Saturday, 28 January 2012


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...


  1. Stephen Hester isn't a civil servant tris. So he's not governed by any civil service rules.
    Soldiers don't have to sign up if they don't think they're paid enough so I'm not really sure what the relevance of different pay scales is. Ditto firepersons etc.
    Under capitalism everyone is free to refuse to sign a contract or withdraw their labour if they don't think they're getting paid enough for their knowledge and experience.
    We had the chance to ruin Fred the shred but gave him a large pension and payoff instead.

  2. "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. "

    The peer who happily awarded a Phd to saif al islam for £1.5m ?
    Who failed to check for plagiarism and ignored all the death and destruction and torture that the gaddafi family had caused.
    Not the best source lol

  3. My point was that we put a value on jobs and determine people's income because of a certain risk or responsibility or stress or other measure of worth, which is quite correct... otherwise everyone would get paid exactly the same be they the Queen or the road sweeper.

    Mr Deasi chose, not unreasonably, to use stress as his marker, and I just wondered, if we were to measure pay scales by stress, why we didn't think that jobs where lives were at risk didn't warrant a slightly larger share of the cake.

    I know no one forces anyone to do a particular job, including soldiering, but you'd have thought we might have managed by 2012 to pull ourselves out of the cannon fodder view of junior soldiers for below legal wages.

    After all we managed to get ourselves past the view that bankers and executives be paid a proportionate wage.

    I know, of course, Monty, that Mr Hester and his band of bandits are not actually civil servants per se, but they are government (our) employees in an all-but nationalised company. Just like the East Coast Railway line staff. My use of the term 'Civil Servant' was by way of a joke.

    I know that Mr Desai is far from perfect on many subjects, however, on this one he has it right:

    Stop promising what you would never deliver in a million years. You only look stupid when you don't (or didn't) do it.

    Neither the Tories nor the Labour Party have any intention of doing anything serious to damage the income of the South East of England or of their top money spinners. Never have had; never will have. The rest of England and the Celtic countries are not nearly as important (as the bank of England once pointed out), but London and the South East is where the money is and where half the population of the UK is to enjoy some of the trickle down.

    Politicians on both sides use this situation to buy popular headlines like: Osborne to Get Touch with Bankers!

    Desai had that right in his interview. I wasn't making him out to be right about things in general.

  4. tris..
    Mr Deasi has taught marxist economic theory and written books on marxist economic theory in a capitalist system.
    Like all champagne socialists / marxists he's a hypocrite. He's lived large on our system while sniping away safely from the sidelines. Knowing he will never have to actually live in a system where a man's wage is determined by the amount of stress and brute force he puts into it rather than any educational or expert knowledge learned over many years.
    Mr Deasi can do no wrong in his mind as was shown by his answer to his critics in The Gruinard. He didn't realise what a bad lot the Libyan regime were ( the thousands tortured and murdered, Pan Am 103, Yvonne Fletcher etc all passed him by apparently).
    The country is full of these folk. Mainly in the Labour party.
    Hester isn't a state employee. He's a consultant brought in by Labour 4 years ago on a contract. For political reasons Labour ( ably supported by the BBC et al ) are now shouting about how unfair his pay and bonuses are. They would all happily take what he's getting ( myself included ) and will do so when they leave office. Tony Bliar and Mandlescum have just followed a well trodden path of troughery.

  5. tris

    'no one forces anyone to do a particular job,

    Err! I think you find that many maybe most are forced to do jobs they hate in places they despise alongside people they cant stand.
    Working long hours for low pay with no prospect of a golden retirement.

    But that capitalism for you.

    It always amuses me when you hear tossers/Politicians going on about work is the way out of poverty......

    what a load of crap!

    life is returning to the good old days
    'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short'

  6. You're missing my point, Monty.

    I care not a whit for Mr Desai or in general for his opinions.

    What I thought was splendid was his argument against both Cameron and Miliband, that there is nothing much that can be done about the massive salaries and bonuses of these people who inhabit the city.

