Friday, 13 April 2007

HSBC: "Not everyone in the world is equal"

I realise this is going to be the "topic de jour" for far-left bloggers, but it's rare that the long-suffering foot soldiers are treated to nuggets like these. It's what will be viewed in some quarters as an admission of the unequal and discriminating nature of modern capitalism by one of it's most powerful representatives. It's in this context that a spokesperson for HSBC (the world's 'local bank' we're told) informed a Guardian journalist that, regarding the exclusive use of a branch in Canford Cliffs, Dorset by those with £50,000 or more in savings;
We are trying to treat everyone fairly - not everybody in the world is equal. Some people have higher incomes and need greater services through the bank. These customers demand a better service

How apt! In some sense of course this is a non-story, we didn't need HSBC to tell us the world isn't equal, but the conclusions that have been drawn from this fact - exclusive use by those 'more equal' than others - are why HSBC will quite rightly be the subject of condemnation and perhaps boycott.

With regards to the probable reception of this news item on the left, it does reminds me of those far-leftists I know who always find some of the best company in the free-marketer euro-bashing pro-globalizationists of the Tory right-wing. Both agree that capitalism is by it's nature expansive, revolutionary and ruthless, they just happened to draw different conclusions about the implications of these realities.


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