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Labour minister in favour of the exploitation of workers

When any one of us performs work for another, the fee for it will be based on the value to the worker, and the value to the employer. Thus, if I write something and get paid £500, the value to the person commissioning it will be substantially higher, as he or she did not commission me to do something because they think I'm a great chap, or because they are worried about where my next pint, train ticket, pair of yellow socks is coming from. The same applies in any area of work, be it delivering papers, mending shoes, playing football or trading eurobonds.

Peter Hain is not happy about the bonuses made in the City, and comments in the Sunday Times, "I do think most people find it pretty grotesque that a couple of dozen City executives can share a billion pounds of bonuses between them. That’s not where hard-working families and people are at. We need a debate about this and a genuine dialogue with the City.

Given that these eurobond traders, M&A specialists etc etc are being rewarded according to a sweet spot in between which their employment creates value for the organisation for which they work and a rate at which they are prepared to sell their labour, exactly the same economic principle applies here as it does to paperboys, cobblers etc etc, albeit with rather more noughts on the end.

We have been here before quite recently, with Harman raising the same 'argument' in September, so I'm repeating myself to a degree . In both cases these envious snipes at wealth creators are really all about pitching for the deputy leadership of the Labour party by way of delivering a class war thrill to economically illiterate activists. That an attack on city bonuses would result in erosion of the tax base as traders moved to NY, Frankfurt, Bermuda or wherever clearly does not bother Hain or Harman. Hain's background is in wonkery and activism, and Harman as a lawyer - specialising in legal aid, I think - so neither has exactly been at the sharp end of wealth creation.

I forget whether it was Friedman or Hayek who observed that while there is plenty of envy directed at wealthy businessmen, there is very little for pop stars, bullfighters and so forth. Or, in our times, lottery winners. Perhaps following the 'logic' of these merry little class warriors, there should be a cap on salaries for footballers, Warner Brothers should restrict the number of Madonna CDs it presses and Tom Cruise should only be allowed to make a film every five years for fear that 'hard working families and ordinary people' might take offence.
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Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:09 pm

Tony Blair et al's "hardworking families" always worry me a little. Why aren't the children in school?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:14 pm

They are probably delivering papers etc in order to help their parents pay the household bills....  

Blogger The Hitch said... 1:32 pm

if you are making that kind of money you dont pay taxes.
Always make me laugh we tossers like Brown lauds the fact that England is such a great place that london is full of billionaires, well indeed it is , because of the are nom dom tax regime.  

Blogger The Hitch said... 1:35 pm

my fav article today starts thus
"downing street declared war on the police last night , accusing them of deliberatley setting out to prove tony blair and his advisors are corrupt"
sure that is what the police are supposed to do if a crime has been commited?
I can almost smell the fear (+:  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:07 pm

What a bizarre statement from Downing Street, and how telling. Tony Blair is very frightened. Oh, revel in the moment! Probably wondering if there's any chance of getting a new law through, declaring the police to be the servants of Downing Street - or making it a serious offence to attempt to arrest the prime minister.

I get the feeling Tony has the squits. I'd love to see a current photo of him (I never thought I'd write those words) looking drawn and nervous. It's not enough for me that he is suffering. I want to watch him suffering and enjoy it. I want to revel in his panic.

He wants to be interviewed at his office in the Commons, away from the flood lights and cameras. He is doing everything in his power not to have the police come to Downing St. I've got a feeling that the police will choose the venue, not Tony.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:13 pm

PH - some, but by means all....

Yes, seeing Tony getting his collar felt would be sublime. For now I suppose we'll just have to make do with the memory of him getting the slow hand clap at the WI AGM - the look on his face was his Ceausescu moment. Wonder if it is on youtube....  

Blogger Stan Bull said... 2:44 pm

Hain is overtly playing to his trade union constituency- they are the ones who will back him. 'can't imagine what Gordo thinks about the possibility of having a paleo-lefty as his possible Deputy Leader. He wants Harriet Harman as his deputy in any case.  

Blogger The Hitch said... 3:08 pm

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  

Blogger The Hitch said... 3:12 pm

He needs to be made to suffer, I favour flaying him alive, dipping him in brine then staking him out in a desert and making him wear underpants filled with fire ants, then a cage over his head filled with starving rats all whilst he has to watch a video of his wife and children being killed over and over again, and listen to the collected speeches of Gordon Brown.
This would be for the first 24 hours, then I would get really nasty with him.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:51 pm

PH - steady on old chap. I don't think Leo jr has done anything bad yet, has he? And he has done us a public service by keeping T&C awake at nights.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:53 pm

You do not want to mess with PHITCH do you . His imaginative cruelty reminds me of Jacobean drama. He would be played by Kevin Spacey in an understated way calmly explaining to the captive Blair what was going to happen to him.

If you look back at some of the Harold Wilson creations of class hatred they are similar. In IZ I am constantly meeting old Labour party members and would be very interested to know what the current political make up of NU Lab is . Some of them are getting really quite sensible but the grass roots are , in my experience , still socialist zealots .  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:05 pm

Every once in a while I speculate idly on the fun that could be had with a law criminalising incitement to class hatred.

Betcha didn't know, betcha don't care, but Luxembourg used to - probably still does - have a Minister for the Middle Classes  

Blogger The Hitch said... 9:20 pm

A minister for the middle classes?
Very very strange.
I've never visited luxembourg.
I presume its like Belgium only with more perversion and lower taxes.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:46 pm

And more in the way of altitude. Very flat, Belgium.  

Blogger Stan Bull said... 9:47 pm

Why would Luxembourg necessarily have more perversion than Belgium? I imagine though that both countries have obscenely punitive tax rates.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:00 pm

I wonder what the Luxembourg bourgeoisie get animated about? Unkempt lawns, loud conversations, being 'common'? However, and *I am not making this up*, I read an opinion poll somewhere that showed that the #1 lesisure time activity in Luxembourg was sleeping, followed closely by resting. So maybe they just don't have the energy to cook up a national perversion.

I imagine it is quite scenic, but it isn't on my 'must visit' list.  

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