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How, in the UK, were the financial, then economic, crises which erupted from 2007 onwards politically and popularly framed—framed, indeed, in ways which have allowed business-more-or-less-as-usual to proceed in their aftermath? The focus of this chapter is upon various discursive initiatives and narratives which were constructed and utilised as and since the crisis unfolded. I argue that it was through a series of (quite often contradictory) blaming and framing techniques—in turn, resting upon the use of analogy, motivated myopia and deceit, and often invoking some form of morality—that the construction, use and fact of economic, legal, political and social ignorance transformed the financial crisis into one of the public and the social.
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The appearance of bankers before the Select Committee prompted a stream of vitriolic press headlines, most infamously in The Sun, which ran the front-page headline ‘Scumbag Millionaires’ alongside images of Sir Tom McKillop, former Chairman, and Sir Fred Goodwin, former Chief Executive of RBS Group (Hawkes and Pascoe-Watson 2009; see Stanley 2012).
Albeit generally if not ubiquitously replicated at international level, not least through the work of ‘epistemic communities’ (Deacon 2011).
Certainly, most criminologists on either side of the Atlantic have barely bothered to give the crisis a second glance (Tombs 2015b), albeit that there have been some exceptions.
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- Framing the Crisis: Private Capital to the Rescue
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