    So what he said was STOP POSTURING; both sides. Mr Cameron promising he will do something about it, so that people get the impression (if only for a short while) that he is, like them, disgusted by their greed while we all suffer... and Mr Miliband for criticising Cameron for doing nothing, when he knows that neither he nor Cameron can do squat:

    1: Because they are private companies who set their own agendas and

    2: Because,even if he had to power to tell private companies how much they could pay their executives, he wouldn't because that's exactly what he's been fighting the EU about: the regulation of these people.

    He knows, perfectly well, that if they are regulated, they will stop making indecent profits in the good times, and that if that looks like happening they will go to Asia, which won't regulate them.

    And even with RBS which is pretty near a state owned company, he can't touch it because if he does Hester will go, so will the chairman and half the board and he will be left with a broke bank, with taxpayers' money tied up in it to the tune of hundreds of billions.

    So once again I say, I am aware of teh shortcomings of Mr Desai, but even fools sometimes get something bang on right. One day maybe even George Osborne will say something that makes sense.

  7. I'm just different from you tris. Which is ok.
    I respect what people say going by their record of what they have said and done in the past.
    Any attempts by hypocrites to sleaze themselves in amongst us by offering platitudes are just ignored by me. Unless they fess up to their previous lies.
    I would never give advice on dating or buying a house as I've managed to mess those up pretty well in the past ;) But if I set myself up as an expert on dating or house buying and hid my past would I not be a danger to the public like the marxist LSE bloke ?

  8. LOL. I dunno Monty. Some people are very good at giving sound advice but not sticking to it themselves.

    Best if we agree to disagree on this.

    Let's take out Mr Desai, or probably Dr Desai's comments and just say that Tris (who's not very good with money) says that Camergoon and Millipede should both shut up about bankers' pay unless they intent to grab the bull by the horns and ruin the economy of London.

    One of the downsides of socialism is that it doesn't work at all. One of the downsides of capitalism is that it barely works and only then if it is controlled cleverly, which it hasn't been in the UK.

  9. Niko:

    Yes, you have a point. In the good times there is some choice, but in the bad times people are forced into one of a narrow band of occupations which they detest.

    I know only too well. I've been there. Dreading Monday morning, hating the job, the colleagues, the clients, the pointlessness and the immorality of what I was doing.

    And that was the eight months I spent working at the Jobcentre.

    And ironically, I couldn't afford to take the bus to work, so I had to walk, because the pay was 6p an hour above the minimum wage (of £3,60). So no, it didn't pay to work, but I had to do it.

    I'd just spent four great years teaching French in a small language school for four or five times the money; a job I loved, with a reasonable boss (most of the time).

    The boss in JC+ was a complete jerk. Not a braincell in her silly blonde head. If she had put special effort into it she couldn't have made life more hellish for all her staff. But you know the Civil Service. Trying to get rid of dead wood is almost impossible.

    I don't think I've ever been so unhappy in a job in all my life. Fortunately I was able to get out after 8 months, but I knew people there who were stuck there forever. Counting the minutes till their retirement.

  10. tris.
    Yes I've done some lousy jobs myself lol Good you managed to escape.
    I see RBS have lost £330m in value due to all the political posturing by Ed Milliband over the bonus for Hester ( the bonus arranged by Ed when he was in govt).

    "investors are clearly worried that from now on RBS will be subject to frequent political meddling and will no longer be run as a commercial business. "

    A cheap political stunt has caused more untold damage to an already zombie bank.

  11. Miliband is such a plonker isn't he?

    They really need to get rid of him.

    He is their Willie Hague. But they need to see that and not replace him with their Iain Duncan Smith, or their Michael Howard.

    I see he was in Glasgow saying (without a shred of evidence) that social welfare would be better in teh union than in an independent Scotland.

    It's done so much for the people of Glasgow with a life expectancy 30 years shorter than the likes of Mr Miliband.

    In the meantime the Tories always do a great job of convincing Scots that the union is all about England. Power to their elbows.

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  13. @Monty
    "investors are clearly worried that from now on RBS will be subject to frequent political meddling and will no longer be run as a commercial business. "
    That is the most priceless quote on RBS yet...surely if it had been subject to being a 'commercial business' then it would have been allowed to go to the wall and perish...some 'business', its competitive ability comes purely from the pockets of people who had absolutely nothing to do with it at all...too big to fail, huh!

  14. Aye the investors didn't mind the political meddling when it brought them £45 billion.