Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

image for Tony Blair "All Wrong" Over Not Hanging Bankers Says Academic
Candide saw Byng hanged at Portsmouth.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is wrong when he says we should not hang bankers in anger over the current financial mess, says a leading academic.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph today, Mr Blair defends the free market and liberal economic rules established under Margaret Thatcher.

He warns that the approach promoted by Baroness Thatcher's government is not to blame for the crisis and that society would not be better off "if we hang 20 bankers at the end of the street."

But leading historian and academic, Ken Lucid, disagrees.

"Blimey! Old Tone's way off the mark there. Of course we should," he said.

"It's like that time Admiral John Byng was hanged for not relieving the garrison on Minorca in 1756. As they say: Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un banquier pour encourager les autres - In this country, it is wise to kill a banker from time to time to encourage the others."

Attribution: The final passage is lifted almost directly from Voltaire's 1759 novel Candide. The word amiral (admiral) in the original has been changed to banqier (banker) in Prof Lucid's words.

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