Revolving door 37 – confession time?
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Recently Patrick Jenkins, Financial Editor of the FT, explored the history of the revolving door, saying that the practice of former politicians and central bankers seeking high paid work in financial services has a long pedigree, particularly in the US.
With apparent surprise – though it has been established practice in Britain involving senior politicians and corporates – he says. “Now it seems to be an accelerating trend in Europe”.
Yet for the last six years sites such as Spinwatch, less directly Corporate Watch and the Private Eye magazine (see this article) – have highlighted this phenomenon. This Political Concern website was set up in 2010 to raise awareness of the ‘revolving door’, rewards for failure, widespread behind-the-scene lobbying and party funding which corrupts the decision-making process. A ‘media’ category was added later.
Patrick Jenkins’ article prompted the writer to count the articles on this website which have ‘revolving door’ in the title; there were 37 – but many more had incidental references and others added the graphic on the right. Jenkins writes:
“News that Lord King, the former governor of the Bank of England, has taken a key advisory role at Citigroup follows only weeks after it was announced that former European Commission president José Manuel Barroso would chair Goldman Sachs International. Rumours are growing, too, that senior members of the last UK government may follow a similar path, following in the footsteps of the previous Labour administration”.
After citing Tony Blair as ‘one of the most famous examples of the phenomenon to date’ and listing the many roles he has taken on in his post-politics career, Jenkins moved on to focus on central bankers and policy-makers switching from public service into the private sector and vice versa.
He ends: “Defenders of the practice say it helps break down barriers between financial services companies and policymakers, but critics think it can leave an unpleasant taste. “The potential is certainly there for conflicts of interest — both real and perceived,” says Bob Jenkins, who has worked as an asset manager, regulator and market reformist”.
Brandon Patty, a young American politician, gets nearer the truth
He wrote in the FT yesterday, with reference to America, that the general public has zero confidence in . . . career bureaucrats, professional politicians looking out for our best interests:
“From immigration and trade deals, to excess regulations and scandals at far too many government departments, there is a very real sense that (the public’s) concerns and priorities do not matter to decision makers” adding that a September 2015 poll found 75% perceived corruption as widespread in the country’s government.
But will the shameless in Britain and America take the slightest notice of these commentators?
Posted on September 21, 2016, in Banking and finance, Civil servants, Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Government, Lobbying, Media, Parliamentary failure, Party funding, Public relations, Revolving door, Reward for failure, Vested interests and tagged Brandon Patty, Patrick Jenkins, Private Eye, Spinwatch. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.