say what he did. He actually aknowledged that the protesters have a point. I for one think this is amazing progress.

Yes, sure the banks have screwed up. Alistair Darling reckoned the long term cost to the taxpayer of the banks bailout would be around £50bn.

But we are currently paying £42bn PER ANNUM in interest on debts run up by politicians.

We’ll end up paying more for bailing out spendthrift Labour governments than we will for bailing out the banks.

So, maybe it’s time to go easier on the banks and come down harder on the Labour Party, Mr Littlejohn?

5. Luis enrique

We’re in trouble because of the recession the banks caused not because of the bailouts. I think it’s important that anger with banks does not become opposition to bailouts because the no bailouts route actually leaves us worse off, costs the taxpayer more in lost revenue, higher unemployment. We are probably just about to see another round of bank bailouts / nationalisations and “opposition” is the wrong response. These bank’s a are bust because they are holding government debt of the sort we need investors to buy if we wish to run deficits, I’d the banks are left to go under we wil pay a much higher price than we will if we do ECB backed state bailouts.

This movement is so vague in purpose and devoid of objectives that I’m not surprised. Anyone could claim they feel a bit depressed about it all, including bankers.

He did the same thing when he defended the Guardian against the Met’s charges to reveal their sources.

Said the Guardian was right but then went on a bit rant about how awful the Guardian is.

And Brendan O Neill did something similar saying he was against the death penalty but then ranting about the anti death penalty brigade are all hypocrites and definitely must have cynical or hypocritical motives – couldn’t possibly be motivated by the same principles and logic as HIM.

It’s really sad this kind of attitude. I think that and it’s a really logical and correct position but I CAN’T POSSIBLY BE LIKE A SCUMMY STUPID LEFTY WITH A PONYTAIL SO I AM GOING TO SLAG OFF LEFTIES JUST TO MAKE THIS CLEAR THAT I AM CLEVERER AND PURER THAN THEM.

Speaking as a small business owner, i am glad the protestors are there, i would be there myself only i have to work, trying to save my business, having been screwed by the banks, the government, and the system.

To be fair, before he started knowingly shifting formulaic bullshit for people he regards as morons he was a union man, and it sometimes pokes through, then he remembers what pays his wages.

@5. Luis enrique: “We’re in trouble because of the recession the banks caused not because of the bailouts.”

Reading the later sentences was hard work, Luis. You are traditionally one of the readable econo-geeks on LC 😉

I still don’t *fully* understand attribution of bank collapse on banks. It is my desire that aspirational people can establish a business or buy a house. It is my desire that borrowers are able to commit to a loan, to demonstrate that they have the ability to repay.

What happened was that some loans were given to people who were unable to repay, depending when pay day was. Most loans were sold to regular people who paid them off. Some loans were sold to banking people who would accept a higher risk of default. A mix of loans were sold the loans to other people. Which is where it all fell over.

So was it the face to face banks being too generous? (At that time of loan, they weren’t part of the loan escalator.)

I presume the recession where we are now is caused by banks who do not loan unless it is backed up with bricks and mortar.

11. Churm Rincewind

@ Charlieman: Ah, but that makes you part of the problem. You say that it is your desire that “aspirational people can…buy a house”. That was everyone’s desire, and the UK Government along with others encouraged the banking sector to fulfil that dream, because “aspiration” became a criterion rather than bottom line creditworthiness. It was then perhaps inevitable that many of those “aspirational people” defaulted. At the time the banks thought that this wasn’t their problem because, after all, they were only following Government policy.

So it was the very policies which you seem still to support which was a major contributor to the present crisis.

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  1. .

    Richard Littlejohn in the Mail agrees with the 99%: ‘we’ve all been screwed by banks’

  2. Janet Graham

    Richard Littlejohn agrees with #occupyLSX: 'we've all been screwed by banks'

  3. Sarah Shoraka

    Richard Littlejohn in the Mail agrees with the 99%: ‘we’ve all been screwed by banks’

  4. Richard Hall

    Agree with @sunny_hundal here about making #occupylsx as broad as possible. Why not invite Littlejohn down to St Pauls?

  5. Monteagle

    Richard Littlejohn in the Mail agrees with the 99%: ‘we’ve all been screwed by banks’

  6. Dave Miller

    Richard Littlejohn in the Mail agrees with the 99%: ‘we’ve all been screwed by banks’

  7. Scott Dryden

    Some feel that attacking the banks is becoming a cliche, but doing so attracts support across the political spectrum.

  8. .

    Anti-capitalist demonstrators in the City of London have a point. Littlejohn says so. You couldn't make it up…!

  9. sunny hundal

    @thejamesmax well, even Richard littlejohn agrees with Polly 😉

  10. James Max

    Oh yes, that famous business exec?! RT @sunny_hundal: @thejamesmax even Richard Littlejohn agrees with @pollytoynbee

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