The Curmudgeon


Friday, December 04, 2009

Feel the Pain, Wag the Finger

New New Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, and its real leader, Lord Mandelbrot the Infinitely Recurring, have intervened decisively over bankers' bonuses in the usual New New Labour fashion, by wagging their fingers and bemoaning the fact that, despite nothing whatever being done to stop them, some people can be very, very naughty indeed. A spokesbeing for the Royal Bank of Scotland, which has been working so brilliantly that the Government plans to throw more taxpayers' money at it, said that RBS would "always pay on the principle of no rewards for failure". Of course, faced with a government which cannot equip its own soldiers and prefers to rely on charities and churches for the education of the country's children, screwing a few thousands of millions out of the Treasury can hardly count as a failure, and there are rumours that RBS' board of directors has threatened to resign if the Government interposes any more petty regulations between them and their just reward. The banking sector as a whole is palpitating with horror because of fears that Gordon's little Darling's pre-budget dog-whistle will portend the "introduction of politically popular taxes on bank pay", which would have to be endured at least until next spring, when Daveybloke's Cuddly Conservatives will remove them. Restrictions on bonus payments are already so harsh that Barclays has had to agree to huge increases in basic pay in order to circumvent them. Truly, as the management at Royal Mail would no doubt agree, these are difficult times for everyone.


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