In 2012, a weak (in perhaps a different sense) Coalition Government has proved itself incapable of preventing the Royal Bank of Scotland’s remuneration committee from awarding their CEO a million pound bonus for failing to meet any of his objectives. Osborne and his poodles whinge that ‘we don’t wish to intervene in the day-to-day operations of the Bank’ – oh, for ***k’s sake, why not? We’re not asking you to man the tills. As majority shareholder, you (via your tame UKFI subsidiary), can surely pack the remuneration committee with your own appointees – just like Lloyd George and Asquith did to the Lords – on the understanding that they may NOT approve ANY bonuses whatsoever. What’s stopping you, Government?
I know two possible answers. Either it’s because you’re still in thrall to those powers-that-were, you still believe that discredited claim that we have to ‘reward talent’ or it’ll go elsewhere (though we don’t hear so much of that nowadays, perhaps because Hester has just sacked most of those people); or, more likely, it’s because you’re a bunch of gutless wimps.
Tomorrow, I promise some trivia.