Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Friday 25 February 2011

Don't motivate bankers, just sack them

The chief executive of RBS, Stephen Hester, stoutly defends the payment of bonuses to his senior managers in a strange - and offensive - way.
For a start, he thinks it perfectly acceptable to hand over £1 billion when the taxpayer-owned company lost £1 billion, so it would otherwise have broken even.
But what particularly irked me was his insistence that bonuses had to be paid because bankers need to be "well motivated".
Does he think teachers need to be well motivated? Or nurses? Or social workers? None of them get bonuses but we expect them to be completely devoted to their work. If they make an error or don't achieve good results, they are vilified.
What is so special about bankers? They were attacked for almost destroying the economy a couple of years ago but normally they get away with making appalling decisions, losing massive amounts of money, and ripping off customers and the country.
Hester also said that the recent cut in bonuses (compensated for by huge salary increases, remember) had led to thousands of RSB employees leaving the company which had in turn led to profits being reduced by a billion. Pull the other one.
I take the rather old-fashioned view that people ought to be committed to the work they do. Apart from anything else, why should anyone be paid at all if they don't do their job properly, whatever it is.
Why should bankers be different? Even without their bonuses, they are the most highly-paid people in the country. Do they really not care a fig for putting in any effort unless they are rewarded with unbelievable bonuses on top of their salaries?
Anyone who had that attitude should be fired, not given a fortune. That isn't how Stephen Hester (bonus £2million this year) sees it, though.

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