Saturday, 6 April 2013

All in it together?

 “Vile Product of Welfare UK”
screamed the Daily Mail on 3rd April, after the conviction of Mick Philpott.

But when Dennis Stevenson (a lord), James Crosby (a knight of the realm) and Andy Hornby were found to have “recklessly” ruined HBOS (Halifax Bank Of Scotland) and cost the rest of us £20Bn, where was the headline:
“Vile Products of Bonus-Culture UK”?
George Osborne says there is a
 "question for government and society" about the influence of benefits on behaviour.
But is there not also a
"question for government and society" about the influence of bonuses on behaviour?
While people languish on welfare as a result of the crisis caused by the likes of Stevenson, Crosby and Hornby and are being scapegoated, Fred (“the shred”) Goodwin, who ruined RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) and cost us £45Bn, is probably paying the most expensive lawyers in the world to analyse every dot and tittle of the law to wriggle out of multiple lawsuits against him, no doubt easily paid for from his massive salaries, bonuses and pension, most likely held off-shore so as to pay as little tax as he can get away with.

Unless and until we see the likes of Goodwin stripped of every penny they ever had and joining the queue for the food bank with the people he impoverished, there is absolutely no justice or equality in this land.

It is not Mick Philpott who is “vile”, nor Fred Goodwin, but the system that entrenches the injustice and inequality that brought about the society we find ourselves in. Individuals can and should be forgiven and are capable of repentance – systems have to be overthrown, and it is to the system and it's perpetrators who are in government that we must direct all the anger and bile and contempt and passion we can possibly muster.