August 2012 We should pay for services – not Banker’s greed

01 June 2013

News that Barclays, and other banks, have been caught red-handed, attempting to fix the financial markets for their own enrichment, should come as no surprise to the rest of us who are still paying for the banking industry’s previous catastrophic greed. For, plainly and simply, greed is what got us where we are today.

 

As Bob Diamond, CEO, walks away from Barclays with a £2m pay off, (he very generously declined a £20m bonus) the rest of us are left to cope with a National Health Service that is going into administration, public sector cuts that will inevitably hit the poorest hardest and a generation of young people without hope of finding work.

 

Their prospects could not be more different to Bob Diamond’s, who described attempts by his staff to rig interest rates as ‘wholly inappropriate’. No. Wearing a tie to a football match is ‘inappropriate’. What Barclay’s did is a crime. And criminals should face the full force of the law. Even rich criminals.

 

More than one thousand people were jailed for their part in last summer’s riots - one man was sentenced to 6 months in jail for stealing water valued at £3.50 - yet not a single banker has faced criminal charges of any kind for creating the mess we all continue to pay through the nose for. It’s hypocrisy of the very worst kind.

 

Aslef members should remember that the government has the rail industry in its sights as well. We must resist any attempts by the government to make rail pay for the crimes of greedy bankers. I would urge members to join the Action for Rail campaign. Get involved at actionforrail.org and find out how you can help protect your own local services.

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