Saturday, 30 June 2012

Bankers, their behaviour and my novel An Ordinary Life

Once again I have been thinking about the bankers and their seeming disregard for all normal behavior. It reminded me of my novel An Ordinary Life. The story explores the manner in which most people regard themselves as honest and law abiding although there are times and circumstances when they ignore the rules of behaviour or of some moral code. These people justify their actions by ignoring their conscience or making excuses for their behaviour. In extreme cases they give the impression that morality is not an issue in their case. Everybody makes excuses for the way they live their lives. We often ignore our consciences which are telling us that what we do is not illegal but morally reprehensible. Though in the case of many bankers it appears that what they did was getting towards the illegal.
The novel explores this question through the actions and thoughts of one individual, Tom Houseman. He ignores the questionable nature of some of his projects and accepts the benefits. He very rarely asks or answer the question of the morality of what he is doing.
As an example. Money laundering is illegal. Even Tom Houseman knows that. He, as an academic, makes a distinction between helping somebody to set up legitimate business and the source of the money which is the basis of that business.
The story follows the life of Tom Houseman. From his early childhood on the edge of a hard council estate to eminent Professor with a worldwide reputation and great wealth. 
Tom Houseman has a boyhood friend called Derek from the council estate and, though their paths diverge after junior school, he stays loyal to his friend. Though he is a criminal and most of his activities against te law, Derek is the most honest person in the novel. He knows he is bent, he knows what he does is illegal and admits this to himself. There is no false values with Derek. How could there be given his background of a father who beat him frequently and who had sex with his daughters. When Derek breaks away from this life, he has only one path to follow.
Derek becomes the right hand man of the criminal Mr. Big and introduces Edward. During his life, Edward accepts opportunities presented by his friends and his brother. These enhance both his standing in society and his wealth. All the time, he ignores and denies the moral and legal implications of taking advantage of these offers. As time passes, he has to accept the implications of his choices.
Will he finally have to face these hard decisions or will he sail serenely on living, to him, this ordinary life?
The novel s available from Amazon for downloading to Kindle and other electronic readers.