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

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Syrian refugee 'Nora' with her two month-old daughter. She was one of the first Syrians to come to the UK when the Government agreed to resettle 100 people from the country  

Open letter to David Cameron on Syrian refugees: 'Several hundred people' isn't good enough

Independent Voices
Amjad Bashir said Ukip had become a 'party of ruthless self-interest'  

Could Ukip turncoat Amjad Bashir be the Churchill of his day?

Matthew Norman
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us