Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/614/8945
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.
In The Socialist 3 March 2010:
Youth fight for jobs
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist Interview
Socialist Party women
Socialist Party feature