Robert Hampton

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23rd October 2011

Honourable Mensch-ion
Posted by at 11.37pm | Politics | No responses

Have I Got News For You is usually a nice sorbet to round off the week – a welcome way to cleanse the palate of the stresses and strains of life and perhaps laugh at

This week, I get well and truly annoyed by the show, thanks to the presence of Tory MP Louise Mensch, and in particular her mockery of the “anti-capitalist” protest camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral. She smugly pointed out that some of the protesters are buying coffee from Starbucks and using iPhones, as if this somehow negated the point they were making.

Apple and Starbucks are global corporations with huge power and influence. That is because they make products (electronics, coffee) that people want to buy. They – like many other companies, both large and small – are successful because their products are good and people want to part with their money to buy them. They have succeeded on their own merit and that is the “good” side of capitalism. No-one, apart from the three remaining members of the British Communist Party, wants to see that system abolished.

On the other hand, you have the capitalism that caused the mess the world finds itself in: City traders short-selling shares, banks giving out loans to people who couldn’t possibly afford to pay them back and the sub-prime mortgage problem. All of this was enabled by lax regulation, thanks to politicians who were in the pocket of wealthy donors from the financial sector.

And yet, despite everything, many firms in the City are still paying out huge bonuses to their workers, on top of salaries which are already obscenely large in many cases. The people who caused the problem seem to be immune to the effects, while the rest of us in the real world struggle. That is why people are angry, and I think that anger spreads well beyond a few tents in Ludgate Hill.

Louise Mensch (like too many of her colleagues in Parliament unfortunately), simply doesn’t seem to understand this.

17th October 2008

Baker Treat
Posted by at 11.57pm | Television | No responses

Tom Baker hosting HIGNFY in a couple of weeks time? Hmm…