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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 February 2012

Bankers bonus scandal - Fight this profit-mad system

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge
We are the 99% - Take the wealth off the 1% - Socialist Party placard, photo Paul Mattsson

pic Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The recent 'Hesteria' has been revealing. The Tories, majority funded by the City, went on about 'fairness' and bankers' bonuses but failed to challenge RBS boss Stephen Hester's 1 million bung.

The huge anger about Hester's bonus was reflected in the over 80,000 signatures collected in 48 hours demanding its non-payment. In the end Hester rescued a flailing Cameron by saying he wouldn't take the cash. Undoubtedly, securing his less well-advertised 3.3 million payment figured in his calculations.

The reality is that Hester is not unique in being offered a multi-million bonus. Barclay's Bob 'no more remorse' Diamond is in line for 10 million! And obscene pay does not just exist in banking - average FTSE executive pay is 4.2 million.

Would-be pension thief and Unilever chief exec Paul Polman receives 3.5 million a year, including 300,000 into his own pension. Last year, the man who earns 285 times more than his workers, said: "What I want is a sustainable and equitable capitalism."

"Pious baloney!" Although this is reactionary US Republican Newt Gingrich's phrase, it does sums up the politicians' current fashion for fulminating on inequality while, in reality, carrying through the impoverishment of millions.

Why this fixation? While planning no deviation from staggeringly savage austerity, the bosses and politicians fear our rage. The tip of the enormous iceberg of this rage made itself known in 2011 in the ever-expanding Occupy movement but especially in massive general strikes.

They fear these movements will pose a threat to their profit system and hope that showing some concern will stave off the oncoming challenges. But they're wrong.

Labour leader Ed Miliband's talk of 'good' and 'bad' capitalism is baloney - capitalism is a system based on exploitation and profiteering. The TUC has revealed that workers have lost an unbelievable 1.3 trillion in wages over the last 30 years as the bosses grab an ever greater share of the wealth in profits.

We need to build a mass movement to fight for genuine socialist nationalisation of the entire banking system and the big corporations, putting the levers of the economy in our hands - not those of the super-rich. That has to be part of a democratic plan, coordinated with workers internationally.

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In The Socialist 1 February 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bankers bonus scandal - Fight this profit-mad system

Trade unionists and socialists prepare for May elections

What is the point of Labour MPs?

Dead end in Davos

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Don't let the racist EDL divide us

Disabled protesters demand scrapping of 'welfare' bill

Haringey takes action against academies

Coventry: Re-elect Dave Nellist


Socialist Party youth and students

NUS: name the day for student walkout

Save Derbyshire youth services!

Only one in six 'vacancies' real

Tough conditions for agency workers

South East Wales youth plan new campaigns


International socialist news and analysis

EU summit - no capitalist solutions to the spiralling eurozone crisis

Interview: the Tunisian revolution one year on


Socialist Party workplace news

Pensions battle: Unions must campaign for coordinated strike action in March

London Docklands transport workers win Olympics deal

Unison pensions cowardice

Remploy workers fight privatisation

Jet tanker drivers continue strike action

Workplace news in brief


The Socialist - readers' comments

Debate: Should socialists support the HS2 rail line?

Are the Greens a real alternative?

Smacking not the answer

Obituary: Gwenda Beishon


 

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