Whether the sentence fits the crime seems selective

Let us take banking, I’m sure most people have had the same experience I have, where you have sent a cheque to pay your credit card charge, in what you consider is reasonable time only to discover that you forgot that Monday was a bank holiday and in consequence you have been charged £12, at least, as a late fee. It doesn’t matter that you have a couple of thousand in your current account, and the bank is holding a few Isas for you, and they have the use of your money to speculate with. The corollary is among the headlines almost daily. How is it that they get away with it? I personally know of instances where members of staff are being given unpaid leave, whether it suits them or not, while the partners in the company are earning whacking great salaries, allegedly untouched by the crunch.

Have you ever driven West on a dual carriageway, as straight as a die straight into the falling sun? You have the visor down, and yet you’re still blinded. Along the road you know there are speed traps, so you think you have slowed down, but you’re afraid to take your eyes off the road to look at the speedometer, and a couple of days later you discover you have received a fine and a few points lost. The driving conditions are no excuse.

We have all made an insurance claim, and then discovered the that the small print, interpreted by their specialist, enables the insurance company to reject the claim, and you can write reams and get nowhere, except an ulcer from frustration. It was ever thus, you don’t have to go so far back to remember the time when the printers in Fleet Street lost their pension fund through a bit of sleight of hand by a multimillionaire. The whole business reflects an attitude of ‘please sir it wasn’t me!’, but there is still that differential of what is deemed unreasonable for the man in the street, and acceptable for his masters

In these last weeks I have been stressing that I believe that only a few of our Masters have been responsible for these alleged oversights, and the press is having a field day. Reputations are at stake here, and everyone should be assumed innocent until proven guilty. The fact that there is probably some guilt does not substantiate this feeding frenzy, and this broad brush approach that seems to tie everybody into the same bundle is reprehensible. It is doing our reputation in the world no good whatsoever, but on the other hand if it is substantiated in certain cases, then the retribution should be quick and severe. These people are the custodians of our economy and our way of life, and should behave as such.

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