The Banks Should Pay Back Their Bailouts

Why have the banks not been forced to pay bay back their bail-outs before paying themselves bonuses, as if the financial crisis had never happened?

In December 2009 the official cost of the bank bailout was declared to be £850 billion.

Meanwhile bankers’ bonuses have been predicted to run to billions in 2011

Royal Bank of Scotland predict £1bn in bonuses this year, and they paid out £1.3bn in bonuses last year, while Barclays paid £5bn-£6bn in total remuneration.
Even where bonuses have been cut, financial sector salaries have risen by up to 40%.

Why are we letting them get away with this? Why isn’t there a public outcry?

Oh what a surprise – not!

These riots were a disaster waiting to happen. The government knew full well they were taking a gamble on the way they have treated the lowest stratum of society. Through brutal cuts in public spending they have been made to take the brunt of the financial sector’s astoundingly bad performance, yet bankers continue to pay themselves £billions in bonuses.

Meanwhile the relationship between young black people and the police deteriorates. Mark Duggan’s death is yet another in a long line (at least 333)  deaths in police custody, yet not a single police officer has been convicted for a death-in-custody incident.

Is it really any wonder these young people feel angry, disenfranchised, have nothing left to lose?

You can put the lid on a boiling pot but unless you deal with the fire underneath, you are going to get an explosion.

Monarchy: arguments against

A continuation of Cuprum’s discussion.

As I have already said, I would keep the monarchy, albeit in a much-diminished form, because I prefer it, however bumbling, to some self-promoted megalomaniac.

But as some of you have complained that no-one has laid out the arguments for abolishing the monarchy, I have quickly cobbled them together for you. Continue reading “Monarchy: arguments against”

the economic benefits of public health

The discussion about public funding and its history got me delving into the literature. I thought Boadicea, Zen, and the other participants might be interested in this.

Basically it says the perceived need for public health, and sanitation in particular, was driven by the economic benefits of having a healthy workforce

Careers and babies. Can they really go together?

My husband has a colleague who keeps complaining to him (he is her boss) that despite all her hard work she is getting nowhere in her career. My husband is sympathetic, but points out that times are hard, especially in their field, and he can’t help her any more than he is already doing.

I suggest, that with her working full-time, spending three hours a day commuting, as well as having a baby, she is probably worn-out, guilty and depressed and wonders why she bothers. I say, she should go part-time, and take the opportunity to spend time with her baby.

He says my thinking is out-of-date.

Yet, how wise is it really to expect to carry on full-steam in your career when you have small children? Yes, many families really need two full-time wages to make ends meet. Yet a few decades ago that was not the case.  Isn’t it more that our expectations have increased, both personally, in what constitutes a reasonable standard of living, and collectively, in the idea that having small children should be no impediment to getting on with life as normal?

What is important about a career? Is it about improving one’s status? Getting more money? To what end? To enjoy life better? The satisfaction that you are contributing something to the world? Do you need to keep climbing the career ladder to feel that?

When lying on our deathbeds, what regrets will we have? That we never made it big-time? That we could never call ourselves heroes or heroines? Or that we didn’t spend more time with our children?