Mark Steel: Let's ask florists for a credit rating

Governments should be made to recite their policies in front of a panel on TV every Saturday

Share
Related Topics

Here's my question about economics – why should it send countries into panic when the bankers make pronouncements about countries' credit ratings, as they did yesterday? You could choose any layer of society at random and most people would trust them more than bankers, so it would make more sense if the BBC News started, "Private sector growth must be the priority for Europe, said the scouts today, although canoeists and wrestlers disagreed, and there was strong opposition from people with fetishes that involve celery. Robert Peston, what does this mean for the Government's inflation target?"

And banks aren't neutral observers, they're banks – the people who caused the mess. It's like someone who's wet themselves in a public building insisting they choose which mop the librarian fetches to clear up the puddle.

But the future of Europe has been entrusted to finance companies and institutions such as the IMF, and governments agree that the most crucial part of any strategy is to keep the financial markets happy. Otherwise, the government becomes helpless, as if they're stood by a cashpoint machine that tells them: "You have insufficient funds. Please contact the IMF for instructions."

So we might as well ask the IMF and banks to make all our decisions to start with, and not bother with the hassle of holding elections. We should at least make this process entertaining, and make governments recite their suggested policies in front of a panel from the financial markets, every Saturday night on ITV. Then someone from Goldman Sachs can say, "David and George you were MARVELLOUS, cutting pensions is delightful and, as you were shutting libraries, I could FEEL you growing. Next week, I'd like to see you try a little cut in the top rate of tax, just to show you can do it. I know you can do it with just a bit more practise. I'm giving you NINE."

Maybe the problem is, by some sort of coincidence, that all the people who run the financial institutions we have to keep content are rich. So it might be more democratic if the directors of these companies were chosen at random by lottery numbers. Seeing as they make all the decisions, it seems fair they should be run by a cross-section of the society affected by those decisions.

This would be much more representative of public feeling, as we were told on the news, say, "The head of Deloitte & Touche today gave his sternest warning yet on executive pay after studying the figures, saying 'HOW MUCH DID YOU SWIPE, YOU THIEVING GREEDY PARASITE, HOW MUCH, HOW BLOODY MUCH? YOU COULD BUY EVERYONE IN EUROPE A CURRY FOR THAT, YOU BURGLAR.' We're going over live to the Bank of England where the governor, Joyce the florist from Sheffield, is about to give her reaction to this statement in a press conference."

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor’s Letter: The Sussex teenager killed fighting in Syria

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Actor Zac Efron  

Keep your shirt on Zac – we'd all be better for it

Howard Jacobson
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit