Thursday, 26 February 2009
This could be the start of something big.
The well known Scottish financial expert and hero of the banking "industry" Sir Fred Goodwin was, as you probably know, forced to take early retirement due to a bit of misunderstanding regarding toxic assets. It's the kind of thing that could happen to anyone really and increasingly WILL happen to anyone but in Fred's case the blow has been softened by an annual pension of £650 000. That's right, £650 000 p.a. For life.
Just about everyone from the SWP to the Daily Mail to the Ancient Druid Order are expressing outrage at the obscene amount of Goodwin's pay-off but it's the system that is at fault. Replacing Goodwin with Oxford landowner Stephen (who ate all the pies?) Hester is no kind of answer at all. Fred may be an odious spiv of the first water but that's not the point nor is his so called "reward for failure". What needs to be questioned is the legitimacy of a social and political system where a powerful but inept elite can look forward to retirement pensions with an annual payment equivalent to the lifetime earnings of many low payed workers. That is what needs to be questioned.
How much more of this are we prepared to take? I'm a bit long in the tooth to still believe that getting thousands of people out on the streets is in itself going to transform society but G20 meltdown on April 1st might just be the start of a real movement for change. You can find out more here. We need more than just a good turn out of young insurrectionists, we need a mass gathering of people from all walks of life united in at least a suspicion we could run things better ourselves. The City, April 1st. See you there.