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Could It Be?

‘So here’s how it works’, my informant told me, leaning closer as his voice dropped.

‘To earn the right to vote on party policy, each party branch is required to raise a sum of money each year.’

‘The amount raised varies from year to year, depending on whether it’s an election year, or if there’s a referendum campaign in the offing.’

‘So each branch will organise a church gate collection, or a dinner dance, maybe a raffle to raise money from members.’

‘But in many cases, the party branch will also approach a local bank, taking out a loan to meet their commitment to head office.’

‘An overdraft is arranged, with an agreed schedule of payments.’

‘The party will pay the loan for a while, and then meet the interest payments for another while.’

‘Then one day, the bank manager will have a conversation with the branch treasurer, or maybe the chairman.’

‘They with chat about the weather, current affairs, last Saturday’s football game.’

‘Then the bank manager will mention how, about that loan, we’ll just write it off.’

‘And there are a lot of branches.’

‘And that’, he concluded, ‘is why the banks will never be allowed to fail.’