As you age it becomes very tempting to inhabit the past. I try not to. I try to be forward thinking. Progressive even. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t learn from the past. As long as we don’t view that past through rose-tinted spectacles that is. It can be argued with some confidence that the 1960s were a golden age in the UK. Sgt Pepper was released on my twelfth birthday. It was the decade that working classes flexed their muscles and many broke free from the chains that bound them. It was a decade when many working people experienced a relative affluence that could only have been previously dreamed of. Our family did. It was a decade of major innovation and thought. So many of the thoughts on equality and respect came to the fore during the 60s. We had, in modern terms, a progressive Labour government. And with that came high rates of tax for high income earners. Sadly Thatcher blew a lot of the good away, and given half a chance this fucking Tory government will do the rest.
I don’t buy this nonsense about how you need to pay obscenely high wages to attract the right sort of people, or that taxes need to be kept low so as not to de-incentivise or drive talent abroad. It is all capitalist spin and bollocks. If you control excessively high pay and people go elsewhere so what? Plenty more very apt people to take their place. British industry and commerce is littered with over-paid ignorant shits who operate in a poor or mediocre fashion. It is a total myth that they are somehow special. Most of them aren’t. Excessive pay is way out of control and the only people who can stop it, apart from the perpetrators are the government. Shareholders won’t. In the main shareholders are either in the same ‘fat-cat’ boat or they have been neutered by the system.
Today’s announcement of the RBS chief Stephen Hester's £963,000 bonus is an insult to all those suffering up and down the land. This is public money we are talking about. Tax-payers money. Tax that thing that every man, woman, child and hermaphrodite contribute to. Robert Peston has been “...reliably told that they feared Mr Hester and much of the board would have quit, if the payment had been vetoed by the government as the majority shareholder.” So? Let the selfish bastards resign. Good riddance I say. We are talking about the sort of people and their ilk that are responsible for the ‘high-pay’ culture and the ‘persecution of the average person’ culture that we find ourselves in. Let’s enforce extreme pay restraint at the top and cull the parasitic and obese leeches that have caused us all these financial woes. We’ll be all the fitter financially for it. All we need is the courage.