The De-banking Thing
let's stop it now
Back in the day, with the Red Scares around World War I and the Commie Scares after World War II, did they cancel the bank accounts of chaps like Alger Hiss? I checked La Wik and there is no mention of “bank” in the article on Hiss.
Then we had the Canadian truckers in the post-COVID months and the Canadian government had no problem freezing their bank accounts. Hey, but that’s fascist Justin Trudeau at work: what do you expect?
Now we have the curious case of Nigel Farage, who has been a populist nationalist figure for the past decade or two, and suddenly his bank in Britland decided to de-bank him. Apparently the problem is that customers with icky political views adversely affect the reputation of the bank. The bankers were concerned about “the ‘reputational damage’ associated with keeping him as a customer.”
Did anyone even know the day before yesterday where Farage banked?
Now since the row over Farage escalated, because the president of his bank divulged personal information to the BBC, government ministers have got into the act:
The banking minister, Andrew Griffith, met executives from Britain’s largest banks on Wednesday morning to discuss concerns related to customers’ “lawful freedom of expression.”
So, where were you last week, cupcake?
Yes, Minister, he is “shocked, shocked” that banks are culling their customer base of undesirables. But the Brits have various laws in place that make it criminal to say nasty things about transgenders, etc. So it’s hardly surprising that some corporate cupcake would decide that Farage was a problem.
You know, I don’t really know the exact details of how this de-banking and ESG and the rest of the lefty cultural push in big business came about. But I can imagine that it all comes about because the accepted narrative in educated circles is to go with the latest “Thing” that the lefty activists are pushing.
For instance, there doesn’t seem to be any push to de-bank Just Stop Oil protesters that are holding up traffic all over Britland. Why ever not? Shouldn’t banks be deeply concerned about people that are putting themselves and other Brits at risk with the peaceful protesting? But you can just imagine the outrage in fashionable quarters if “white van man” started doing a spot of peaceful protesting: not really out of the top drawer, old chap. (In Britain, “white van man” refers to guys with small businesses, in construction, etc., that go from job to job in white vans. In fashionable circles, “white van man” is a pejorative.)
The whole ESG / de-banking Thing is interesting to me, because it clearly shows that big business understands these days that the way to keep out of trouble is to go along to get along with the educated-class’s latest “Thing.”
And maybe it’s a good thing that it is coming out now, because it gives populist politicians something to push back on. And it’s something that every one of us can relate to: you mean they can just close my bank account, because feelings?