Sharks are circling

Some while ago the Rowntree foundation funded a report in which one of the questions was “Why are young people disinterested in politics?”

What they found was that young people were far from disinterested, but were totally disaffected as they saw that Parliament was increasingly useless and one of the considerations was that the system of party whips made MPs more responsive to the perceived needs of the party than to the needs of the people. For proof that they were quite right look no further than the recent vote about capping interest rates that can be charged by loan sharks – rates that are currently running at anything between 200 and a totally obscene 5,000 per cent.

Surveys have shown that to control this gruesome racket 66 per cent of MPs want to put a cap on the interest rates on loans from any source and 95 per cent of the public wants the same.

However when a bill proposing a logical system of controls came before Parliament very recently, it was voted down in favour of a voluntary code of practice of self regulation for the loan shark industry. How can anyone believe that an industry staffed by people who think that their ghastly activities are acceptable be expected to adopt an acceptable voluntary code of practice – frankly you would have a better chance of getting an acceptable code of practice from the pirates of Somalia.

I think every MP deserves to be plagued by constituents asking how and why did this happen. It is so clearly in the public interest to control this lending racket that the vote should have been a formality.


Primrose Lane