Different Worlds

Posted on January 17th, 2011

Congratulations to Bob Diamond for negotiating a contract that sees him potentially earn an £8,000,000 bonus.  I have no doubt that Mr Diamond works hard for his money, but so do Social Workers, Teachers and Nurses etc…  Mr Diamond is a ‘top banker’ and his colleagues further down the food chain are still likely to have a little something in their pay packets.  Those top bankers have on their side the threat that the banking industry will move aboard if the country’s banks do not reward their efforts.  It is the same government that is powerless to stop these bonuses that has in the same vein decided to cap ISW fees, cut local authority jobs and refuse individuals benefits.  And this despite the fact that some of those receiving bonuses work for banks that were ‘bailed’ out by public finds. There appear to be two different sets of standards being employed by the government.

There has been recent talk of restricting ‘foreign’ workers entering the UK; again this does not apply to the banking industry.  Top managers in the financial institutions can arrive from any country in the world to work in the UK, suggesting that they have more rights than construction workers seeking employment in this country.  The government UK Border Agency is keen to remove people from the UK, who they believe have no reason to remain.  This includes attempts to deport for instance a ten year old girl to a country where she is required to spend a period of time in a detention centre. This decision by the government does not reflect the drive to stop the detention of children in our own facilities.

Is our society moving further apart?  At Avocet we find we are completing assessments on families in freezing cold homes, unable to have the heating on during the day in the cold weather because of the cost of gas and electricity.  Mr Diamond will have enough interest on his 8 million pound bonus to afford to purchase and heat a street of houses.  The worry is that the cuts have not even been enforced yet.  When they are the different worlds of public sector employees, ISW’s, service users and rich bankers will continue to grow further apart.

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