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27 February 2012
BREAD AND DRIPPING
With due respect to Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged, not only in Bath, that the poor need poverty to motivate them, the rich riches.
The poor need rock-bottom wages, insalubrious working conditions and the threat of instant dismissal to get them out of bed in the morning.
The rich, by contrast, need pots of moolah to get them to shake a leg.
Otherwise, by jingo they might decide to stay put on their country estates and go huntin’ and fishin’ and then see what would happen to the country. A bankers’ strike. Now that would put the fear of God into the lower orders!
The bonus season is now in full swing in the City of London. The fat cats are getting fatter, the banks near to bursting with wonga.
When a banker gets money for nothing, it’s called “quantitative easing”. When a poor sod needs money to buy bread and dripping for his sickly wife and eight children, he falls in hock for life to a loan shark.
The difference between what the banker earns and what the pauper earns is called a pay differential. Pay differentials are necessary to motivate the people at the top and to demotivate those at the bottom.
Most people get a wage or salary for doing a job and that’s it. Bankers would not get out of bed in the morning for a wage or a salary. They need the additional incentive of bonuses running into millions of pounds.
You see, you need to pay top whack to get the best talent. Anyone can be poor but not everyone can be rich. That’s why the rich need more money than the poor. Because otherwise they would not be rich. Stands to reason, dunnit?
Funnily enough, a lot of banks have just posted massive losses in their annual accounts. So the “best talent” doesn’t have to produce the best results, is that it? Yes, that’s it.
Whatever the results, the bankers’ bonuses are sacrosanct. That’s how the City works, you see. It’s one of their traditions.
And here’s another thing. As I suppose you have noticed, there are a lot of layabouts sitting around these days too lazy to lift a finger. They sit around all day drinking beer and smoking fags and wouldn’t know what a day’s work was if it rolled up and biffed them in the face.
Oh yes, and they live on state benefit. They are what we call “benefit scroungers”.
Well, in the United Kingdom – which, mercifully, will not be united for long if the Scots get their way – the authorities have hit upon a cunning wheeze for dealing with that lot.
They are downsizing their benefits, turfing them out of social housing – and making them work for nothing. They call it work experience. We used to call it slave labour. But then the current UK Prime Minister won his spurs in public relations. Not for him to call a spade a spade when he can call it a shovel.
Mr Cameron, the PM, has also found another way to crack down. Send the halt and the lame out to work – including chemotherapy patients and the terminally ill. If they don’t work, they won’t eat. Sick and needy and a burden on the state, that’ll learn them!
The economy is now in recession and the jobs market in free fall. The unemployed and the unemployable are being forced into jobs which don’t exist. Some might call it surreal. Others might use a harsher expression.
Mr Cameron is doing quite nicely himself, mind you. An Eton education, a stockbroker father, family descended from King William IV, and a posh wife from the aristocracy. He’ll be all right, Jack.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.