Good Morrow Credit Weary Comrades This month’s sermon is all about finding truth, getting back to basics, being at base level. Too often the Church has given succor from heaven and above rather than existing on the ground where the shit truly smells. Remember the Catholic Church and National Socialism and you’ll understand the direction I’m heading in. It is easy to cast the first stone, to accuse and to blame. It is somewhat harder to understand, let alone forgive. For some, the pursuit of cash was once heralded above all God's good works. Money was no longer thought of as the root of all evil. Instead it served as a passport to becoming better than paupers or the likes of Jane Goody. Credit was free, houses were assets to be stripped. Borrow and then borrow some more, who would ever think it needs to be paid back? The chattering classes were encouraged to save for their golden years. PP’s, ISP’s, pension plans and shares, all feeding off the fat cow of capitalism. Everyone received golden guarantees they would be better off in Gordon’s idyllic utopian land, where the money tree never stops
Even the Church found reason to jump on the bandwagon, converting hard-earned collection plate revenue
into investment trust funds, thinking water could truly become wine and everyone would live in a heaven on
earth. Who was keeping watch while Rome burned? The Jesuit-styled FSA?
Now we know this free ride had to come to an abrupt halt, and the blame rests on the puny Saville Row-tailored shoulders of those now seen as sacrilegious rather than sacrosanct. Bankers have been blamed, vilified and criticised for pension payouts larger than Iceland’s debt mountain, but were they really the ones at fault? All they did was play by the rules, those same rules they had a hand in regulating.
This regulation of the financial sector was first mooted in the 1930s after our earlier global and fiscal fuckup. But how can you stop the bully from stealing the tuck shop takings? Particularly when he is just one more old boy, operating out of the old school network? The last financial meltdown gave rise to the idea that a self-regulating body of bullies could somehow ensure we were not beaten up, left penniless or had our sweets stolen. The FSA issued directives, gave advice, even wove it’s way into the very fabric of the financial system. And why not? It was an integral part of the thing. Were we naïve enough to think the Financial Services Authority could somehow be impartial?
Now, what has this to do with faith you might ask?
It is apparent that some had blind faith in a religion that, at its zenith, celebrated avarice, greed and filthy
lucre. A sense of compassion and fair play was merely the nadir; an unprofitable irrelevance. The irony is
that we are all now in debt through a tax burden looming on the collective horizon. We can no longer afford
a sense of fair play. While some receive huge pay-offs, the rest of us are left to pick up the tab
As a servant of God it is my duty to look for just rewards and seek out the root of evil, whatever it’s guise or incarnate. To this end, your humble pastor recently spent two months attempting to infiltrate the devil’s den, moling his way into the upper echelons of the FSA’s framework. But a lack of credible Gordanston education and an aversion to public school buggery meant I could only pass myself off as a mortgage advisor. Or estate agent at worst.
It was a bit like being that annoying bloke on TV’s Rouge Traders, trying to imprison the shady roofer who ripped off grandpa’s life savings (only without the ever-so slightly gay motorcycling chum at hand to offer too-close-for-comfort, leather clad pillion riding). It was my mission to uncover un-holyness in all its forms, to find perspective, to track down fair play.
Deciding to go undercover and root out the evils at work was simpler than I expected. Getting a foothold was easier than Tarmacadaming a driveway armed only with a bucket and one untaxed transit van. People are gullible. If you look right, sound right, and say what they want to hear then Bingo! You can only ascend the greasy ladder.
Even in these recession hit times, a couple of days spent in a tumbledown estate agents’ office and a few
nights enduring an overpriced ponce-bar with some cheap business cards, a cheaper suit and a second
hand BMW 3 series can still make you an insider. Within a week I was offering sage advice to those
stupid enough to step back on the mortgage ladder. With quips like “It’s a good time to buy” and “The
market can only go up” I had become the font of all knowledge, even if I had no idea what I was actually
I lasted one week before my conscience got the better of me. It wasn’t even so much the tapestry of lies I’d been weaving, or the uneasy feeling I had of hood-winking the lame and feeble that forced this epiphany of morality. No, it was all that time spent in ponce-bars that did me in. I can talk shit all day with the best of them, but listening to the effluent of others for hours on end is a sentence too hard to endure.
In my time as a phony estate agent I learned that anyone can pass themselves off as an advisor of some kind, even in God’s good house. You just have to appear to know what you’re doing, even when you clearly don’t. Dodgy roofers, winking tinkers and mortgage advisors alike have been pulling it off for years. It’s just a shame we had to find out the hard way that the financial services industry was no different. Because what the vast majority actually knew about banking was sweet FSA.