11 August 2011
When my ex-boss Roger Neill launched the Centre for Creativity at City University London in winter of 2009, he staged a “Big City Brainstorm” which pulled together a diverse group of people – including several from the City of London.
Roger and other people behind the Centre for Creativity wanted to find ways of addressing the issues arising from the banking and financial crisis of 2007-11, and as Roger says in his blog they were particularly keen to get to grips with the ““addictive behaviour” (as one of the participants, a psychiatrist, put it) of people in the banks so badly hit.”
Among the ideas that emerged from the brainstorming was the need for a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” for bankers and other City workers, traders, etc along the lines of that seen in post-apartheid South Africa. Strangely enough, this is almost exactly what has been proposed by the “HBOS whistleblower” Paul Moore — who is behind the (currently dormant) Banking on Change and People’s Petition for Better Banking campaigns — and more recently by the Compass group on the UK’s “Feral elite”, chaired by best-selling author Philip Pullman
When the Centre for Creativity session was held, Neill says there was “a groundswell in favour of the concept [of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for bankers]”. However, in the days following, the session, “support seemed to melt away.” As Roger puts it, “it seemed as though all the City of London folk had had second thoughts… Apparently we just didn’t understand.”
Now there’s a surprise!