Some of our allotment folk support a local charity which is striving desperately to raise funds to prevent closure of a day centre as a result of cuts. They have worked and lobbied hard and have so far raised almost £10,000. Unfortunately this is on deposit with Barclays in their ‘More for More’ savings scheme which is now paying an interest of 0.50 per cent. They carry on with their fund-raising and dismiss complaints about the derisory interest by saying that we are all in this together and no one can afford to pay out handsome interest. In my view they are being too kind by half for Barclays have just announced the pay deals for their bigwigs, and I can think of no better description than that used yesterday by the Lib Dem spokesman on finance, Stephen Williams, MP. He said that the deals are simply ‘obscene’.
The announcement shows that five of the top Barclays managers shared a payout of £110 million which is only marginally less than the bank paid in corporation tax for 2009. Despite profits in the billions the Bank manages to avoid paying tax to the exchequer despite feeling able to pay out a total of £3.5 billion in bonuses. Which raises the question of why, since they consider the payments as obscene, the Lib Dems continue to play along with the Osborne refusal to force the issue of tax.
The problem with numbers is that too many of them numb the senses, and most of us tend to sigh and agree that a tough approach could lead to the expensive whizz-kids heading for other lands. Cynics like me say let them go, they caused this mess and no one could possibly be worth the amounts they are pocketing. Yesterday the stars in question had to be escorted from Barclays’ Canary Wharf headquarters when protestors chanted in the lobby. they were mainly concerned with the failure of the this and other banks to pay full tax but were also quick to point the finger at greedy people who take home far more in a year than the vast majority earn in a lifetime.
We all knew that chief executive Bob Diamond pocketed £27 million for 2010 and we all knew that he has called for an end to ‘bank bashing’. We didn’t know that he is far from alone. His two highest paid managers, Jerry del Missier and Rich Ricci, were handed more than £40 million each after share deals came to fruition. Along with three others, they have also been awarded long-term bonus plans worth a combined £10 million – which could be worth three times that amount in three years time.
I won’t go on with the list, suffice to say the earnings by senior bankers are now in the realms of fantasy. What do these people actually do? They move money around, they speculate. But they are the only winners, by the end of last year £100 invested in Barclays shares four years earlier would have generated a loss of £47, while the FTSE index of major shares gained £26 during the same period. To quote another leading Lib Dem , Lord Oakeshott, “the capitalist model has broken down when shareholders get so little whilst managers grab so much”. Lord Oakeshott resigned as the party’s spokesman over Project Merlin, the final proof for him that Conservative ministers are in league with the Bankers.
Of course writing this will achieve nothing other than to release my rage. Even those on high who protest are dismissed by Diamond who told the select committee that the “era of remorse and regret with banking is over”. There has always been a tendency on the part of the have-nots to envy those who have. But suddenly the situation has gone far beyond that.
The very least that Barclays and the like should feel morally bound to do is to pay full corporation tax. Th every least the incredibly rich managers should do is to make donations to charities like those supported by my pals.
But neither will happen and it is no surprise that bankers are now top of many a hate list!
THOUGHTS FOR TODAY; ” She got her looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon”….Groucho Marx “ The only parts left of my original body are my elbows”…..Phyllis Diller “When they tell me to get my nose fixed I say no. I can smell perfectly well with the one I’ve got”….Robert Mitchum “My boob job is the gift that keeps on giving. My ex bought them and my new guy enjoys them”…..Elaine Pelino “Gran used to take mum to the circus to see the fat lady and the tattooed man. Now they’re everywhere”….Joan Collins “Men who have a pierced ear are better pre[pared for marriage. The’ve experienced pain and bought jewellery”…..Rita Rudner
ANSWERS TO YESTERDAY’S QUIZ; 1 Reginald Perrin 2. A corner shop
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. Which disease killed many typically British trees in the early 70s? 2. The lost city of Oplontis was discovered in 1973, where?