Even if Stephen Hester still hasn’t got the message that as a Civil Servant he should not be entitled to a bonus of £900,000, it seems his boss, Philip Hampton is a bit quicker on the uptake (or more sensitive), for he has said that he will not take his £1.4 million bonus as it is not justified. Well, you’re right there mate.
On the subject of city salaries and bonuses, why does Cameron claim that he will do something about them, when he knows full well that companies are companies; they can pay whomsoever they wish whatsoever they wish. So then he says that major shareholders should take action to avert these disproportionate rewards, but as the custodian of the shares that we have in the Royal Bank (over 80% and you don’t get much more major than that) he does nothing about Hester’s bonus. The probably reason is that he's been tipped the wink that if he did, Hester would resign, so would half the board and the whole thing would go BANG, with all our money.
My advice to him would be to listen to Labour peer, Meghnad Desai who, unlike his populist leader, Ed Miliband, seems to have a handle on the situation.
Stop posturing for the cameras. You just look stupid and impotent. It would be best to admit that they have you over a barrel; that way you’ll still look totally impotent, but at least you’ll look as if you have the measure of the situation, thus not so terminally stupid.
After all, Cameron gets bent out of shape with the EU, making enemies across Europe, telling them to get their hands off the competitive edge of London’s financial centre; that their idea of introducing regulations and a code of conduct is not going to happen. After all, it’s all the UK has between it and bankruptcy. (If you can call running a deficit of £1 trillion NOT being bankrupt).
Having thus appeased his right wing, he tries to appease "ordinary decent hard-working families up and down the country" by making it look like he’s going to do the one thing that will send the bankers off to Mumbai or Dubai faster than you can say “quantitative easing” (or inflation... they are the same thing)... namely reducing said bankers ability to stuff billions in bonuses into their pinstriped pockets. There won’t be much of a competitive edge if all yer actual bankers have fled the coup, will there, Dave?
Desai’s only haver, as far as I could tell on the news on Friday night, was that he insisted that these people deserved the money for all the work they do, the risks they take, the stress of it all. Maybe they do work hard; maybe it is stressful; maybe the chairman of Lloyds Bank has just been claiming sickness benefits for 10 weeks because of it.
But I’d just say, to the his nobly lordliness... brain surgeons (average £250,000)... firemen fighting blazes (average £25,000)... troops in combat in Afghanistan...(less than minimum wage)? If stress is the factor that shoves the payments up to millions, why are these life savers left so incredibly far behind...