Sunday, 15 July 2012

More Liberal-Tory Incompetence

Its just like De Ja Vu, I don't care who you are!
Anyone who over the last year has been watching the BBC comedy series "2012", about the run up to the Jubilympics, must have watched on with a sense of de ja vu as the latest piece of liberal-tory incompetence unfolded.  The Olympics which were originally have cost £2 billion are now to cost £9 billion.  Yet, apparently, despite having all this money to spend, and several years to prepare, the liberal-tories have not even been able to ensure that there will be sufficient security guards!  Never, mind, London has been turned into a military encampment that seems to increasingly resemble Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, complete with tanks, and anti-missile batteries placed on the roofs of people flats - when Gaddafi did that in Libya, wasn't he accused of using human shields??? - and thousands of troops, now to be accompanied by a further 3.500 of their comrades to make up for the ones that G4S have failed to provide, despite themselves having been given a £250 million contract, and themselves having several years to have prepared for it!

Its no wonder that many Londoners have decided to get the hell out of Dodge whilst the Olympics are on, because anybody in their right mind would not want to be living in such an armed encampent, where a series of exclusion zones have been erected, and where you might get pulled up for wearing a T-Shirt that does not conform with the requirement to only portray the advertising messages of those multinationals who have paid out millions to have that right.  That is before you have tried to get to work on a transport system that creaks at best, and is likely to grind to a halt as thousands of people try to get from Heathrow - having spent several hours trying to go through Check-In because, the liberal-tory cuts have left the Border Agency with too few staff - cram on to the Tube to get to the Olympic venues.  Thank goodness for Boris's Bikes.

But, when those Londoners get back after the Olympics they will be able to look forward to the Legacy, or is it Sustainability.  That is the Legacy of that £9 billion debt, which they will have to pay for years to come.  That is on top of the several billion pound debt run up from the Jubilee, and the loss of output to the economy both will have caused.  On the bright side, after the Olympics are over, all those construction workers that have been employd, will no longer need accommodation as they move on to the next job.  Nor will hotels and landlords have an excuse to ramp up rental prices for accommodation, so there should be a crash in rents, and property prices, which will go some way to benefitting Londoners.

Just how many more of the CEO's of the biggest
companies do not have a clue what is going on in the
firms they are supposed to run?  Do they really deserve
to be paid the equivalent of a Lottery Rollover every year?
But, the liberal-tory incompetence which has become so commonplace now that it can be taken for granted whatever they lay their hands on, is matched by the incompetence shown by the top management of G4S, who claim not to have known until recently that any problem existed.  That seems to be a common factor to with top management if other recent events are anything to go by.  Bob Diamond of Barclays also didn't seem to know what was going on in his company, nor did his Chairman, who in front of the Commons Select Committee last week was left lost for words in trying to reconcile his own contradictory statements!  Rupert Murdoch and his son also didn't know what was going on in their company either apparently in regard to phone hacking, nor did some of their other upper management.  The highest levels of the Bank of England also didn't seem to know what was going on in the Banking industry they are supposed to supervise over LIBOR.  If all these examples of some of the most important companies are concerned is at least in part representative then we can only conclude that the upper management of the majority of companies, do not have a clue what is going on in the businesses they run, and are as incompetent as the liberal-tory Government.  In which case, the question is, how on Earth can they tell us with a straight face that these people have to be paid huge amounts of money, because of the value they add to their companies???  I refrain to describe their payments as salaries, because in reality what these people are paid, is the equivalent every year of a Euromillions multi-week rollover Jackpot!

He doesn't look such a competent, safe pair of hands now, he's
not just carping from the sidelines!
Vince Cable has proposed giving shareholders more power to vote on these salaries, but that is like giving the fox a greater run of the hen house, or putting the House of Lords in charge of scrutinisng their friends in the Commons.  The shareholders of these companies are dominated by representatives of the Banks and Insurance Companies, the same companies that rip people off in Commissions, Charges, and other payments on their Pension Schemes.  They have as much interest as anyone in ensuring that these payments remain sky high, because their own salaries are matched against them.  Nor would putting a token worker representative on these Boards make any difference.  It would merely act to give a gloss of legitimacy to the decision over which the workers would have no real control.  The only solution is for Workers themselves to take over the companies, to establish Worker Owned and controlled Co-ops, whereby the workers employed the Capital, and the Managers, not vice versa.  Marx in Capital showed the significance of that.  He showed how when Labour employs Capital, rather than Capital employing Labour, the workers ensure that this Capital is used far more efficiently.  Moreover, he showed that in the Lancashire Textile Co-ops, former owners were employed as Managers, by the workers, at a fraction of the salary they had been previously paying themselves.  Workers as opposed to other Capitalists, it seems, have no difficulty in employing managers without having to pay astronomical sums to do so.

Nor, apparently did there appear to be any loss of effectiveness from employing these managers at much lower salaries.  Despite being charged much higher interest on their loans than private capitalist enterprises, despite being given less generous terms by suppliers etc., the Lancashire Textile Co-operatives, consistently outperformed their Capitalist competitors.  We see the same thing today.  Last year, worker owned enterprises in the UK outperformed the FTSE 100 companies by around 10%!  We can bet that the workers who own those companies have a better knowledge of what is going on in them than the top managers of these large private companies.

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