A few months ago I wrote in this blog about the scandals that hit Bankers, Politicians and Journalists over recent years, and asked whether Lawyers would be the next to come under attack. Well, I confess I got it wrong. Looks like Bankers are back again in the firing line, and people are starting to look to the Lawyers to sort out a solution…
The Bankers were first in everyone’s bad books in 2008, when their “high risk, loan making” culture was blamed for bringing the world financial system crashing down, and the European economy to its knees, where it’s still struggling around in desperation. But since then, although they continued to take their excessive bonuses, they’ve had some sense of respite. The Politicians were moved to public enemy number one during the expenses scandal (2009), followed by the Journalists in the phone hacking scandal (2011).
But all that changed last week, and Bankers are now front and centre once again in the eye of the storm. Especially perhaps in the eyes of those same Politicians and Journalists, if only as a way of deflecting attention away from themselves and some of their own dubious practices.
The news that Bankers have been lying about the LIBOR rate (the interest different banks within London lend to each other at) has already resulted in a £290 million fine for Barclays, and an investigation into wrongdoing at other banks, with a promise of more fines to come. And today David Cameron announced a full parliamentary investigation into wrongdoing within the banking sector.
But for some, this doesn’t go far enough. Ed Miliband is calling for a judge-led inquiry into banking practices, similar in scope to the Leveson Inquiry into media practices. Interesting how when things go wrong, we now look to the unelected Lawyers to get to the truth and clean things up, rather than the elected Politicians. Does this show just what little regard and trust we have for our Politicians? Does it mean that we trust Lawyers more than we trust Bankers, Politicians, Journalists, and the other professionals in key spheres of national life? Are the Lawyers our saviours, or will they too let us down through some impending scandal?
Let’s pray for all professionals in key spheres of London life, in Politics, Business, Media, Law, Arts, Academia and the Church, that they would be men and women of integrity who lead us into a godly and just future.
Mark Williamson is a founding director of One Rock International, a training organisation resourcing missionary leaders across the globe. He’s also passionate about praying for London, getting into deep conversations, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna.