Monday, March 23, 2009

Political Memory Banks

A columnist for the British "Spectator," Fraser Nelson, describes an unexpected (if not unintended) consequence of the nationalization of British banks: The apparent requirement of those seeking loans to disclose their private political associations. He writes:

Geoff Robbins, a Cheshire-based computer consultant, recently approached [the state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland] to ask for a credit-card processing facility for his business. After the usual bankers’ inquisition, he was asked a question that knocked him for six: did he have any political affiliation? Did he know any MPs, councillors or mayors? It was a new question, the lady explained to him, which had been introduced soon after the government took control of RBS. She said, in his paraphrase, that ‘political influences may be used for corrupt purposes’.

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