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Saturday, 28 January 2012

Stephen Hester - worth every penny?

Today we learnt that even Phillip Hampton, the chair of Royal Bank of Scotland has been too embarrassed to accept his £1.4m handout. This is in stark contrast to the greed of Stephen Hester, the other RBS bigwig, who happily accepted a £1m bonus this week.

The Prime Minister simply blamed the last Labour government, and tried to sound like he was actually doing something about the banking bonus culture. There is much the PM could do. The RBS is effectively a publicly owned bank. The state could easily intervene if it really wanted to. But this goes against every fibre of Cameron's ideology. He is happy to cut or freeze public sector wages, whilst allowing the bankers to do as they please.

Stephen Hester was effectively rewarded for 'reducing the risks' of the RBS. This amounts to failing to lend to British industry at a time when it desperately needs investment. It was the failure of RBS to renegotiate a loan to the Peacock chain of shops that led them to go under, costing 1000's of jobs and another gap on the highstreet. For this, and many other crimes against the British economy, Mr Hester should be ashamed of himself, and certainly he should not accept a £1m bonus.

There is little point of Cameron condemning this publicly, but doing nothing to change the situation. Let us do all we can to shorten the life of this bourgeois government and the influence of their friends in financial high places.

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