Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The moral bankruptcy MPs have brought on themselves

Yet another one on bonuses, I fear.

Let us be quite clear, Government in its role as the Government has no place to pontificate, comment or legislate on private sector pay awards and conditions.

Government, in its role as a shareholder can impact the remuneration policies of the businesses that it owns – in exactly the same way that any significant shareholder can.

This means, for example, that it can wave a stick around and bully RBS and to some extend Lloyds. It also means it can fuck off with regard to Barclays or HSBC where it has yet to extend its dead hand.

So much for its executive power – but government and politicians in general have influence beyond the executive, to whit the bully pulpit that comes from the publicity they enjoy.

Again, let us be quite clear. No politician, political party, spokesmen, apparatchik can have any credibility on the matter of results-based pay the morality of otherwise of bonuses or the equity of pay deals as long as the current scandal of MPs allowances and expenses is allowed to continue. They are too expensive, and too inclined to play the system for personal gain.

MPs have no moral authority to criticise bankers over bonuses or pay.

UPDATE: Mr Brogan has it right

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