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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2010


The fairytale world of RBS

IMAGINE WORKERS raiding their firm's safe every week to bet on horses. They stick the money, plus any winnings, back in the safe but keep a large cut for themselves. Now, imagine the workers betting most of the firm's cash on a horse that loses. Would the boss say: "Bad luck old man, you may have made the company bankrupt but the government will give us a grant for this and you can start betting all over again?"

Rob Windsor, Socialist Party councillor, Coventry

Is this some kind of crazy fairytale? No! It's the reality of bankers' bailouts, including RBS which is 84% government owned and intends to pay out 1.3 billion in bonuses to its investment bankers.

RBS's chief executive, Stephen Hester, was set to claim a 1.6 million bonus despite his bank posting a net loss of 3.6 billion in 2009 on top of a record 24 billion loss in 2008.

New Labour's 'Lord of Lucre' - business secretary Peter Mandelson - apparently showed great unease about this but did not rule out this bloated banking toad getting some payout in future if he "turned RBS around". However, because of a public outcry Mr Hester and others - though not all - decided to waive their bonuses.

The fact is Labour is making working people foot the bill for bailing out these banking parasites by cuts in vital public services. Cuts which will firstly impact on the young, the old and the vulnerable but whose effects will be felt everywhere.

Socialists support nationalising the banking system but not the losses of private banks, nor insulating rich shareholders and directors, but by having finance owned and controlled by the ordinary working people who create the real wealth in society.

Banks should exist to provide credit for industry to invest and create wealth to be socially and equitably invested amongst all people and to provide cheap credit for small enterprises, mortgages, etc.

Yet now small enterprises cannot get overdrafts and loans from 'nationalised' banks to assist them through tough times.

This is because the banks' main priority under capitalism is feeding greedy directors and shareholders. Under socialism these parasites would be kicked out.

Until then our task is to turn the burning seething discontent amongst working people into a force for change, starting with a mass campaign to resist the cuts we are supposed to suffer to guarantee profits for the rich.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 3 March 2010:

Fighting for jobs, services and conditions

PCS: All Out to Defend Jobs and Services

Stop council cuts

Youth fight for jobs

Invest in jobs, education & Training

Cut the working hours, not the jobs!

Portsmouth students and workers unite to fight cuts

Brighton students say: Save our nursery

EMA inadequacy impacts badly on students

International socialist news and analysis

Building action across Europe

Greece - millions take part in general strike

Spain: Thousands join mass demonstrations

Socialist Party news and analysis

The fairytale world of RBS

Nationalise the energy giants

Activists launch socialist challenge

Walsgrave hospital Coventry: Stop the parking charges rip-off

Fast news

Socialist Party workplace news

Where is the BA cabin crew dispute going?

Smash the bosses' construction blacklist!

Leeds lecturers win concessions - but cuts remain to be fought

Workplace news: In brief


Unison general secretary election: Nominate Roger Bannister

Legal ruling exposes hypocrisy of Unison leadership

The Socialist Interview

FBU general secretary speaks to The Socialist

Socialist Party women

Women will be at the fore in the fightback!


Global media monster News International condemned

The hounding of Tommy Sheridan

Savage cuts planned at the Beeb


Supporters should own Pompey, not developers

Socialist Party feature

The worldwide thievery of big business


Home   |   The Socialist 3 March 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

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